Saint Francis-inspired: Contemporary conversations

Church Window Mask

Wed 12 July 7-8.15pm
Conversation about Poverty and Equity

These events accompany the National Gallery’s St Francis of Assisi exhibition and ask ‘how does the example of Saint Francis inspire art and action?

  • Image

    Detail from Francisco de Zurbarán, ‘Saint Francis in Meditation’, 1639

  • Where

    We are at 197 Piccadilly London W1J 9LL between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, about 200 yards from Piccadilly Circus.

  • Access

    St James’s aspires to be a place where all can belong, and where every person’s gifts and identities are welcome and celebrated. We are working to improve the experience at St James’s in the church building and the online community. We have step-free access from the courtyard to the church, and a toilet for disabled people. The courtyard and Redemption Roasters coffee shop are wheelchair accessible. If you have special access requirements (e.g. wheelchair users) please contact

  • Centuries on, Saint Francis (1181/82-1226) remains one of history’s most inspirational and revered figures. His life and legacy still resonate with us today. His commitment to the poor and underprivileged, his care for nature and animals, and his dialogue with Islam, have meant that his influence has endured across generations.

    In a series of conversations programmed to accompany Saint Francis of Assisi exhibition, invited special guests will explore how Saint Francis and his depictions in art might inspire social and cultural change today.

    Saint Francis was born into a wealthy family yet renounced his inheritance in dedication to his faith. His life and message were uncompromising, identifying greed as a cause of suffering for both victims and perpetrators.

    This conversation centres on what Francis has to say about how our society confronts poverty and injustice. Gabriele Finaldi, Director of National Gallery and co-curator of ‘Saint Francis of Assisi’ is joined by artist Michael Landy, Chine McDonald Director of Theos, the religion and society think tank, and Jennifer Travassos, Director of Housing and Services with The Passage.

    A second event will be held at St James’s on Wed 26 July 7-8.15pm chaired by Associate Rector, Ayla Lepine about focused on interfaith dialogue.