Sarum Student Celebrates Prestigious Book Award

A Sarum MA student is celebrating after a book she edited and contributed to won a prestigious American award.

Laura Beres, who is studying for an MA in Christian Spirituality, edited Practising Spirituality: Reflections on Meaning Making in Personal and Professional Contexts. This was recognised by Choice, the publishing arm of the Association of College and Research Libraries in the USA, as one of the ‘Outstanding Titles for 2017’.

Laura, who teaches social work to both undergraduate and graduate students, is currently working on her thesis, which looks at the conceptions of the soul of both Theresa of Avila and Edith Stein, and what these can contribute to narrative therapy. Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values, and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face.

“This was a collection of essays from different authors that I edited”, says Laura, “with my own written contribution being one chapter as well as the introduction and conclusion.

“As it turns out, my chapter was a slight reworking of the first essay I wrote in the very first module I studied for in my MA at Sarum, about Benedictine spirituality.

“As a clinical social worker with a particular interest in psychotherapy and counselling with adults, I am interested in what Benedictine spirituality offers towards the making of a therapeutic space.

“There is an important balance in Benedictine spirituality between welcoming guests as if there were Christ Himself, and also asking prayerfully whether people are the right fit. Some members of the community look after the guest house, while others remove themselves. There is a balance between looking after others and looking after oneself.

“More than my own writing, however, I’m proud of the balanced range of contributors to the book, including people working in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, and teaching, from England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

“The review described the book as an ‘easy read’, which is exactly what I wanted: something that is absorbable and practically useful to students and practitioners.”

Laura was born in Salisbury and says studying at Sarum is like ‘coming home’.

“I had a sabbatical from work seven years ago”, she says explaining why she decided to study at Sarum, “and went to Lindisfarne and Iona to make a deeper exploration of Celtic spirituality.

“As a result, I audited the Celtic Spirituality model from the MA in Christian Spirituality at Sarum. I was so impressed by the depth and quality of teaching that I came back the next year to audit the Contemporary Spirituality module. I was then hooked!”

Academic studies aren’t, however, the only reason Laura chose to study at Sarum.

“There is so much I love here”, she continues, “Especially the way it almost feels like going on retreat when I come here for residentials. After a hard day’s study, when I go back to my room it feels like going into a Benedictine guest wing.

“The location in Salisbury Cathedral Close is unique, and it’s great to have shopping just outside the High Street Gate. Inside the College, too, there’s always someone interesting to chat to in the refectory – and the food is amazing!”

All postgraduate course modules at Sarum are open to everyone, so you may enrol on any MA module as an “auditor” without registering for an accredited programme such as the full MA. An auditor participates in a module in exactly the same way as students on the MA, but does not prepare an essay at the end of it. Find out more about auditing a module at Sarum here.

Thinking about studying for an MA? The best way to decide whether a study programme is right for you is to experience it first-hand. Sarum runs three taster days for its MA programme throughout the year. These offer sample teaching sessions from each of the four MA programmes, allow people to have informal discussions with programme leaders and tutors, and get a sense about what learning at Sarum College is all about. The taster days are absolutely free. Find out more about MA taster days at Sarum here.

Housekeeping Assistant Vacancy

Thank you for your interest in applying for the Housekeeping Assistant vacancy.

To find out more about the post of Housekeeping Assistant, please see the following documents:

We recommend downloading Adobe PDFs to your computer and then opening them with Adobe Reader to maintain full compatibility.

You can find out more about Sarum College by reading through our website.

If, after reading the application documents and learning more about the College through the website you decide that you would like to apply for the post, please send the completed application form to Jenny Brownhill at Sarum College by 4pm on Thursday 8 March 2018, which is the deadline for receipt of completed applications.

Our preference is for applications to be completed electronically and sent by email to However, if you wish to download and print the documents, please either hand them into Reception (Sarum College is located in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close) or send them by post to the following address:

Jenny Brownhill, Housekeeping Assistant Post, Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury, SP1 2EE

Please note that only those applicants who send a completed Sarum College application form will be considered.

As a charity, we make every effort to keep our expenditures under control. If you apply and wish to have receipt of your application acknowledged by email, please note this in your message when you send your application documents. If you wish to have a confirmation by post, please enclose a stamped and addressed postcard with your application.

