Third Festival of Theology: Tuesday 8th October 2019

Following the success of our first two Festivals of Theology last year, I will be hosting a third Festival of Theology on Tuesday 8th October 2019, once again at Christ Church, Chilwell. Come and listen to great speakers address some vital questions for Christian living, mission and discipleship in TED-style talks, with the opportunity to ask questions and interact.

The formal programme will start at 10.30 am and end at 3.30 pm, but there will be coffee from 10 am, and you will be very welcome to stay on for further conversation and engagement. The format will be fast moving, with presentations of 15–20 minutes and time for questions at the end of each one. There will be tea and coffee on arrival and at the close, and a light buffet lunch is included. If you have any special dietary requirements, please email [email protected] with ‘Festival diet’ in the subject line.

Tickets can be booked through this page on Eventzilla or by clicking below; the ticket price of £18 is designed to cover costs but nothing more; anyone in Church of England licensed ministry can claim the cost back as part of their CME allowance. Parking is in the nearby streets, and there are disabled parking spaces outside the back door of the church building in College Road.


Introduction and welcome (Ian Paul)

Virtual grieving Revd Jimmy Lawrence, Curate at All Saints, Otley, Leeds

It is increasingly common for those with social media profiles to have them maintained after their deaths by loved ones. This might at first appear to be helpful to those who grieve, but it raises questions for Christians about how we remember the dead and what sort of continuing bond with the dead is appropriate. Online Memorials is a new social trend which raises centuries old questions.

Making sense of the absurd in 1 and 2 Kings Revd Dr Helen Paynter, Tutor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence at Bristol Baptist College

Some events in the Kings narrative seem cruel and arbitrary, and raise issues about both the goodness of God and the authority of Scripture. But a number of features of these books look very much like the absurdity of carnival. How does reading in this way help us to receive 1 and 2 Kings as Christian scripture?

Kenotic Conversations: Creating a Safe Space for Dangerous Disagreements Revd Garreth Frank, Curate, St Nic’s, Nottingham

Many contemporary disagreements fall at the first hurdle, as the two discussion partners fail to recognise and listen to the position of the other. Paul argues in Phil 2 that we should follow Jesus’ pattern of ‘self emptying’ in our relationships. What does this look like, and how might it help to have healthy relationships even while we disagree?

Improvisation and theological truth Revd Eve Ridgeway, Associate Minister, St George’s Leeds (with Rev Mike Perkins and Rev Ned Lunn)

Improvisation involves combining what is known with spontaneous engagement with the new and unfamiliar within that. Theology often includes the same—working out our understanding of God from what we have been given, but in a new and often unexpected context. What happens when we connect the two, and what insights does this offer for the life of faith?

The Preacher As A Living Sacrifice Revd Ned Lunn, Vicar, St Peter’s, Greenhill, Sheffield

Jerzy Grotowski was a theatre director whose seminal work “Towards a Poor Theatre” encourages the actor to not put on a role but to strip themself back to a ‘true self’ and present it to an audience. In this way the actor becomes a kind of sacrifice that continually invites the audience to do likewise. At the heart of my preaching is desire to model humble discipleship and growth and inspire the church to be honest about themselves and reality.

Slavery and sexuality Kate Pellereau, Ordinand at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

The equation is often made between the historic debates about slavery and contemporary differences about sexuality. What shape are these two sets of debates—what do they have in common, and where do they differ? Might this help us find a way forward?

Suffering in 1 Peter and our prayer for persecuted Christians Gareth Black

Popular conceptions of Christian persecution focus on physical suffering, issues of justice and veneration of martyrdom as spiritual ideal. But both in the New Testament (in 1 Peter) and in later Christian reflection, the greatest threat to Christians is the threat posed to the nature of individual faith itself. The solution in 1 Peter is to tell once more the story of God’s salvation as the basis for the audience to ‘stand firm’—and this has important implications for how we view, communicate with and pray for the Persecuted Church.

Concluding reflection Ian Paul

Do make this known to others who might be interested. Book your tickets now!


Tram: The College tram stop, on the Toton Lane line, is five minutes walk from Christ Church.

Car: The venue is only five minutes from junction 25 on the M1. You will need to park in streets near the church, which could be a few minutes’ walk away.

Train: Come to Beeston Station, which is 15 minutes walk or 3 minutes by car from the venue.

Plane: It is a 15 minute drive or 30 minute bus ride (Skylink) from East Midlands airport.

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1 thought on “Third Festival of Theology: Tuesday 8th October 2019”

  1. Enjoyed my visit to Nottingham very much. And it’s an ideal time of year to have it, especially for us pilgrims from the South Coast – it would be unattractive to make the trip in January, when there will be no daylight left after the Conference to explore the other delights of Nottingham (Toton Fields Nature Reserve and Bramcote Hills in my own case.)


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