‘Speech and Silence’

I have recently returned from the Society for the Study of Theology conference at St John’s College, Durham.

The theme for this year was ‘Speech and Silence’. It was a topic that certainly got people talking. At times we also came up against the limit of words, as we confronted spaces where we do not know how to speak, let alone what to say. One of these moments was the contribution by the black liberation theologian Robert Beckford. His plenary paper presented a room of 200 theologians, almost all of whom were white, with the reality that we still have not constructed a theological language to deal with the experience of empire or to reflect post-colonial culture.

Another of these moments was engendered by the contribution from Gerard Loughlin of Durham University, who talked about the history of the Anglican church’s response to societal changes surrounding sexuality. This paper was delivered raw, in the immediate aftermath of the Church of England’s official response to the legalisation of gay marriage. It portrayed the desperation of feeling at a loss for words. In both of these cases, and others, the task of theology is to help the church to learn to speak. Like a patient recovering from the trauma of a stroke, this will be a laborious process. There will be confusion and malapropism, the frustration of feeling tongue-tied. Nevertheless, without it we will become mute; constrained within ourselves, unable to communicate or to be heard, and, ultimately, invisible.

Book Launch with Barbara Meardon and Verity Holloway

9780857462473-lBarbara Meardon and Verity Holloway will be in Sarum College Bookshop on Tuesday 20 May at 4pm to launch their new schools resource book 8 Bible-themed Journey Days for Primary Schools.

This resource contains eight story-based workshop days to help primary schools deliver high quality cross-curricular RE supported by their local churches.

  • Workshop activities using a range of creative, interactive and reflective materials to explore key Bible stories
  • Collective worship outlines
  • Activities and worship for Church based activity days
  • Opportunities for school and church to work together

The authors are part of the Salisbury Diocese Board of Education. Barbara Meardon is the Adviser for Work with Children and Families. Verity Holloway is the Adviser for RE and Collective Worship.

Free entry, all welcome, refreshments provided

For more information or to RSVP email bookshop@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 326899

Sanctuary at Sarum Exhibition

Sanctuary at SarumPhotographs, source material and drawings by John Maine, to complement Salisbury Cathedral’s Sanctuary exhibition of sculptures.

Free and open daily Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 2pm until Wednesday 23 July.

In addition to John Maine’s work, Sarum College’s Common Room will house a selection of artwork by a group of residents from Morning Star Salisbury, a charity which provides support and rehabilitation services to those struggling with homelessness and addiction.

John Maine studied at the West of England College of Art before attending the Royal College of Art. He was awarded the first fellowship at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1979 and subsequently worked in Carrara and attended the Hagi Symposium in Japan. Commissioned by the Government Art Collection, he spent a year in Australia carving a granite work. Returning to London, he worked in situ to carve ‘Arena’ on the South Bank outside the National Theatre, since when he has made numerous works in public, both in Britain and abroad. John Maine lives and works in Wiltshire.

These works at Sarum College extend ‘Sanctuary’ an exhibition of sculpture in the Close and within Salisbury Cathedral during spring and early summer 2014. Here, photographic prints and smaller sculptures by John Maine give an idea of the scope and range of his work relating to sites elsewhere, as well as showing diverse sources that have inspired him.

As of 1 June, the exhibition also includes drawings for sculpture that were previously being displayed in the Young Gallery.

Morning Star Salisbury was set up as a charity in July 2002 by Dave and Bev Kidley to reach some of the most needy people in the area. These works which are located in the Common Room, were created by a small group of residents from Morning Star Salisbury in workshops run by artist Susan Francis.

Standing Stones in Salisbury Church Times article 16 May 2014 (access requires subscription)

Read a review of the opening reception written by Martin Field for the Salisbury Journal.

Contact us   |   Art exhibitions at Sarum College   |   Previous exhibitions   |   Download exhibition brochure

Wording a Radiance: Looking Forward to Spring School

‘Wording a Radiance’ is the title of Prof Dan Hardy’s last book, written with the help of others just before he died in 2007.

Dan has an honoured place at STETS, because he is one of our founding parents, theologically speaking. I use the metaphor of parenting, rather than say one from building, because he cared for STETS as a parent and always witnessed to the dynamic power of God in the world.