If by the end of Monday 12 March 2018 you have not received an invitation to attend an interview, you may assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

The selection process will take place during the week commencing Monday 12 March 2018.

Only candidates eligible to live and work in the UK should apply. All shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK at the selection process.

If you wish to discuss the post before you apply, please contact Jenny Brownhill on 01722 424800 or email

Book Launch with James Steven

Join Sarum College Bookshop for the launch of James Steven’s book from the Joint Liturgical Studies, Ambrose of Milan on Baptism: A study of De Sacramentis and De Mysteriis.

Thursday 8 March 2018, 12.15pm to 1pm

James Steven is Academic Dean and Coordinator for the Centre for Liturgy and Worship at Sarum College. He is a leading scholar in the fields of contemporary worship and the theological dimensions of liturgical practice.

Free and open to all, refreshments provided
RSVP to or 01722 326899

Morning of Children’s Books and More!

Join Sarum College Bookshop for a morning with Salisbury author Pam Pointer and teacher and author David Gatward, authors of Help! I’m a New Mum! and Help! I’m a New Dad! – books of honest shouts and whispers to God about all things baby.

Tuesday 27 March, 11am to 12 noon

There will be displays of beautiful children’s books, for babies to teens, ideas for baptism presents and Easter cards.

Pam Pointer, is the author of a number of non-fiction books, plus two books of poetry. She also writes meditations, features and columns for various publications. She has broadcast Morning Thoughts for BBC Wiltshire, and enjoys speaking engagements in churches and with small groups.

Pam’s latest book, Help! I’m a New Mum!, published by Kevin Mayhew, is a book of honest shouts and whispers to God about all things baby – from labour to love, from panic to peace, from smells to smiles. The prayers are not always polite but they’re real and will prove a good companion for any new mum.

Pam is married with three adult daughters, three sons-in-law and five grandchildren. Her interests include photography, bird-watching, country walking, watching sport – particularly tennis, rugby and cricket – and keeping fit.

Pam blogs each week on her website.

David Gatward is an award-winning author with a national reputation as a creative writing tutor and motivational speaker, working with primary and secondary schools across the country. A qualified teacher and highly-experienced editor, David has worked in a wide range of child-centred fields, including an outdoor activity centre, children’s publishing, and Ofsted. He now divides his time between writing and visiting schools.

Fatherhood is a wondrous, insane, frustrating, bonkers, frightening, messy, upsetting, terrifying, all-consuming, life-affirming, blessing. Help! I’m a New Dad! is a collection of prayers from those first few months of welcoming a new life into the world. Honest, real, filled with laughter and tiredness, frustration and joy, the end result is the same: sharing what it is to be a dad with our own heavenly father.

Free, all welcome (incuding babies and toddlers)
There will be tea, coffee (inc. decaf), juice and chocolate brownies!
RSVP to or 01722 326899

Anna Simmons Exhibition

Paintings by Anna Simmons are on display throughout Sarum College on the theme of light shining in dark places.

Anna has painted all her life, but has had no formal training in her youth.

In later life, after her children had left home, Anna 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.

The exhibition is free and open daily.

Contact us   |   Art exhibitions at Sarum College

The Spirituality of Jane Austen: Book Launch with Paula Hollingsworth

Join Sarum College Bookshop for the launch of Paula Hollingsworth’s recently published book, The Spirituality of Jane Austen.

Wednesday 7 March 2018, 12pm to 1pm

Author Paula Hollingsworth completed her MA in Christian Spirituality at Sarum College in 2007, and wrote her dissertation on Jane Austen.

2017 marked the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, whose six completed novels have never been out of print. Best known for her novels, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Mansfield Park’, and ‘Emma’, first published anonymously, Austen commented, critiqued and illuminated the life of the English upper classes. But did Austen’s writings highlight anything about her own spirituality?

In this celebratory book, Paula Hollingsworth explores Jane Austen’s gentle but strong faith and the effect it had both on her life and her writing. Drawing on Jane’s life story, her letters, her friendships, her books and the characters portrayed, Paula shows the depth of Jane Austen’s spirituality.

