Poetry Reading and Book Launch with Malcolm Guite

img_3854-sepia_webMalcolm Guite entertained a crowd at Sarum College for a poetry reading and book launch.

Malcolm is the Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He writes about the interface between theology and the arts, more specifically theology and literature.

He has special interests in Coleridge and CS Lewis and is a prolific poet. His recent books include Sounding the Seasons, Word in the Wilderness and The Singing Bowl. He is also known as a singer-songwriter and fronts the band Mystery Train. Malcolm gives regular poetry and music performances both in the UK and the US. He was also on the judging panel of the recent Church Times ‘100 Best Christian Books’. Copies of his books will be on sale, including his new book, Reflections for Lent 2015.



I turn a certain key within its wards,
Unlock my doors and set them open wide
To entertain a company of words.
Whilst some come early and with eager stride
Others must be enticed and coaxed a little,
The shy and rare, unused to company,
Who’ll need some time to feel at home and settle.
I bid them welcome all, I make them free
Of all that’s mine, and they are good to me,
I set them in the order they like best
And listen for their wisdom, try to learn
As each unfolds the other’s mystery.
And though we know each word is my free guest,
They sometimes leave a poem in return.

“Malcolm Guite’s poetic sequence is fresh and wholly contemporary, yet richly rooted in tradition. Using the sonnet form with absolute naturalness as he traces the year and its festivals, he offers the reader – whether Christian or not – profound and beautiful utterance which is patterned but also refreshingly spontaneous. Sounding the Seasons is an important poetic event, and one that invites readers to share both celebration and soul-searching”.

Grevel Lindop, poet and literary critic


“Malcolm Guite knows exactly how to use the sonnet form to powerful effect”.

Rowan Williams

Anna Simmons Exhibition

DSCF3654_editedWebExhibition of paintings by Anna Simmons on the theme of light shining in dark places.

Anna has painted all her life, but she did not receive a formal training in her youth. In later life, after her children had left home, she gave up her job as a teacher to devote herself to painting. She then studied at St. Martin’s and this period inspired a particular direction in her work which continues today. Anna has had one woman shows in London, Bath and America, and has sold widely all over the world, including Italy, Switzerland and Germany. In the summer of 2014 she was part of a three person exhibition of contemporary artists at Medici Gallery, London.

About the Exhibition

Some of these pictures were painted in response to the pilgrimage tour led by the bishop which I went on last summer. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, with all its strange little angles and crevices inspired me greatly, as did the pilgrims who were visiting the shrines. Light shining in dark places has always been an important theme in my pictures and I have found that this can be found anywhere, climbing a staircase, waiting for a train, walking up a narrow street.

Anna Simmons

Contact us   |   Art exhibitions at Sarum College

Grace at Christmas

59eab41b57bd311959dc14193affaa97Christmas holds grace and gift.

I found again this piece by Paul Tillich where, having spoken about sin as separation, he speaks about God’s freely given grace bridging that separation and meeting us once again.

I read this thinking of the shepherds, of Mary and Joseph, of Magi, Simeon and Anna meeting the baby. I read this praying God’s grace will strike us afresh this Christmas time, and all who we pray for.

Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.

It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.

It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual,
because we have violated another life, a life which we loved,
or from which we were estranged.

It strikes us when our disgust for our own being,
our indifference, our weakness, our hostility,
and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us.

It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear,
when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades,
when despair destroys all joy and courage.

Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness,
and it is as though a voice were saying:
“You are accepted.
You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you,
and the name of which you do not know.
Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later.
Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much.
Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything.
Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!”

If that happens to us, we experience grace.

After such an experience we may not be better than before,
and we may not believe more than before.

But everything is transformed.

In that moment, grace conquers sin,
and reconciliation bridges the gulf of estrangement.

And nothing is demanded of this experience,
no religious or moral or intellectual presupposition,
nothing but acceptance.

