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Friday, 30 July 2021

(Still) Calling from the Edge


(Still) Calling from the Edge is the 10th annual conference on Disability & Church. It's a partnership between St Martin in the Fields and Inclusive Church, hosted online by HeartEdge.

Since 2012 these conferences have held space for disabled people to gather, to resource each other and the church. They are uniquely for rather than about disabled people, who are a majority of planners, speakers and delegates.

In this year's conference we explore call as challenge, lament and vocation. Through art, music, story and theology, in plenary talks, small groups, workshops and liturgy. It's a cry for justice that marks a milestone: 10 years of calling from the edge.

''Disabled people have a distinct prophetic ministry to the church. In order for the church to fulfil its prophetic ministry to society, it needs disabled people.” John Hull (Opening the Roof, 2012)

Details & Registration:

Twitter @livingedgeconf #StillEdge

Image description: a drop of water falling into still blue water, creating a ripple outward

Two pre-conference workshops are also being held:
  • Out of the Depths will explore the theme of calling from the edge in song and sound. Using Psalm 130, a psalm of lament, as the basis for musical creation in various shapes – chant, hymn or poem ready for musical setting. Participants will be helped with hymn metre and the repetition of chanting traditions.
  • Called to the Feast will help create an exhibition of images and words for an inclusive Last Supper. These can be in any media (drawing, paintings, photographs, poetry, prose etc etc) and can focus on any aspect of the Last Supper i.e. the feast, the table, the guests, Jesus etc. The images and words shared will then be shown in an online exhibition during the conference.

Music - Out of the Depths- Friday 3 September 4.30pm -

Art - Called to the Feast - Friday 10 September 4.30pm -

(Still) Calling from the Edge - Saturday 16 October 10.00am - 10th annual conference on disability and church -


The Style Council - Walls Come Tumbling Down!

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Apply for the HeartEdge Manchester Choral Scholarships 2021-22

The HeartEdge Manchester Choral Scholarships 2021-22 are a new initiative of stimulating and educative choral training based in the heart of Manchester at St Ann’s Church. The scheme is aimed at choral singers wishing to embark on a professional career in singing. The Choral Scholarships provide an opportunity for nine singers to enjoy an intensive, focused period of development alongside others of a similar standard and interests whilst contributing to a thriving tradition of musical excellence in the city centre parish of St Ann’s Church.

The Choral Scholarships are part of a collaborative project between the Diocese of Manchester and the St Martin-in-the-Fields HeartEdge Network. The main focus of the scholarship will be regular services at St Ann’s on Saturdays during term-time, as well as musical activities at Sacred Trinity Salford and the Hub Church of Ascension, Hulme.

The Choral Scholarship programme is overseen by Andrew Earis, Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields, working with a range of guest conductors and expert choral workshop leaders.

Applications for the HeartEdge Manchester Choral Scholarships 2021-22 are now open! More information can be found on the Choral Scholarship Information Document.

Please complete the application form and send, along with a current CV, by email to Ailsa Campbell, HeartEdge Manchester Choral Scholarships Coordinator, at

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 27th August.



Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields - Choral Evensong.

CTiW Newsletter, BLM Book Group and Meet the Chaplains event

Churches Together in Westminster are pleased to announce that our latest CTiW Newsletter Issue No. 22 Summer 2021 is now available at Please do feel free to copy this for your congregations.

Also, we would like to tell you about two new initiatives. The first of which is our new BLM Reading Group. We will be reading “We Need to Talk About Race – Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches” by Ben Lindsay and meeting online to discuss the book on Thursdays 8.00 – 9.00pm, September 16, 23, 30 & October 7, 14. Free – All welcome. Register on Eventbrite at

Explore eye-opening insights into the black religious experience, challenging the status quo in white majority churches and discuss how we can work together to create a truly inclusive church community. From the UK Church’s complicity in the transatlantic slave trade to the whitewashing of Christianity throughout history, the Church has a lot to answer for when it comes to race relations. Christianity has been dubbed the white man’s religion, yet the Bible speaks of an impartial God and shows us a diverse body of believers. It’s time for the Church to start talking about race.

For poster please click here.

The second initiative is an event called “Meet the Chaplains” to be held at 7pm on 22 October 2021 online at Many of you will be familiar with our “Meet the Neighbours” events hosted by CTiW member churches, and this is an extension of this idea. Chaplains from a number of different sectors within Westminster will be speaking online about their ministries. Everyone is welcome, and we anticipate that this will be an enjoyable and informative event.

For further information please see


The Staples Singers - I'll Take You There.

Waddesdon Manor: Gustave Moreau


Gustave Moreau (1826-98) was one of the most brilliant and influential artists associated with the French Symbolist movement. Gustave Moreau: The Fables at Waddesdon Manor aims to display some of the most important works he ever made, unseen in public for over a century.

In collaboration with Musée National Gustave Moreau, Paris, this exhibition reveals for the first time 35 watercolours created by Moreau between 1879 and 1885, on loan from a private collection. They were part of a series commissioned by the art collector Antony Roux to illustrate the 17th-century Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (many of which derive from Aesop’s Fables). They were exhibited in Paris in the 1880s to great acclaim and in London in 1886, where critics frequently compared the artist to Edward Burne-Jones.

