The Bishop of Sheffield's Annual Lecture 2019 - Imagining the Good News

4th March to 5th March 2019

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"Imagining the Good News: Inhabiting and commending the beauty of the Christian Faith through storytelling and poetry."

The Bishop of Sheffield's Annual Lecture 2019 - Imagining the Good News


What is the role of our imagination in helping us engage with truth?  How do stories and particularly poetry enable us to apprehend and communicate Christian faith?  Do they reach deeper parts of our minds and emotions which we might otherwise fail to experience?  Join us to explore these questions in our annual lecture.

Our guest speaker this year will be Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford.  

The main event will be on Shrove Tuesday, 5th March.  For those who are unable to come for that day, a briefer event will take place the previous evening.

  • Monday 4th March, 7.30 - 9.00pm, at the University of Sheffield:  Bishop Stephen Cottrell.    
  • Tuesday 5th March, 10am - 3.45pm, at Sheffield Cathedral:  Bishop Stephen Cottrell  &  Bishop Pete Wilcox.

Stephen Cottrell is the Bishop of Chelmsford, serving Essex and East London. He is closely involved with the Church of England’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Concerns, the Society of St Francis and the Church Army. In addition, he is a member of the House of Lords and on the Select Committee for Communication.

Bishop Stephen is a well-known writer and speaker on evangelism, spirituality and catechesis.  He has written a series of books re-imagining the Holy Week narratives – The Things He Did, The Things He Carried, The Things He Said, and The Nail. He has also written a collection of children’s stories called The Adventures of Naughty Nora and more recently The Sleepy Shepherd, a re-telling of the Christmas story for children; also Walking Backward to Christmas, a re-telling of the Christmas story for adults. 

His latest book, Striking Out, Poems and Stories from the Camino was written after walking a large part of the Camino del Norte in 2016.  These experiences of pilgrimage and writing poetry will provide the basis of his lecture on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

On the afternoon of our Tuesday gathering, Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield, will offer an introduction to biblical poetry, showing how the crafted nature of poetic texts is a vehicle for their meaning, and will illustrate the general principles by expounding a particular Psalm.  His books, Living the Dream, Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk  demonstrate his passion for enabling people to encounter God through engaging with the Bible. 

Suitable for...  

This event is particularly for clergy and authorised/licensed lay ministers.   Others who are involved in church ministries are also very welcome.


Both dates are free.  Lunch on the Tuesday can be purchased when booking your ticket.


A light lunch is available on the Tuesday costing £5, payable in cash on the day, but must be requested in advance when booking the day via your tickets.   You may bring your own lunch and are encouraged to stay and eat with the others at the tables provided in the Cathedral.  Drinks are available without charge for everyone on Monday and Tuesday. 


If possible use public transport.  For the Tuesday session the tram stops outside Sheffield Cathedral.   On the Monday evening at 38 Mappin Street, please be aware there is no University parking available; for those who need to drive there is a car park on Portobello Street and also some off street pay and display parking on the cobbles opposite the NHS walk-in centre.  The nearest tram stop to the University venue is West Street.

How to book

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Tickets for both Monday 4th March and Tuesday 5th March can be obtained from Eventbrite - click on the logo.

In order to facilitate online bookings for our events, we use Eventbrite - a third party service which is not operated by the Diocese of Sheffield. Details of Eventbrite’s privacy policy can be found here. If you wish to attend this event, but do not wish to use Eventbrite, please see contact Trish Stafford - see below.

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Sheffield Cathedral, Church Street, Sheffield.  S1 1HA 


Venue for Monday 4th March:   38 Mappin St, Sheffield.  S1 4DT 

Please note the different venue this year.  It can be found on the corner of Mappin Street and Portobello Street, near the St George's Church building.    The lecture will be in workroom 2, immediately on the right as you walk in the entrance.

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