Roscoe Lecture Review



The Most Reverend Malcolm Patrick McMahon examines the Common Good

Roscoe Lecture Series

The Most Reverend Malcolm Patrick McMahon OP invited guests at the 134th Roscoe Lecture to hear about the meaning behind the ‘Common Good’ and Catholic Social Teaching.  He asked people to consider how we can all work together for community cohesion in order for everyone to reach their full potential.  His Lecture took the audience through the historical and political use of ‘Common Good’ while opening up opportunities to debate what this means today. 

Lord Alton of Liverpool, Director of LJMU’s Foundation for Citizenship commented: 

"This Roscoe Lecture examined some of the contemporary ills of society and considered how religious faith and political will can be combined to create a fairer, just, and more equitable society. 

"The idea of the common good has its roots in the Gospel but also in the writings of Augustine and Aquinas, a Dominican like Malcolm McMahon. Today, ‘the common good’ is a term which is increasingly used in politics, too, with Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt recently founding the group ‘Labour for the Common Good’. 

"Earlier in the year, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave a very well received Roscoe Lecture and Malcolm McMahon’s chosen theme built on that. It also built on Malcolm McMahon’s own experiences and his very good understanding of what makes ordinary people, their lives, and their communities tick. 

"Archbishop McMahon is well known for his kind personality, good sense of humour, his commitment to social justice, and for the emphasis he places on deepening our personal search for truth and definition in our lives. Liverpool John Moores University’s Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship was delighted to host his Roscoe Lecture."

Born and brought up in London, Archbishop McMahon studied mechanical engineering at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He then worked in the transport industry before joining the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1976. He made his religious profession in 1977, and studied philosophy at Blackfriars, Oxford and theology at Heythrop College. He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Basil Hume in 1982. In 1992, he was elected Prior Provincial of the English Province of the Order of Preachers; having served for two terms as Prior Provincial, he was elected Prior of Blackfriars, Oxford.

Pope John Paul II appointed him ninth Bishop of Nottingham in 2000, and he was ordained to the episcopate by Bishop James McGuinness in St Barnabas’ Cathedral, that same year.

Archbishop McMahon is Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department of Education and Formation, the Catholic Education Service (CES) and the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CATEW). He is also National President of Pax Christi, the International Catholic Movement for Peace.

Good Citizenship Award winner 

The Good Citizenship Award was presented to Joshua Magness, aged 10, from Woolton Primary School.  Joshua was described as the ‘perfect role model’ for his peers, following his work with local foodbanks including a ‘Jeans for Beans’ day.

Stephen Broadbent, a British sculptor, specialising in public art who designed the Good Citizenship Award, presented this to Joshua at the Lecture.  

Woolton Primary School is one of around 800 schools and colleges who award LJMU Good Citizenship Awards.

The full lecture is available to download on the Roscoe Lecture website 


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