Free and open to all, wine and refreshments provided
RSVP to or 01722 326899

A Peacemaking Prelate

“On a Saturday evening, we were summoned by Tariq Aziz, then the Foreign Minister of Iraq”, says Peter Price, “brought in a convoy of cars through the streets of Baghdad to a large office building that was dark except for the ground floor and the very top.”

“Rumour had it that the lower floors housed prison cells where enemies of the state were tortured. A lift whisked us to the top floor.”

Peace building has its risks, but it is mostly a hidden activity for the long haul. The Rt Revd Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells from 2001 until 2013, might be expected to be a quiet establishment figure. Faith, however, drove him towards more challenging terrain, following Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.

For some time, Peter held the Church of England House of Bishops’ portfolios on international development and defence in the House of Lords. Another career landmark was as General Secretary of the mission agency USPG, which also got him involved in international peacemaking work. Today, he chairs the board of the international peace building organisation Conciliation Resources.

Peter says his peacemaking work just developed without necessarily being planned. “Like Topsy, it just grew!”

One major factor, however, was marriage.

“My journey in peacemaking began when I married a County Tyrone lady in 1967”, he says, “just as the Northern Ireland Troubles were starting to rumble. We had to make a decision early on about whether this was something we were going to leave behind us or something we would engage with.

“My wife, Dee, had a slightly spooky incident shortly before we got married. She was walking through The Markets area of Belfast when she was approached by a man who said to her, ‘You look very happy, you’re marrying soon, and the man you’re marrying will be a healer’. We did not think much of it at the time, but have increasingly concluded that our work in peace making has fulfilled something of that vocation.

“An inspirational figure in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was Terry Callan. Terry was a Rector of an inner city parish in Belfast. He introduced me to ground level peace building. Back then you could almost set your watch by the beginning of petrol bombings and confrontation. Each evening, Terry would place himself on a bridge between the confronting groups.

“I watched as he would tap lads from his own community on the shoulder and send them home, telling them he would be round later to see them. A superb pastor, he stayed in touch with a lot of these fellows and their families.

“One night, I was driving to visit the Anglican Franciscans, who were based in a very complex and divided part of North Belfast. I got lost as all the streetlights were out after a gun battle between the IRA and the army. There was a lone man walking the deserted streets. I stopped the car, very obviously English, and said that I was lost. He said yes, it must be hard to find my way when it was dark because, ‘The boys have been having a great time having a rattle at the army’, and then happily to give me directions. It was a conversation that encapsulated the contradictions of Belfast, deeply troubled yet incredibly friendly.

“Much later, after two corporals were murdered in dreadful circumstances at an IRA funeral, I visited Cahal Daly, the inspirational Roman Catholic Cardinal, who at the time was not popular with Sinn Fein. We talked, and prayed together. I had spent time in small communities who met across the divide, all these experiences were deeply moving and provided hope in the midst of darkness.

“In 1998, after the Good Friday Agreement was signed, my work in Northern Ireland took on new dimensions. The worst atrocity of The Troubles, the Omagh bombing, happened that summer in my wife’s home town. By chance were nearby on holiday, and visited the aftermath as representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“I met Martin McGuinness at the Memorial service, and he said to me simply, ‘Bishop, we’re in this in the long haul’, and I realised things had changed.

“I never got anywhere near Ian Paisley until he came to my house during a holiday in the West Country while I was Bishop of Bath and Wells in the 2000s.

“‘When you get to my age, you start to wonder if you’ve done it all right’, he told me. It was the beginning of a relationship, and he invited me over when he became First Minister of Northern Ireland.

“He once told me, ‘Martin McGuinness is a very fine Catholic boy’, and I wondered how different history might have been if he’d been able to say things like that a generation before.”

And what about that visit to Baghdad?

“We were in Baghdad, during what turned out to be the end of the Saddam Hussein’s period in power. I was part of a delegation seeking to offer solidarity to Christian communities, as well as observing the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis.

“We had been cautioned by both the UK government and the Archbishop of Canterbury not to allow the visit to be used as propaganda by Saddam. So, as we rose through that vast building, I turned to my colleagues and said, ‘When we get out of this lift, do not smile, there will be a TV camera, and the footage will be sent around the world.’ True enough, there was!

