Durham Book Festival Fringe 2020

Added about a year ago by Sacristy Press

Sacristy Press and Durham Cathedral are hosting three online events as part of the 2020 Durham Book Festival “fringe”.

Following the announcement that this year’s Durham Book Festival is going online, Sacristy Press and our friends at Durham Cathedral have been busy preparing a programme of events for the DBF Fringe. We are delighted to announce the exciting lineup of FREE live author events for you to enjoy from your own home!

Durham Book Festival   9-18 October 2020        Sacristy Press        Durham Cathedral

  • Novelist Katharine Tiernan will be launching her brand new book and talking about the life (and death) of the North East’s best-loved saint, Cuthbert of Lindisfarne.
  • Frances Ward and Jenny Wilson discuss the climate emergency and what it is like to live with eco-anxiety.
  • Simon Hewitt will ask if Marxism and Christianity are really as incompatible as some people think.

And did we mention they will be free to attend? Each event will be broadcast live on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with the opportunity to ask the authors. No need to register – just follow us on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter to join in.

To get a notification on your device before each event starts streaming, simply click this button and, if prompted, accept the notification invitation: 


Marxism and Christianity: Church and Revolution

Simon Hewitt
Monday 12 October 2020 at 6.30pm BST

Watch on Facebook | YouTube

There is a popular perception that Marxism and Christianity are incompatible. Simon Hewitt, a research fellow at the University of Leeds, asks if a closer reading of Marx allows for some common ground between Christians and Marxists, with life-affirming ways of thinking about ethics cantered on the idea of virtue.

Simon Hewitt teaches and researches in theology and philosophy, and is a research fellow at the University of Leeds. He is active in left-wing politics and a committed Catholic and lay member of the Dominican Order. His recent book Church and Revolution aims to continue the conversation between Christianity and Marxism, exploring four themes that can provide starting points and common ground.

Legend and Literature: The life and death of Cuthbert through fiction

Katharine Tiernan
Wednesday 14 October 2020 at 6.30pm BST

Watch on Facebook | YouTube

The benign presence of Northumbria’s iconic saint has been part of the spiritual landscape of the North for fourteen centuries, but the tranquillity of his shrine at Durham belies the turbulent story of the saint and his people. Kathy Tiernan’s trilogy traces an extraordinary story of survival and continuity from the saint’s lifetime and death, through to the Viking invasion and the Norman Conquest.

Katharine Tiernan is a Northumbrian by birth and spent many childhood afternoons on the shores of Lindisfarne. She studied English Literature at York University and worked as a teacher and community artist. By the turn of the millennium, both Katharine and her Australian husband were hankering for the wide-open spaces of the North and moved back to Northumberland. There she wrote her first novel, Place of Repose: A Tale of St Cuthbert’s Last Journey.

Cuthbert of Farne sees Katharine return to the Anglo-Saxon world of early Christianity. It reflects her interests in literature, spirituality and the inspirational landscape of the North.

Place of Repose tells the story of Cuthbert’s monks during the devastation of the Danish invasion into Northumbria—a tale of violence, intrigue, revenge and reconciliation.

A New Heaven and a New Earth brings the trilogy to a dramatic conclusion. Caught between the Northumbrian rebels and their brutal new Norman masters, the Community of St Cuthbert at Durham is struggling to survive. This final novel tells the story of the survival of the shrine and the foundation of Durham Cathedral, and will be launched at this event.​

Preaching for the Planet Like There’s No Tomorrow

Frances Ward and Jenny Wilson
Friday 16 October 2020 at 6.30pm BST

Watch on Facebook | YouTube

As we face into the uncertainties of the future—uncertainties intensified by COVID-19—how do we draw on the resources of the psalms, poetry and literature to inspire a love of the natural world and energise ourselves to live responsibly and hopefully on this fragile planet? Frances Ward explores how she lives “like there’s no tomorrow”—with a deep sense of the joy and gift of life to inspire contemplative action in the face of climate change.

Inspired by Walter Brueggemann’s words “People are not changed by ethical urging but by transformed imaginations”, Jenny Wilson explores ways of transforming the imaginations of our congregations in our preaching for healing of our planet. She will consider including the voices of poets, theologians including Elizabeth Johnson, and climate activists such as David Attenborough. She will also explore the idea of the earth as a being character or having a voice in the scriptures.

Frances Ward is a freelance theologian, researcher and writer, preacher, speaker and teacher. She is half-time Priest in Charge of St Michael's and St John's Churches in Workington, Cumbria. Like There’s No Tomorrow is all about climate change, eco-anxiety and God. In it, Frances Ward shows how Christians can live and act with hope and faith in God in the face of the impending climate crisis.

Jenny Wilson is Canon Precentor of St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide, with responsibilities in liturgy, music and pastoral care.​ Keeping Watch for Kingfishers is a beautiful collection of Jenny’s sermons, in which she invites us to find our own life stories and the stories of our time and place as belonging to the story of God.

Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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