In the last year of his life he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. At the start, he and others with him reaffirmed their baptismal vows at the headwaters of the Jordan River.

As he poured the water over his own head, he had a vision of light going deep into people and transforming them from within. He understood this to be the light and energy of the Spirit and confirmed his belief that the Spirit is primary in the Trinity: ‘The Spirit is the energy of the divine: always there at the beginning and before the beginning, right at the heart of God.’

As we approach Easter, let’s pray ‘to get caught up in the re-creative Spirit of the divine: the Trinity.’

Bookshop Bestsellers March 2014

new-library-books-146x146Yet again the Lent course books dominate the bestsellers. Taking the top spot for another month is Tim Heaton’s ‘The Long Road to Heaven’. In March Timothy Dudley-Smith launched his latest book, ‘Mirror to the Soul’ in the college. As one of today’s most acclaimed hymn writers, Timothy offers 30 contemporary hymns based on psalms.


1. The Long Road to Heaven: A Lent Course by Tim Heaton, John Hunt Publishing £7.99

2. Life Source by Robert Warren, Church House Publishing £3.99

3. Mirror to the Soul by Timothy Dudley-Smith, RSCM Publishing £6.95

4. Build on the Rock 2014 Booklet by John Young, York Courses £3.90

5. Pilgrim: Turning to Christ: Follow (1) by Stephen Cottrell et al, Church House Publishing £5.99

6. Walk with Me: Meditations on the Way of the Cross by Gerald Coates, McCrimmon Publishing Company Limited £2.95

7. Why Sacraments? by Andrew Davison, SPCK Publishing £12.99

8. Christ and the Chocolaterie by Hilary Brand, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. £5.99

9. The Things He Carried by Stephen Cottrell, SPCK Publishing £6.99

10. Finding A Voice by Hilary Brand,  Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. £5.99

Book Launch with Richard Morgan

scurry goes to salisburyRichard Morgan will be in Sarum College Bookshop on Tuesday 15 April at 10.30am to launch his new children’s book, Scurry Goes to Salisbury.

Scurry is a small inquisitive dog whose companion, Caspar, is a boy who knows a surprising amount about architecture. They have a day out visiting the Close in Salisbury, explore some great buildings and Scurry learns a great deal of history.

Hear the author read from this beautifully illustrated book, in the shadow of the Cathedral in the Close.

Free entry, all welcome, refreshments provided

For more information or to RSVP email bookshop@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 326899

Book of the Month: April 2014

255715Journey to the Empty Tomb: Exploring the Final Week of Jesus’ Life by Paula Gooder (2014)

“maybe the poet… shows you new ways to see”

Paula Gooder’s Biblical Exploration might well have been titled ‘the Subversive Jesus’. From Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (ironically turning the traditional Roman ‘Triumph’ into its antithesis – eschewing pomp… acting out of love not status) to the extraordinary ‘triumph’ of the Cross, her account of every part of these Last Days poses unimagined questions, presents radical answers.

While Sunday Readings throughout the Church year offer short Bible passages which thread together the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, how often do many of us read the Bible as we might read a book?

Yet it is the interweaving of – for instance – the three stories of the Cleansing of the Temple, the Widow’s Mite and the cursing of the fig tree, that bring a shock of understanding never present when the stories remain separate.

Or, through the lens of the Vineyard owner’s parable, who would ever now forget that the blood money paid to Judas was actually the Tyrian shekels given for the Temple’s upkeep – God’s house – and at that moment used to ensure His Son’s death.

Art, like Music (via the great Passions) links both Old and New Testament in the route to the Cross. But it is a rare book that digs into the connectedness of words and action, of symbolism and story, to bring such intense insights to inform our Lent.

Rather than harmonising the Gospels (as preachers tend to prefer to do) Paula Gooder lays bare the uncertainties of their writers: ‘Why did Jesus die?’

It is a sharp and startling question to focus our personal Lent reflections.

As the great Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn once suggested, “maybe the poet… shows you new ways to see” and in this sense that Paula Gooder is both theologian and poet. This is a book to commend, to read in depth, and to allow to change our whole understanding.

Reviewed by Lavender Buckland LLM

Special price of £11.50 in the shop (posted out for free) or £9.50 + postage online from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk between the 1st and 30th April. RRP £12.99.