Scruton’s housing vision is finally being realised - The Spectator, 10 Aug 20

The government’s white paper on planning reform makes frequent reference to Roger Scruton and his Building Beautiful Commission – on which I worked as Scruton’s research assistant. If Scruton had lived to read the white paper, he would have found much to like, especially its commitment to building the homes the country needs. But he would have insisted that the proposed reforms can only succeed if the government gets the details right in its plans to win the consent of local people. Consent based on drastically raising the aesthetic standards of new buildings and by enabling communities to share in the benefits of development. Read the full article by Samuel Hughes HERE.

Planning for the future

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government Robert Jenrick has opened the Planning for the future consultation proposing reform to the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed. Seeking to create better quality neighbourhoods and homes, we are pleased to see reference to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Report. Useful links below:

Green Philosophy Day 6 Sept 20

***This is event is now sold out, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to be put on the waiting list***

We are excited to be able to share with you the first in our open philosophy day series, the Green Philosophy Programme. Please join us on Sunday 6th September at Sundey Hill Farm for Green Philosophy, How to think seriously about the planet. We will be joined by experts including Ian Christie, George Monck and Tim Bonner and Frances Ward. 


10am                      Arrival: Tea and Coffee

10.30 – 11.30am       ‘Green Philosophy’ introduced by Ian Christie

12.00 – 12.30 pm      ‘Litterary Oikophilia’ by George Monck

12.30 – 1.00pm        ‘A Green Countryside’ by Tim Bonner


2.30pm – 3.30pm      Panel led by Frances Ward in discussion with Lucy Scruton, Gemma Jolliffe and Saurav Tamang on the subject of:

‘Like There's No Tomorrow: Climate Crisis, Eco-Anxiety and God’.

3.30 – 4.30pm          Full panel discussion (all speakers) and Q&A

4.30pm                     Next steps for Scrutopia and Green Philosophy

5pm                       Depart

Panellists, biographical details

Ian Christie is senior lecturer in social science of sustainable development at the University of Surrey, also formerly head of the think-tank Demos and a founding member with Roger and Sophie of the Town and Country Forum. His tribute can be read here.

George Monck  Chief Executive of the charity CleanupUK and one time assistant to the organist of Garsdon Church.

Tim Bonner is Chief Exectutive of the Countryside Alliance.

Frances Ward is an Anglican Priest and theologian who served as Dean of St Edmundsbury from 2010 to 2017. She is the author of “Like There's No Tomorrow: Climate Crisis, Eco-Anxiety and God

(Sacristry Press, March 2020). Frances Ward’s tribute can be read here

Lucy Scruton is an undergraduate studying Biology

Gemma Jolliffe is an undergraduate studying Geography

Saurav Tamang is a sixth form student

Tickets are available from the website. 

Adults: £50; under 25s/Students: £20 

Please use booking form attached and e-mail attendance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scrutopia weekend on Roger Scruton’s Aesthetics

**Postponed** We are delighted to share with you the wonderful programme which has been thoughtfully curated with Roger’s interests at heart for this year’s Alumni meeting.We recognise that many of you are unable to travel or join us this year, but we wanted to share the programme in case your reservations have changed or restrictions lifted. We have a small group so far confirmed and now that we have a fabulous weekend planned, the opportunity is open to all. 

The cost of the course will be £1200 per person, payable in advance by 14th August. As ever, this will cover everything for the duration of the course, but does not include your travel to the RAU on Thursday 27th August.  Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions or would like to reserve your space.

Please take a look at the Programme Brief

Please get in touch for full details. 

Angels still sitting on my shoulder - The Critic, July 2020

Douglas Murray discusses the importance of intellectual mentors and reveals two who continue to guide him.

A little while back I wrote something wildly unpopular and an acquaintance noted that I didn’t seem to mind. “Why would I?” I asked, genuinely interested. We drilled down to what seemed to me a rather important truth, one that I suspect many, if not most, writers share. Which is that it bothers me less what millions of people think than does the judgment of a small group of people (probably no more than ten) whom I listen to and who would cause me to worry if they felt I had got something wrong.

Scrutopia Book Club

Scrutopia Book Club 

Join us on Wednesday 29th July at 2pm GMT for the first in our series of virtual book club meetings. Register your interest with me via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What to read: 

‘Alberti and the Art of the Appropriate’ from The Classical Vernacular – Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism 

Piazza Pio II, Pienza, where a palace and town square was built for Pope Pius II and Alberti is believed to have been the consultant. Image Credit: By Oschirmer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The chapter is ten pages long and originally appeared as an article in the Times Literary Supplement (1977). It was written at the time when Roger was making his name as a specialist in aesthetics.  The book can be purchased directly from us online via the bookshop, or email me to receive the individual chapter. 

On the day: 

First and foremost, please note you will need to ensure you are joining in the correct time zone! We will be meeting at 2pm GMT. Here is an example table for other parts of the world: 

East Coast 

Cotswold Region & London 

North America 
East Coast 
New York City 

North America 
West Coast 
Los Angeles 

11:00 pm 

2:00 pm 

9:00 am 

6:00 am 


At the end of the session, we will propose the next read and book club date. We hope in the following session to open the invitation to suggest the next book in Roger’s vast collection!  

News from Scrutopia - 29 May 20

Click HERE to read the latest from Scrutopia.

When freedom came, God disappeared- Standpoint, 22 June 2020

Shortly before his death in January this year, the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton had completed an opera libretto, called An Angel Passes. It is now being set to music by the distinguished composer David Matthews, who has commented on its excellence as an operatic vehicle, perhaps in part because Scruton was himself the composer of two operas. To my mind, even as a bare libretto, An Angel Passes encapsulates some of Scruton’s most profound and revelatory thinking, nowhere more so than in the enigmatic words of our title.

To contact Scrutopia, please email:


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