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Monday, 31 July 2017

St Martin-in-the-Fields, HeartEdge and Greenbelt

St Martin-in-the-Field's is going to Greenbelt this year and will be offering three programme elements. Alastair McKay will be showcasing three sessions of Inspired to Follow / Art and Bible Story (see…/st-martin-in-the-fields-insp…/). Andrew Earis will be leading three choral sessions (see…/st-martin-in-the-fields-grea…/) and I will be participating in The Exchange, on the Monday, sharing stories about the use of social enterprise for the common good (see

Alastair McKay and Ayla Lepine will facilitate taster sessions from the new online interactive discipleship resource from St Martin-in-the-Fields and the National Gallery, ‘Art and the Bible Story: Inspired to Follow’, which looks at the Biblical story through fine art paintings. Alastair McKay is a half-time priest at St Martin-in-the-Fields, who also works as an adult educator, facilitator, and coach with clergy and church groups, having previously headed up Bridge Builders for nearly 20 years. He is passionate about helping people to learn and grow. Ayla Lepine is a Fellow in Art History at the University of Essex and an ordinand at Westcott House. She has taught at the Courtauld, Yale, and King’s College London, and has published widely on the intersections across theology and the arts.

Singers from St Martin-in-the-Fields, with their Director of Music Andrew Earis, explore through word and song some of the great music of our religious heritage. Three years ago St Martin-in-the-Fields launched a weekly event called ‘Great Sacred Music’. Taking place each Thursday lunchtime, the 35 minute long sequence explores through word and song some of the great music of our religious heritage.

The Exchange will be open for business throughout the Festival. Go there to think together over the weekend about enterprise for the common good. With Ryan Rushton from Co-op Energy, Vivian Woodell from the Phone Co-op and David Alcock from Anthony Collins Solicitors. David Alcock is Head of Social Business at Birmingham law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors, where he works with community organisations, social enterprises, co-operatives, charities and faith groups. David is a specialist in governance issues in the third sector and is also at the forefront of developing innovative mutual models of delivering public services. He has advised numerous organisations on governance and contractual matters at board level, as well as training new and potential board members on their duties and responsibilities. He also helped develop good practice in community asset transfer, and resident-led estate regeneration.

On Monday at 1:00 PM, the Exchange session will be Cathedrals and commerce: The challenge facing large churches. Large churches are getting involved in enterprise activity to stay open – but didn’t Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers? How can we find the right way through commerce and cathedrals? With The Very Revd John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, Alison Inglis-Jones from the Trussell Trust, Jonny Gordon-Farleigh from Stir to Action, Rev Jonathan Evens from the HeartEdge project at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Chaired by Cliff Mills, Anthony Collins Solicitors.

Cliff Mills is a solicitor who writes constitutions for co-operative, mutual and member-based organisations. These have included the leading retail co-operatives societies, NHS Foundation Trusts, tenant and employee-owned social housing providers, and a range of other sectors including leisure services, community health, primary care, youth services, community shops, energy and probation. He has been involved in the modernisation of co-operative and community benefit society legislation, and the development of new forms of ownership for public services. He has undertaken governance reviews for the Co-operative Group, Post Office Limited and other organisations in the media, IT and healthcare. He is the joint author of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, the high-level strategy document for the International Co-operative Alliance.

Enterprise, faith and community seem to be intersecting with each other with increasing frequency and regularity in the modern world. Some might see this in terms of “markets, state and church”, but in a Greenbelt context it’s more about how these things come together in our own lives: in our places of work and education, as consumers, volunteers and as members of our secular and faith communities. There is more overlapping, with these apparently different areas spilling over into each other.

In this session titled “Cathedrals and Commerce”, we want to explore the two subjects contained in the title, but we want to approach them from the starting point of what’s going on at the grass-roots, and how enterprise, faith and community are coming together and crossing over. We have four speakers who are each going to give us their own insight on this, two from outside the church, two from inside. These four speakers will provide food for our own thought and reflection – and subsequent discussion about “Cathedrals and Commerce; the challenges they face”; with one eye on the door in case somebody marches in and decides to turn over the tables of the money changers once again.

Anthony Collins Solicitors are also partnering HeartEdge in one of three regional events this autumn to be held in Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh. Hosted by Rev Dr Sam Wells, these 'At the Heart. On the Edge.' events will include theology, ideas, solutions and support. In Birmingham, the programme has been developed by Anthony Collins Solicitors, Birmingham Churches Together, St Martin in the Bull Ring and Thrive Together Birmingham.


Kate Rusby - Life In A Paper Boat.

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