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Francis Spufford

11 October 2018 6:45pm - 9pm


Five professions. Five explorations

To be a good doctor means more than just being good at medicine.
Technical excellence is only part of any profession's definition of goodness.
But how, in today's world, do you work out what goodness means in your profession?
In conversation with Francis Spufford, an oncologist, a novelist, a soldier, an HR professional and a journalist explore the rules, the responsibilities, the potential and the pitfalls of their work and in an open forum under the Octagon, facilitated by the Ely Cathedral Business Group, to conclude the series the speakers compare notes with a sixth guest from the world of finance.

How to be Good - Thursdays at 6.45pm in the Drawing Room of The Bishop's House, Ely

Writer Francis Spufford talks with distinguished members of different professions about what 'good' looks like in their working lives, how they negotiate difficult ethical territory, and how their professional 'goodness' is informed, challenged, or at odds with the Christian tradition. He is the author of five books of non-fiction and a best selling novel, 'Golden Hill', which won the Costa First Novel Award for 2016, the Ondaatje Prize as well as being shortlisted for many more. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Rebecca Fitzgerald
6 September: How to be Good - Medicine Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald

Rebecca is Professor of Cancer Prevention at the University of Cambridge. She runs a research group at the MRC Cancer Unit and is an Honorary Consultant in Gastroenterology at Addenbrooke's Hospital. She is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She received the Westminster Medal, NHS Innovation Prize and Sir Francis Avery Jones Medal from the British Society of Gastroenterology for her work in developing a new test to diagnose cancer early. She is committed to bringing research advances into clinical practice and training others to do the same.

Sarah Perry
13 September: How to be Good - Literature Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry's recent novel, The Essex Serpent, was a number one bestseller and Waterstone's Book of the Year 2016. It was the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and Overall Book of the Year 2017, and was subsequently nominated for a further eight literary prizes, including the Costa Novel Award 2017 and the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2017.The Essex Serpent, called 'the gothic hit of the year' ponders matters of faith, mystery, justice and the rational in a nineteenth century England 'that, if you blinked, looked a little like ours'. She was herself brought up in a Strict Baptist family and 'hopes one day to write a book without a vicar in it'. Her forthcoming, even more gothic novel, Melmoth, is that book; it appears from Serpent's Tail in October 2018. Sarah Perry lives in Norwich with her husband.

Beverly Dixon
20 September: How to be Good - People in Farming Beverly Dixon

Beverly Dixon is Group HR Director at G's Fresh, a major agricultural business with its roots in the Fens. She has worked as an HR professional throughout the food supply chain and has created an extensive training framework to develop skills for people working in agriculture. She is Director of MDS Ltd and a visiting Lecturer at London's CASS Business School. She champions sound ethical working practices throughout the supply chain, securing a reliable supply of seasonal labour. She is a Trustee of Rural Cambridgeshire Citizens Advice Bureau and joint chair of the Ely Cathedral Business Group.

Andrew Brown
27 September: How to be Good - Journalism Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown is a journalist, writer and editor. He was one of the founding members of The Independent, where he worked as a religious correspondent, parliamentary sketch writer, and a feature writer. He has written extensively on technology for Prospect and for the New Statesman and has been a feature writer on the Guardian. He has worked as the editor for the Belief section of the Guardian's Comment is Free which won a Webby Award for excellence on the internet. He is currently a leader writer and member of the paper's editorial board. He is the press columnist for the Church Times. In the Beginning was the Worm (2004) was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. Fishing In Utopia (2008) won the Orwell Prize. His latest book, That Was the Church, That Was, with Linda Woodhead, appeared in 2016.

Edward Wingfield
4 October: How to be Good - The Army Edward Wingfield

Ed Wingfield served as an infantry officer in the British Army for 16 years, including operational tours of Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. He commanded a rifle company in Basra in 2006, led an advisor team embedded in the headquarters of an Afghan National Army brigade in Helmand in 2012 and spent two years working on Afghan policy in the British Embassy in Washington, DC. Since leaving the army he has worked for a US bank and as a civil servant.


Mike Bushore

11 October: How to be Good - Business Mike Bushore

Read more here.