Paul Tillich, 1955 The Shaking of the Foundations

Sarum Takes Summer School to Delaware Beach

In 2015 Sarum College will be running a Sarum Summer School at Memorial House in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Sarum Summer School: Re-imaging Church in a Changing World

Monday 22 to Thursday 25 June 2015 at Memorial House, Delaware

A four day summer school on the theme of re-imagining the church in a changing culture. The summer school will be held at Memorial House, Rehoboth Beach – a charming beach house belonging to the Diocese of Delaware in a popular beach holiday destination. Suitable for those both in the US and the UK.

Find out more »

Bookshop Bestsellers November 2014

Sarum College Bookshop

1. Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell, SPCK £7.99 

2. Cry of Wonder by Gerard W. Hughes, Bloomsbury £12.99

3. Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley, SPCK £9.99

4. Being Christian by Rowan Williams, SPCK £7.99

5.  Love Life Live Advent by Paula Gooder and Peter Babington, Church House Publishing £1.50

6. Waiting in Joyful Hope 2014-2015, Liturgical Press £1.50 

7. Reflections for Daily Prayer 2014-2015, Church House Publishing £16.99

8. The Dave Walker Advent Calendar, Canterbury Press Norwich £5.99

9. Debating Palestine and Israel by Dan-Cohn Sherbok and Mary Grey, Impress Books £12.99

10. Meeting God in Mark by Rowan Williams, SPCK £8.99









Book of the Month: December 2014

9781841017563-l‘Longing, Waiting, Believing’ by Rodney Holder

Surely one of the toughest commissions of the Christian year must be the writing of an Advent – or indeed a Lent – book. Reflecting afresh on the apparently familiar, the well-known, is a considerable challenge.

I am glad to say that the Revd. Dr Rodney Holder rises splendidly to this challenge – and that he has a wide range of perspectives to accompany the daily Readings which flow from 1st December to the 6th January.

His background informs his insights – where he finds, for instance, comparisons between science and prophecy, remarking that while the Higgs boson was *predicted* to exist in 1964, it was only finally observed in 2012…setting this beside the ‘truly remarkable prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah made some 540 years before Jesus was born’. He goes on to draw out the challenges that these prophecies face us with – how can it be fair and just that someone else should suffer for my personal failings? Unlike many other writers, he is not content to pose questions, but leads us to real answers, inviting us to discuss them further.The insights, like the Readings, are lively and varied – the acid test, if you like, lies in our wanting to read on, to look forward to the next day’s readings and accompanying comments.

The reflections for discussion at the end of each day, pull out all kinds of aspects – from music, to art, to practical issues of social justice – with a focused, end-of-book section for debate on what we actually can do: reading is never enough, faith is always bound to include action.

I find this book warmly interesting and thoroughly intriguing: this will certainly be my preferred book to travel through the days of Advent 2014.

 Reviewed by Mrs. Lavender Buckland LLM

 Special price of £6.99 in the shop (posted out for free) or £4.99 + postage from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk between 1st and 19th December 2014. RRP £7.99

Book Launch with Bryan Evans: The Life & Times of Hengest

Local author Bryan Evans launched his new book ‘The Life & Times of Hengest‘ at Sarum College.

A crowd of twenty were taken into the world of Gildas, Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as well as early English poetry.

Hengest lived at the end of the Roman occupation of Britain and the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon conquest.

‘The Life & Times of Hengest’ is available to buy from Sarum College Bookshop for £14.95.




Musa Dube: Living in the Post-HIV and AIDS Apocalypse

NiblettMemorialLecture2014The speaker for the 2014 Niblett Memorial Lecture was Musa Dube, a biblical scholar based at the University of Botswana and Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa.

The lecture titled ‘Living in the Post-HIV and AIDS Apocalypse’ explored some of the significant theological questions in relation to the HIV and AIDS crisis and how the Bible can be read in such context.

The full transcript from the lecture can be downloaded as a PDF.
Reproduced with kind permission.