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The Great North Festival
The Great North Festival, NECTER and The Great Debate present

Northumbria Stories

10am to 1pm, Saturday 21st September 2013
St Mary and St Cuthbert’s Church, Chester-le-Street

In a pluralist society, what are the spiritual stories/texts which might make for a compassionate society? Representatives from Christian, Moslem, Jewish and Secular traditions will reflect on the stories which inform our culture and tell stories which speak of hope to our modern world. The debate will be in the place where the Lindisfarne Gospels were, and the English translation made, for 100 years.

Speakers: Colin Kirkwood, Alan Bartlett and Shahzad Hassan
Chair: Caspar Hewett

Come along, hear the stories and join in the conversation!

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Saturday 21 September 2013

09:30am - 10:00am

Registration and welcome

10:00am - 11:00am

The Stories
Speakers: Colin Kirkwood, Alan Bartlett and Shahzad Hassan

11:00am - 11:15am

Organ Music by Messiaen, played by Michael Stoddart, Organist of Newcastle Cathedral

11:15am - 11:30pm

The significance of St Mary’s Church
Short talk

11:30pm - 01:00pm

Speakers brief responses to each others' stories from the first session, followed by a more general discussion with the audience.

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Colin Kirkwood is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist living in Edinburgh. Since the 1970s he has played leading roles in adult education and community action, promoting the work of Paolo Freire. He was Senior Lecturer in Counselling Studies at Edinburgh University and later worked as Senior Psychotherapist at the Huntercombe Edinburgh Hospital for women and girls suffering from severe eating disorders. He now offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy and supervision privately. He is the author of a number of books, most recently The Persons in Relation Perspective / In Counselling, Psychotherapy and Community Adult Learning. ‘Now that most of us have chucked religion out of the window,’ he notes, ‘we find ourselves living in Dante's ethical "dark forest".’

Alan Bartlett is currently a Church of England Vicar (Gilesgare, Sherburn and Shadforth) and has lived and served in the North East since 1988. He was formerly tutor in Spirituality, Church History and Practical Theology at Cranmer |Hall (St John’s College, Durham University) an Anglican Theological College where he still teaches and supervises part time. Amongst other books, he is the author of Human Christianity (2004). He is passionately committed to bringing the wisdom of our traditions into honest dialogue with the needs of contemporary society. He is married with 2 adult children.

Shahzad Hassan is the director of the York Mosque building project. The mosque, founded in 1982, now has planning permission to build a new Mosque in Bull Lane, York. The Mosque recently invited a group of the EDL objecting to their project to join them for tea. Shahzad will be attending the occasion with the new Imam, Sheikh Abid Salik.

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© C J M Hewett, 2013