‘The Naturalist and The Christ’ Launched at Sarum College, January 12th, 2012.

The Revd Tim Heaton launched his new book ‘The Naturalist and The Christ’ here at Sarum College on January 12th.

As expected, we had a full house for the launch of this title, with over thirty people coming to hear Tim speak about the book and the film on which it is based, aswell as providing guidance for any groups or individuals who may wish to use it as a focal point for study in 2012, before queing up for signed copies and a chat over tea and cake.

Based upon the film ‘Creation’, Revd Heaton’s book draws upon the life, work and religious struggles of Charles Darwin, to bring us a compelling, thoughtful and engaging course for this coming lent.

Please see the ‘New Releases’ section for a review of the book by The Revd Canon Edward Probert, Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral.

Book of the Month: January 2012

‘The Naturalist and the Christ’

by Tim Heaton

“Carefully researched, elegantly written and well presented.“ -The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne.

“An Impressive piece of work…entirely readable.”  -The Revd Canon Edward Probert, Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral.


This is a much meatier tome than most aiming to support
group study in Lent. Heaton’s starting point is the 2009 film ‘Creation’, a biographical portrait of Charles Darwin which focuses on the personal and theological travails which arose from his developing theory of natural selection, and the death of a deeply loved daughter.

Heaton proposes a familiar group approach, 5 ninety-minute sessions with a consistent and detailed structure, including discussion, silence, readings and prayers, as well as clips from the film. The sequence of sessions follows the Lucan narrative of Christ’s temptations.

Heaton stresses that participation in this course should above
all be fun, and that the study and reflection elements go along with the social.  He has a pleasant, readable style, but doesn’t patronise his reader. The range of sometimes challenging
subjects addressed should not be undertaken by those hoping simply for a biscuit and a chat: 19th century English thought and religion; competing theories of geology and evolution; science and fundamentalist creationism; doctrines of the Fall, original sin, and salvation; 20th century theologies of the suffering of God. Yet this isn’t all dry theorising, because it begins with a human narrative in film, and along the way picks suchup other interesting individuals as ‘Woodbine Willie’.

Well led, and with a motivated group of participants, this
course can be an extremely fruitful way into areas which most Christians barely grasp, opening up the development of thought in science and theology, the interaction (or failure to interact) of these fields, and how the personal and corporate experience of suffering can be well, or badly, integrated with faith.

For those who get fired up by the film and this course,
Heaton provides tools to take things further: he includes a biography of Darwin, and rounds the book off with an extensive bibliography. The book is also suitable for individual study.

-The Revd Canon Edward Probert.

Quote Sarum College Web-page to order this book at the reduced price of £7.49 and postage free. Study groups ordering 5 or more copies will qualify for the special price of just £6.99 per copy,

(rrp £7.99)

Bookshop Bestsellers December 2011

Room with a View

New Daylight offers four months of daily Bible reading and reflection for everybody who wants to go deeper with God. It is ideal for those looking for a fresh approach to regular Bible study, and offers a talented team of contributors who present a Bible passage (text included), helpful comment and a  prayer or thought for the day ahead.


Art of WorshipIn this beautifully illustrated book, the Reverend Nicholas Holtam – Bishop of Salisbury – presents his
favorite paintings from the National Gallery, alongside quotations, prayers, and poetry. The selected illustrations
encourage the reader to think about how art can sometimes be a surprising doorway into our own spirituality. Holtam’s often highly personal observations inspire private prayer, meditation, and contemplation.


Room with a ViewWritten while Vicar of St Martin in the Fields, Nicholas Holtam reflects on important characteristics of parish ministry and mission. Like Trafalgar Square, it should be open to the world, not inward-looking; it should be a place of prayer and it should be open to the poorest. This was the vision which shaped Dick Sheppard’s work at St Martins – as the ‘ever-open door’.

The Art of Worship CD Now in stock

A companion CD to Nicholas Holtam’s ‘The Art of Worship,’ this recording features arrangements of many of the prayers included in the book, sung by the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.

It includes music by some of the best loved English choral composers, as well as some newly commissioned works recorded for the first time.

This beautiful recording complements perfectly Bishop Holtham’s most recent book, and will cetainly delight any who hear it.

Duration: 57:44


ISBN: 9781857095432


The Art of Healing Exhibition

Flight by Charlotte Mayer

The power of art to heal and console is expressed in a new exhibition of work in a range of media including sculpture, paintings, glass and photography at Sarum College beginning 28 January 2012.

