A Canadian Experience

Mark Manterfield

Portraits_SarumCollege_WhiteBackground 004Join us on Wednesday March 4th for Sarum College Bursar Mark Manterfield’s talk about his experiences last summer with indigenous Christians in Canada.

In the summer of 2014 Mark Manterfield spent three weeks in Canada, during two of which he attended the Native Ministries Consortium Summer School for Indigenous Christians training for church ministry at Vancouver School of Theology.

During this evening at Sarum College Mark will explain how he came to be there, describe some of his experiences and reflect on them. Expect some photographs, music and singing along the way.

The evening begins at 7.15pm for a glass of wine or juice, 7.30pm start, free & open to all.

The evening is co-sponsored by Sarum College and St Thomas’s and will be hosted by Revd Canon David Linaker.

James Steven to Give 2015 Vasey Lecture

James StevenJames Steven, Academic Dean and Director of Liturgy and Worship at Sarum College, is giving the 2015 Vasey Lecture at St John’s College in Durham at 7.30pm on Monday 23 February on the subject ‘Anabaptist Daily Prayer: A 21st Century Synthesis of Liturgical and Evangelical Traditions’.

Michael Vasey was for many years tutor in liturgy at Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham, and a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission.

Given in his memory, the annual lecture is the only one of its kind in the field of liturgical studies.

“It is a great honour to be invited to deliver the Vasey Lecture, especially as my longstanding intellectual and educational involvement in liturgical studies was first kindled by Michael’s influence and teaching,” says James, who was a student of Michael’s when he trained as a ministerial student at Cranmer Hall in the mid-1980s.

Sarum College in Salisbury houses Michael Vasey’s liturgical archive. For more information about the lecture, follow this link.

Faith in Wolf Hall

p02gg5b7I hope all our first-year students studying ‘Introduction to Christian Doctrine and History’ have been watching BBC1’s latest costume drama epic based on the Hilary Mantel novels, ‘Wolf Hall’.

Unlike some previous romps into this tumultuous period in our history, such as ‘The Tudors’, this adaptation picks out the various delicate threads that underlay events that we group together under the grand name of ‘Reformation’. Power, personality, philosophical principles, the overhanging influence of international politics and, of course, conviction and faith, all played a part in decisions that affected not just individual lives but the future religious shape of our country.

The issue of principle versus self-preservation was a real question for people at this time. In this situation was it right, as Anne Boleyn and the later radical Christian group the Familists thought, to say whatever would keep you alive? Or was it justifiable, as happened in episode 3, to stand up and declaim your faith knowing it meant your life? Given flesh and put to the test, these questions do not appear quite so straightforward as they might seem in the black and white of print on paper.

Sarum College and STETS Merge – New Era of Excellence in Theological Education

SarumCollegeThe merger of Sarum College and the former Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS) became official on 1 February 2015, heralding a new era of excellence in theological education and reflection.


“Our education programmes offer lay and ordained people of all denominations the opportunity to learn together in a community that mirrors the nature of the emerging church where collaboration and welcome are fundamental,” says Canon Keith Lamdin, Sarum College Principal. “This provides a rich context for us to respond to the opportunities of an evolving national framework for Anglican training.”

New ordination pathways, a new partnership with Salisbury Diocese in ministerial training, and new initiatives for lay ministry in response to the requirements of regional bishops and ecumenical partners are envisaged.

“Through our combined strengths, we will work for constructive theological engagement on the pressing issues facing church and society,” says the Revd Dr Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, former Acting Principal of STETS.

The newly merged organisation will continue to be called Sarum College and to run its four postgraduate programmes alongside a wide array of public events and courses held throughout the year. The College continues also to be a centre of Christian hospitality where guest bedrooms and meeting rooms are available for hire by the general public when not in use for courses.

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Book Launch with Professor Mary Grey

B61bdc_CQAErAUg_smallProfessor Mary Grey delighted a packed Cavell room to launch the third book in her trilogy on peace in the Middle East.

She addressed the question “where is the Holy Spirit in the collapse of the Arab Spring?”

Not long ago there was the dawn of a vision of peace and justice in the Middle East. Just a few years later that vision seems to have vanished and instead there has been a renewal of new threats of violence between certain Middle Eastern peoples, especially against Middle Eastern Christians. In this book, Mary Grey asks how the Holy Spirit is leading us to a new future, for all these people: Christians, Jews and Muslims. God’s outpouring Spirit must be seen as the power of resistance to evil. Pentecost lifts up the renewed hope that ever promises new energy for justice and peace.

Mary Grey is a Roman Catholic liberation theologian, until recently D.J.James Professor of Pastoral Theology at the University of Wales, Visiting Professor at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and formerly Professor of Contemporary Theology at the University of Southampton, based at La Sainte Union (1993-7). Before that she was Professor of Feminism and Christianity at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is now professorial research fellow at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London, and Honorary Professor at the University of Winchester.

