Early Years Key in Fight Against Poverty – Frank Field

Frank Field, MP

Frank Field, MP

2012 Niblett lecture presentation

2010 Report to the Prime Minister, The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children from Becoming Poor Adults

Arguing that society needs to take provision of services for the under 5s as seriously as it does compulsory education, this year’s Niblett Memorial Lecture speaker, the Rt Hon Frank Field made a strong case for redirecting government funds from current programmes such the child tax credit and the pupil premium to one which focuses support on the period between pregnancy to age 5.

In preventing an intergenerational cycle of disadvantage, parental impact is more important than class, “What parents do is more important than who they are,” he said.

In his response, the Rt Reverend Peter Selby called upon the audience of some 70 people that to remember that redressing the intergenerational fiscal imbalance is a responsibility we all share.

The Niblett Memorial Lecture is an annual event held in honour of Professor Roy Niblett CBE, a fellow at Sarum College, who died in 2005.

A distinguished and influential presence in British higher education for more than 50 years, Professor Niblett’s contribution to Christian thought and the life of the churches in this country was also considerable. A person of deep conviction, his work was distinguished by rigour, reason and a willingness to listen and exchange, which he regarded not as a potential hazard to faith, but as an essential expression of faith.

Niblett’s presence among Sarum Fellows was a powerful reminder to the College that at the heart of Sarum’s purpose is the promotion of dialogue on the profound religious, social and moral issues of our times.

Planning for next year’s lecture is underway. If you’d like to be notified when the date and speaker are confirmed, please email info@dev.sarum.ac.uk.

How the BCP Changed Public Prayer

PRESS INFORMATION  |  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday 4 October 2012

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The influence of the Book of Common Prayer on public worship beyond the Church of England, and the story of its detractors and admirers, will be among the topics of a symposium to be held at Sarum College, 15-16 November 2012.

“Denominational pastors and scholars across denominations will gather to discuss the impact of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer,” says Dr James Steven, symposium convener and director of liturgy and worship. “The story to be told is rarely heard yet has surprising implications for understanding the evolution of public worship both globally and amongst English denominations.”

Scholars and leaders from Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Reformed traditions as well as the wider Anglican Communion will mark the 1662 Prayer Book’s 350th anniversary.

Contributors include Chris Ellis, vice-president of the Baptist Union; Susan Durber, principal of Westminster College, Cambridge; Norman Wallwork, Methodist Minister and member of the Joint Liturgical Group; Alan Griffiths, lecturer in liturgy at St John’s Catholic Seminary; Colin Buchanan, assistant to the Bishop of Bradford; David Frost, principal of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge.

At 12pm before the symposium, the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM),  based at Sarum College, will lead a special choral service with hymns, anthems, readings and prayers from the RSCM’s festival service book ‘At All Times & in All Places’, published specially for this anniversary year.

Further details on the symposium and the choral service can be found on the Sarum College website. The price to attend is £50 non-residential and £95 residential with an en-suite room.

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Notes for editors

Contact for more information
Christine Nielsen-Craig, director of marketing and development
Sarum College:  01722 424812  |  07800 866084  |  cnc@dev.sarum.ac.uk

The Book of Common Prayer from the Outside
An Ecumenical Symposium to mark the 350th Anniversary of the 1662 Prayer Book, Thursday 15 to Friday 16 November 2012, held at Sarum College.  The conference programme begins with lunch at 1pm. Departures 2pm on day two. Arrive early to attend the RSCM Celebratory 350th Book of Common Prayer Service at 12pm on Thursday prior to the conference.

Sarum College is an independent ecumenical centre for Christian study and research based at 19 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EE.  Sarum College receives no regular funding from churches or other public bodies, and is a registered charity (no. 309501). The college website address is: www.sarum.ac.uk

The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) supports a world-wide network of over 8,000 churches, schools and individuals.  RSCM is committed to achieving the best use of good music in worship – whatever the resources, whatever the style.  www.rscm.com

Bookshop Bestsellers September 2012

1. Common worship Lectionary 2012 – 2013

2. Finding your Leadership Style by Keith Lamdin

3. SPCK CW & BCP Lectionary 2013

4. Everyday God by Paula Gooder (October’s Book of the Month)

5. Making Wise the Simple: The Torah in Christian Faith and Practice by Johanna W. H.   Van Wijk-Bos

6. This is Our Faith: a Popular Presentation of Church Teaching by Jeffrey John

7. Christian Doctrine (SCM Core Text Series) by Mike Higton

8. Introduction to Theology in Global Perspective by Stephen B. Bevans

9. Encircling the Christian Year: Liturgies and Reflections for the Seasons of the Church   by Barbara Mosse

10. Lion Storyteller Christmas Book by Bob Hartman

Book of the Month: Everyday God

Everyday God: the Spirit of the Ordinary.  Paula Gooder

PAULA GOODER is a biblical scholar, wife, and mother. She is among the most engaging of the C of E’s contemporary teachers, and has written three books that have become a series: on Advent, Easter, and now Ordinary Time – those Sundays of the Church’s year between the major seasons, from the end of Epiphany to Lent, and from Pentecost to Advent.

The 33 short chapters, more like short sermons, one for each week of Ordinary Time, are nicely grounded in experience and scholarship, while being very accessible. They are more “spirituality” than biblical studies, and much more practical theology than academic theory.

In an introduction reflecting on the importance of being ordinary, Gooder contrasts the dominant culture, which wants the biggest and best, with the God who is known in the everyday. “Somehow it is easier to expect to encounter God in splendour than in squalor,” she writes, but the biblical testimony is of ordinary people meeting an ordinary God. This is the language of poetic imagination and insight, and her starting-point is R. S. Thomas’s poem “The Bright Field”. It is so easy to walk past the forgotten buried pearl of great price: “I realise now that I must give all that I have to possess it.”

Gooder is wise to the need for balance, the need for both the everyday and the special, but she knows that looking for God in the everyday matters. “We doom ourselves to a life of dissatisfaction and disappointment if we cannot find some way of living contentedly with the everyday.” She says we need to become better at telling our stories of everyday faith, and that by looking closely we will see God. And that is what she does.

She is at her best when she uses her scholarship to make a very practical point, as with Martha, who was distracted by her many “tasks”, the Greek in the New Testament usually being translated elsewhere as “ministry” or “service”. In fulfilling her calling, Martha was distracted from the one necessary thing: sitting at Jesus’s feet. To me, that is both a new insight, and all too familiar.

This not so new bishop is asking his diocese what the “personality” of the diocese of Salisbury is. George Herbert, for three years parish priest of Bemerton and Fugglestone, is part of the answer, with his poem about prayer and “Heaven in ordinary”. Like Herbert, Gooder, who is a lay Canon of Salisbury Cathedral, illuminates the Christian life with this very good, ordinary book.

Reviewed by The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury.

This review first appeared in the Church Times 20th July 2012 and appears here with permission.

Published by Canterbury Press, “Everyday God” is normally priced £8.99.  Mention the website  to order a copy at the special price of £7.49 and POST FREE from Sarum College Bookshop until October 31st 2012.