A Sunday lunchtime series in which some of the liveliest contemporary theologians and spiritual teachers speak about the challenges, contradictions and joys of being a Christian in the world today. Each event includes time for questions and answers.
The events take place 1-2pm on the first Sunday in the month in the Wren Suite in the crypt of St Paulís Cathedral. Admission is free, un-ticketed and open to all. Seating is first come, first served. 2014 Sunday Forum Programme
There will be no Sunday Forum in August 2014.
Sunday 7 September
Places of Enchantment: Meeting God in Landscapes
There is a great tradition of finding God in the natural world, and many people who have given up on church appreciate the spiritual benefits of climbing a mountain or walking in the countryside. But how and why do we encounter God in forest, river, mountain, desert, garden, sea and sky Ė nature of all sorts, even in the city? As the season turns from high summer to the richness of autumn, Graham Usher encourages us to look at the world with fresh eyes Ė and so be enchanted by the wonder of God all around us. Graham Usher is the Bishop of Dudley and the author of Places of Enchantment: Meeting God in Landscapes (SPCK 2012). Prior to ordination he was an ecologist, and has served as Rector of Hexham, and on both the Northumberland National Park Authority and as chairman of the Forestry Commission's northeast advisory committee.
Sunday 5 October
The Compassion Quest
Trystan Owain Hughes
Compassion is love-in-action, and itís also been said that the best name for God is Compassion. In contrast to so many contemporary assumptions, it is also our natural state: we are made to care for other people and to live in harmony with them. In The Compassion Quest, Trystan Owain Hughes draws on contemporary scientific thought, ancient wisdom, poetry, literature and film to explore compassionís place at the heart of humanity, and what it might mean for our public, church and spiritual lives if we were to put it at the centre of our lives. The Revd Dr Trystan Owain Hughes is Diocesan Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Llandaff and the author of The Compassion Quest (SPCK 2013) and Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering (SPCK 2010).
Sunday 2 November
What is Faith?
Itís all too easy to get the impression that faith is about creeds, doctrine, and knowledge - about mastering the Ďfactsí and having the Ďrightí answers. But Margaret Silf believes that faith is much more about mystery than mastery, and that living in the mystery allows us to shift our focus from religion to relationship Ė relationship with the Divine. She will look at some of the illusions and obstacles to faith, and offer some suggestions about ways to find, deepen or come back to the mystery of faith. Margaret Silf is a retreat leader and the author of bestselling guides to the spiritual journey including Faith, Landscapes of Prayer: Finding God in the World and Your Life, and The Way of Wisdom.
Sunday 7 December
Walking Backwards to Christmas
Can we ever encounter the Christmas stories as if for the first time? Stephen Cottrell tells the story backwards and from the perspective of some of the characters we donít usually hear from or think of as Christmas people - the prophets Anna and Moses, the Innkeeperís wife, Rachel who weeps for her children, as well as Isaiah, the shepherds, wise men, Joseph and Mary. Often told as a story of unalloyed light, the mixture of these different Christmas voices gives us something more nuanced and real, illuminating with fresh insight the storyís uncertainties and horrors as well as its joys. Stephen Cottrell is the Bishop of Chelmsford and the author of a number of best-selling books including How to Pray and Do Nothing to Change Your Life: Discovering What Happens When You Stop. His new Advent book, Walking Backwards to Christmas, is published this year.>
There is no Sunday Forum in January 2015, but it will begin again on Sunday 1 February 2015 and continue throughout the year.
St Paulís Forum
St Paulís Forum runs a programme of events at St Paulís Cathedral exploring Christian life and spirituality. The programme is open to all and will continue with retreats, reflective study days, services, public debates and talks. For full details of the programme and other events run by St Paulís Forum, please contact us at:
St Paulís Forum
c/o The Chapter House
St Paulís Churchyard
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