“Mary Grey dares to look closely at the appalling affliction of the Middle East today, and there find signs of the Holy Spirit at work: enduring, healing, reconciling, and imagining a new peace. She offers us brave hope in this awful time of darkness and suffering.”

Timothy Radcliffe

Her theological project is now reconciliation, of which reconciliation to the earth is a special focus. See To Rwanda and Back: Spirituality, Justice and Liberation, (Darton, Longman and Todd 2008). She is a founding trustee of the NGO, Wells for India, a water-based organisation in Rajasthan, NW India and is also Chair of the Theology Group of Friends of Sabeel UK, (an organisation for the liberation of Christian in Palestine).

‘The Spirit of Peace’ is available to buy from Sarum College Bookshop for £11.99.




Bookshop Bestsellers: January 2015

Sarum College BookshopJudging by January’s bestsellers, Lent is fast approaching.

There are some lovely poetry and meditation books for Lent and Easter available, many of which made our top ten bestsellers. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Lent book for 2015, ‘In God’s Hands’, has proven to be extremely popular. Likewise, Janet Morley’s ‘The Heart’s Time’ has a beautiful poem for everyday throughout Lent and Easter.

1. In God’s Hands: Lent Book 2015 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bloomsbury £9.99

2. On Rock or Sand? edited by John Sentamu, SPCK £9.99

3. Gladnesse of the Best edited by Rosie Clay, Friends of St. Andrew’s Bemerton £10

4. The Heart’s Time by Janet Morley, SPCK £9.99

5. Word in the Wilderness by Malcolm Guite, Canterbury Press Norwich £12.99

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

7. Reflecting the Glory by Tom Wright, BRF £8.99

8. the Journey by John Pritchard, SPCK £7.99

9. Lent for Everyone – Mark – Year B by Tom Wright, SPCK £8.99 

10. Retreats 2015 by Retreat Association, £8

Book of the Month: February 2015

71wou7jyeQLThe Journey by John Pritchard

I sometimes find myself wishing I could hear the tone of voice in which Jesus spoke – especially to his disciples. Was “O ye of little faith” a rebuke – perhaps in the stentorian tones of the late Ian Paisley?  Or was it affectionate, understanding? After all, this was Peter …

John Pritchard’s latest book is ideal for people like me, as it uses what he calls “baptised imagination” to recreate the last journey to Jerusalem (from Luke 9.51 onwards) through the eyes of the beloved disciple, looking back on the most significant time of his life. A time when he was still young, still learning, confused sometimes but devoted to the man who taught him that God is always more than we can imagine. “I could trust my life to this God. And to the man I trusted more than any other to take me to him.”

Using John’s voice allows Pritchard to explain the background to things that Luke expected his readers to understand, like references to scripture or the complexities of temple politics, as well as sharing insights of his own. But it also helps us to see Jesus from a different perspective – including the embarrassment of the disciples when he abused his position as a dinner guest to lecture his hosts (“I’m surprised he was ever invited back, such was the controversy he sometimes caused”); the irritating way he left loose ends to his stories so they had to work them out for themselves; “how he sort of hummed with life”; his capacity for anger as well as love.

There is a story for each weekday of Lent, with a poem for each Saturday; Sundays are left free to reflect on the “I wonder questions” through which Pritchard encourages us to use our own baptised imaginations  – as well as taking us more deeply into areas of life and faith which we might sometimes hold back from exploring. Sundays may also be the time to go back to the biblical text, and read them afresh.

This a book you can read like a novel, or share with friends, or use formally as a study course. However you read it, it will be a wonderful companion on your own journey of faith.

Reviewed by Norma Fergusson

Special price of £6.99 in the shop (posted out for free) or £4.99 + postage from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk until 28th February 2015. RRP £7.99

Learning to Walk in the Dark: An Evening with Barbara Brown Taylor

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, and riches hidden in secret places.” Isaiah 45.3

Monday 6 July, 6.30pm to 8pm

barbara-brown-taylorDo you sometimes feel as if the lights have gone off in your life, leaving you to find your way in the dark? Have you ever thought that this could be a good thing?

Barbara Brown Taylor says that in dark places and times it can be possible to begin to see the world and sense God’s presence around us in new ways – guiding us through things seen and unseen, teaching us to find our footing in times of uncertainty and doubt, and giving us strength and hope to face life’s challenges. Could it be that, like seeds buried in the ground, darkness is as essential to our growth and flourishing as light?

Barbara Brown Taylor is an American Episcopal priest, professor, author and theologian and is one of the United States’ best known preachers. She spent 15 years as a parish priest before becoming Professor of Religion at Piedmont College, Georgia and is the author of best-selling guides to the spiritual life including An Altar on the World and Leaving Church. Her new book is Learning to Walk in the Dark (Canterbury Press 2014).

Please note that this event is now sold out.
Email bookshop@dev.sarum.ac.uk or telephone 01722 326899.