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"Heresy" Commemoration Event 3 November 2007

November 2007 marked 40 years since charges of heresy were brought against Lloyd Geering by Robert Wardlaw, a Presbyterian layman, and the Rev. Robert Blaikie. Although the charges were not upheld, the controversy had long-term implications for the Presbyterian Church.

On the 3rd of November 2007 about 150 people gathered at St Andrews on The Terrace, Wellington to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the trial of the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Geering for “doctrinal error” in Christchurch exactly 40 years before. The 2007 event was chaired by the minister of St. Andrews, Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman (who is also the chair of The St. Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society — the sponsoring organisation).

The St. Andrew's Trust has made available three CD sets that deal with this event:

The Geering Controversy by James Veitch

On the 30th anniversary, in 1997, Dr. James Veitch set out the circumstances of the trial and the ongoing effects in this lecture series. Ten years later SATRS was pleased to re-issue the lectures on CD which is available for $10 + post and packaging.

There are two lectures:

  • The Anatomy of a Heresy: The Presbyterian Church v. Principal Lloyd Geering, November 1967, November 25, 1997
  • Presbyterians in Conflict, 1965-1970: Implications for Christians in New Zealand 1970-2000, December 2, 1997

1. Heresy Revisited, the "Deluxe edition" ISBN 978-0-9582880-1-9

This is the audio and photographic record of the 2007 event. The 3-CD set is accompanied by some text and photographs. It is offered at $40 + post and packing and contains the following tracks: (Note the CDs are not offered separately):
  • Welcome and Introduction by Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman, Minister of St Andrews on the Terrace.
  • Geoff Robinson, broadcaster, speaking on Lloyd Geering as a communicator
  • Rev. Dr. Alan Davidson Heresy Yesterday
  • Recorded greeting from John Shelby Spong
  • Lloyd Geering’s sermon Ecclesiastes Revisited from the Sunday morning church service
  • Interview of Lloyd Geering by Rev. Chris Nicholl
  • Book Launch by Tom Hall of Lloyd Geering’s In Praise of the Secular
  • Rev. Dr. Alan Davidson Heresy Today
  • Rev. Dr. Geoff King Heresy and The Future of The Church
  • Conclusion by Margaret Mayman and Lloyd Geering

2: Ecclesiastes Revisited, The Sermon, ISBN 978-0-9582880-2-6

On the day after, November 4th, Lloyd Geering preached again the sermon on which he uttered the phrase "man has no immortal soul". He produced a different ending based on the way in which his thought has developed in the intervening 40 years. This CD is available for $10 + post and packaging. Note this sermon is included in the "Deluxe edition".

A documentary DVD is also available from Top Shelf  Productions - see HERE for details