The Church Times Faith and Literature Festival moves to Winchester. Tickets on sale now

TICKETS are on sale for the next Church hours Festival of Faith and Literaturethe Festival’s first in-person gathering since February 2020.

The Festival – which has continued during the pandemic with a series of one-day online events – will be held from February 24-26, 2023. After many years in the village of Bloxham, Oxfordshire, its new home is the city of Winchester. Events will take place at the University of Winchester, Winchester Cathedral and St John’s Parish Church.

The program — themed “Mapping the Landscape” — will consist of its usual mix of lectures, discussions and performances. The event opens on Friday evening in the cathedral, when the Archbishop of York will talk about his new book for Lent, Palm.

New to the Festival will be the inaugural Sir Tony Baldry Lecture, named after the Festival’s founder, former MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner. The 2023 lecture, ‘Ethics and Solidarity: A Basis for Christian Politics’, will be given by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams.

Other speakers on Saturday include Reverend Dr Sam Wells, Canon Mark Oakley, Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Reverend Azariah France-Williams and Dr Renie Choy. Historian Sir Anthony Seldon will talk about The Path of Peace: his book on a pilgrimage on the Western Front Way.

Novelists Francis Spufford, Catherine Fox and Jo Browning Wroe will talk about their work, and poetry will be provided by Canon Rachel Mann and Jay Hulme. On Saturday evening, the five parties, all female a cappella The group Papagena will give a concert in St John’s.

Television historian Professor Suzannah Lipscomb will return to the Festival on Sunday, when she speaks about the spiritual legacy of Mary I, in Winchester Cathedral – the place where Queen Tudor married Philip of Spain in 1554. After an evening of the festival, author James Runcie will be in conversation with tenor James Gilchrist — famous for his performances as the Evangelist in JS Bach’s Passion according to Saint Matthew — about his Bach novel, The great passion.

Tickets can be reserved on the faith and literature website, or by telephone on 01603 785925 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm). Early bird offers are available.

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