Moreau made 64 works for the series, which subsequently entered a Rothschild collection; however, a significant proportion was lost during the Nazi era. The surviving works have not been exhibited since 1906 and they have only ever been published in black and white.

Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote that "Gustave Moreau is an extraordinary, unique artist ... a mystic, locked away in his Paris cell, where the buzz of contemporary life cannot reach him ... Lost in ecstasy, he sees splendid magical visions, the gory apotheoses of other ages." 

Read more about Moreau in my post describing a visit to the Gustave Moreau Museum in Paris.


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Wightwick Manor: Pre-Raphaelites and Morris & Co

Built in 1887, Wightwick Manor is a shrine to the Arts and Crafts movement. When Theodore Mander commissioned the building of a new manor on Wightwick Bank in the Old English style in 1887 he started the Mander family's love for Victorian art & design which would unfold over a century of collecting and preservation. However, his untimely death in 1900 left the care and development of the new home (Wightwick Manor) to his son, Geoffrey. His story is one of art and design, industry and politics, told through the house he saved and lived in. 

With its barley twist brick chimneys and oak framed white-washed walls, the design of house looked to be something from five centuries earlier, rather than just five decades old. The garden, designed by Thomas Mawson, retains its clear lines of yew hedges, bold planting and expansive lawns. The house's Aesthetic Movement interiors are heavy with designs by William Morris and his associates. Morris & Co did not formally design for Wightwick Manor but all the wallpapers, fabric wall coverings and soft furnishings were bought through the Morris & Co shop or catalogue.

Over time a unique collection of Pre-Raphaelite art developed, with some major pieces supplied by the National Trust, and small works and sketches either purchased or given to the National Trust. The artworks are shown in a domestic setting. Their collection now boasts over 70 works by D.G Rossetti; 50 by Edward Burne-Jones; 23 by Evelyn De Morgan and 20 by Millais. They also have works by the often overlooked Pre-Raphaelites; Lizzy Siddal, Lucy Maddox Brown and Simeon Solomon

Simeon Solomon was Jewish, gay and suffered from mental health issues. Through his friendship with Rossetti he became one of the group of artists, poets and designers involved in the second wave of Pre- Raphaelitism. He was hailed a genius within his lifetime, exhibiting his art in all the major London galleries, designing stained glass for Morris & Co. and illustrating beautiful books, all to much critical acclaim. Initially he gained much critical and commercial acclaim for his depictions of Old Testament scenes with his accurate portrayal of costume and location, using his own Jewish heritage and community as inspiration, while being sold to a predominately Christian market. Yet he is largely forgotten today and died in obscurity, poverty and alcoholism in the workhouse. The Honeysuckle Room at Wightwick Manor contains 10 works of art by Solomon; most from the later period when he is repeatedly exploring the themes of Night and Death.

In the purpose-built Malthouse Gallery, a new exhibition at Wightwick Manor displays drawings and paintings by the pioneering female artist, Evelyn De Morgan (1855-1919), and the creations of her husband, the preeminent ceramic designer, William De Morgan (1839-1917). The sumptuous interiors and original De Morgan tiled fireplaces at Wightwick Manor provide the perfect setting for the De Morgan Collection to be housed in a purpose-built gallery in the grounds. The current exhibition Look Beneath the Lustre invites visitors to discover how the wonderful De Morgan artworks were created by looking beneath the lustre of the De Morgan’s artwork. More preparatory drawings and sketches by William and Evelyn De Morgan are on display than ever before, inviting the visitor to consider the people and preparation behind the paintings and the plates. Look Beneath the Lustre is in partnership with the De Morgan Foundation with items on loan from the V&A and National Portrait Gallery.


Loreena McKennitt - The Mystic's Dream.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Finding Abundance in Scarcity: Steps Towards Church Transformation - A HeartEdge Handbook'

'Finding Abundance in Scarcity: Steps Towards Church Transformation - A HeartEdge Handbook' is a new book from Canterbury Press which includes contributions from myself and others at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The publisher's description is as follows:

'All churches have had to learn to do things differently during closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. None has been more imaginative or inventive than London's St Martin-in-the-Fields. Through its HeartEdge programmes, it has continued many aspects of its ministry, and developed significant new initiatives and is now a virtual college with an impressively varied programme for practitioners.

Here the St Martin's team reflects theologically and shares its newly found pastoral and practical wisdom in many areas:
  • Finding God in Lockdown
  • Meeting God and One Another Online
  • Rediscovering Contemplative Prayer
  • Facing Grief amidst Separation
  • Preaching at Such a Time as This
  • Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Time
  • Hearing Scripture Together in Difficult Times
  • Praying through Crisis
  • Creating a Community of Practitioners
  • Finding Faith at Home
  • Conclusion: A Strategy for Transformation
Contributors are all on the staff at St Martin's and key figures in HeartEdge: Sam Wells, Richard Carter, Sally Hitchiner, Fiona MacMillan, Jonathan Evens and Andrew Earis.'

The book uses a similar format to our earlier Liturgy on the Edge: Pastoral and attractional worship in which I wrote about the creation of Start:Stop at St Stephen Walbrook.

Both books can be bought from the online shop at St Martin-in-the-Fields, as can my own The Secret Chord, an exploration of what makes a moment in a 'performance' timeless and special, co-authored with Peter Banks.


Great Sacred Music - Giving Thanks.