“When later a formal photograph was taken, there was one smiling Tariq Aziz, and the rest all with funereal expressions. Although little appeared to be achieved from our meeting, we felt that it was worth meeting face to face. Sadly, the subsequent war and internal conflicts were not avoided.

“I spent time in Latin America in the 1980’s and early 90’s occasionally reporting for BBC World Service. Visiting El Salvador in 1988 our delegation had been advised to say that we were tourists. The only trouble was that there were few tourists to this war-torn country. Few of us expected to be believed. To make matters worse, the BBC had given me a bag with branding all over it, and I had hidden my tape recorder beneath my underwear.

“When we arrived at the airport, I scanned the customs officials to find if one was wearing a wedding ring. I found one. As I opened my bag I looked him straight in the eye and asked how his family was. He let me straight through. As we left the airport, some others from our group were  spreadeagled against the wall and were subsequently interrogated by the police. All were eventually released, but any cover we thought we had was blown.

“Among the people whom we met during our time was the Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gomez. Later he was arrested, imprisoned and threatened with execution. I was involved in a campaign to release him, which eventually happened.

“I didn’t see him again until 2011, at gathering for those caught up in El Salvador’s 1980s troubles. He stood up to talk about his experience. In the New Testament, he said, Peter was in prison, the church prayed for him, and angels came to release him. ‘I was in prison’, he said, ‘the church prayed for me, and human angels came to release me.’ It was one of the most moving moments of my ministry.” 

The Rt Revd Peter Price’s book Things That Make for Peace: A Christian Peacemaker in a World of War will be launched at Sarum College, Salisbury, on Thursday 22 February at 6.30 p.m. Peter will be in conversation with Major General Tim Cross CBE, a Church of England Reader, who was General Officer Commanding, Theatre Troops, Iraq from 2003 until 2007. The event is free and open to all. RSVP to or 01722 326899.

Book of the Month: February 2018

Say it to God by Luigi Gioia

My immediate reaction to this book was – goodness not another book on prayer. My familiarity and complacency were soon dispelled by this compelling exploration of the nature of prayer. Written by a Roman Catholic Benedictine monk and teacher it is steeped in a deep inhabiting of the tradition and an honest struggle with this key element of the Christian life.

You will appreciate the quality of writing, short chapters, attention to the prayer in Scripture and a grounded approach about what is really means to pray. We are asked to examine our priorities, be honest about the distractions and boredom present in our discipleship and break into a different attitude to God. It is fresh, humane, grounded and real! Your sense of God and view of what God is like and how God is present will be broken open and reshaped.

This book will be my guide this Lent. Those of us who teach should learn from Gioia how to capture truth and express it with authenticity and love.  This book is my best BOM so far ……. Fresh and enlarging. Another book on prayer – yes and one of the best.

Reviewed by Canon James Woodward, Principle of Sarum College.

Say it to God is just £8.49 until 28th February 2018 (RRP £9.99). Available from our online shop + £2.50 postage, or mail order by phoning 01722 326899 or emailing

Library Access: 5 to 9 February 2018

Work on the heating and radiators will be taking place in Sarum College Library during the week of the 5 February.

The radiator pipes are being replaced in the main library room so please expect some disruption.

The Library will remain open but it won’t be possible to study at the desks. There are limited study places in the other two rooms but these will be available on a first come, first served basis. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Bookshop Bestsellers: January 2018

  1. On the Third Day York Course Booklet by John Pritchard, York Courses £3.99
  2. Cover to Cover: At the Cross by Abby Guinness, CWR £5.99
  3. Being Disciples by Rowan Williams, SPCK £8.99
  4. Say it to God by Luigi Gioia, Bloomsbury £9.99
  5. A Letter for Lent by Patrick Coghlan, Kevin Mayhew £5.99
  6. Dust That Dreams of Glory by Michael Mayne (edited by Joel Huffstetler), Canterbury Press £10.99
  7. Turning for Home by Barney Norris, Transworld £14.99
  8. On the Third Day York Course Transcript by John Pritchard, York Courses £4.99
  9. The Art of Lent by Sister Wendy Beckett, SPCK £9.99
  10. Palm Crosses (bag of 50), African Palms £9.99