The exhibition will be opened by Richard Cork – art critic, historian, broadcaster and exhibition organiser – who’s forthcoming book, The Healing Presence of Art: A History of Art in Western Hospitals is due to be published this spring by Yale University Press.

sculpture called flight by Charlotte Mayer
In this sculpture, entitled Flight, artist Charlotte Mayer says she tries to capture the true freedom that the human spirit seeks.

The therapeutic value of art in physical, mental, and spiritual healing has been recognised since the Middle Ages. The earliest hospices, such as that at Isenheim with its famous Grünwald altarpiece, were dominated by large and often exquisitely painted crucifixions, a present reminder of Christ’s sufferings.


Art gave comfort and strength to those who were overtaken by disease and cared for by religious foundations with only the most rudimentary medical help at their disposal. These carers followed Christ’s instruction to ‘heal the sick, feed the hungry, and let the oppressed go free’ which was, and remains, a cornerstone of Christian life.

sculpture entitled One by Elizabeth Herkstroter
Sculpture entitled One, by Elizabeth Herstroter.

Participating artists include Sally Fawkes & Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Herkstroter, Charlotte Mayer FRBS, Ruth Oaks, Keith Rand ARBS, Tracey Sheppard, Will Spankie and Ryan Tabor.

In addition to these, the Sarum College Common Room will display paintings by members of Freedom from Torture’s art therapy group. For details, visit the Freedom from Torture (formerly The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) website.

Sculpture entitled Into The Light Blue, by Keith Rand ARBS
Sculpture entitled Into The Light Blue, by Keith Rand ARBS


On Wednesday 22 February (6pm for a 6.30pm start), there will be a presentation at Sarum College of poetry and prose by members of the Freedom from Torture’s Write to Life programme.  The evening costs £5, with all proceeds going to Freedom from Torture. Further Details

The Art of Healing exhibition is free and open to the public until 8 May 2012.  Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays).

Contact us for further details

Updated news on the exhibiton

Book of the Month: December 2011

cover of Alister McGraths In the Beginning

cover of Alister McGraths In the BeginningIn the Beginning: the Story of the King James Bible

by Alister McGrath

As we draw to the end of the 400th Anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible (KJV), it seems timely to consider the wealth of books which have appeared this year.

For its illustrations, the Visual History of the King James Bible (£14.99) is a treat.  Melvyn Bragg’s The Book of Books (£20/ £8.99) gives a good summary of the history.  For an excellent account of the language of the Bible and its influence, read David Crystal’s Begat (£14.99/£8.99).

But for a very readable overall picture at an affordable price I have chosen, In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language and a Culture. Not new (hardback 2000), but published in a new paperback edition his year, it gives a very thorough account of why and how the KJV came into being.

We are given an overview of the development of printing, and a fascinating chapter on the rise of the English language.  As late as 1513, John Colet was suspended from his position of Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral for translating the Lord’s Prayer into English.

McGrath writes accessibly of the tumultuous times of the Reformation, of Luther and Tyndale, and the production of the Bibles which paved the way for the KJV.  We are taken through the process of the new translation, and the debt the translators owed to previous versions.

Written by a theologian, this is a book we should all read, whether or not we use the KJV in our everyday lives, to gain an insight into our nation’s history and the huge influence this translation has had on all aspects of our culture.  “Even four hundred years after [the translation] …the King James Bible retains its place as a literary and religious classic, by which all others continue to be judged”.

A great stocking present!

Reviewed by Jenny Monds, Director of Learning Resources Sarum College

In the Beginning is normally priced at £8.99.  Quote Sarum College Website to order a copy at the special price of £7.99 and POST FREE until December 31st 2011 from Sarum College Bookshop .

The Crown and The Church

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination. The British Library. 11 November 2011- 13 March 2012

 Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination is the British Library’s first major exhibition to bring together the Library’s Royal collection, a treasure trove of illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England between the 9th and 16th centuries. Collected over 800 years these treasures are outstanding examples of the decorative and figurative painting of the era. Together they are our most vivid source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith artistic trends and the international politics of the period. www.bl.uk/royal

ROYAL DEVOTION: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer
1 May – 14 July 2012

This exhibition traces the close relationship between royalty and religion from medieval to modern times. It tells the story of the Book of Common Prayer and its importance in national life. This story is illustrated with books, manuscripts and objects, many of which have royal or other important provenances. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Other highlights of the exhibition include:

  • A 1549 printing of the Book of Common Prayer
  • Medieval illuminated manuscripts, including the Book of Hours of Richard III
  • Queen Elizabeth I’s personal prayer book and a copy of the book of private devotions compiled for Queen Elizabeth II in preparation for her coronation
  • The Book of Common Prayer used at the wedding of Queen Victoria
  • Charles I’s own handwritten revision of State Prayers