GOSPEL 2023 Line-Up and Tickets for Literature Day -10 authors, 3 Storytellers for Children!

Latest news:  3 Storytellers for Children… Gemma Hunt, Richard O’Neill and Lynn Robertson Hay.

Family Ticket for 3 events ONLY £15 or £5 each Family Event!


Tickets available online  https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/christianartsfestival


10.00am   Gemma Hunt, CBeebies Star – A Good Friend (*Family)
11.15am    Rt Rev John Pritchard – 20 Questions Jesus asked and how they speak to us today
12.30pm   Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester – Encounters
1.45pm      Richard O’ Neill – Spoons and Stories to Stir the Soul (*Family)
3.00pm     Sarah Meyrick – Truth in Fiction – Her book: Joy and Felicity
3.00pm     Lynn Robertson Hay – Jairus’s Girl and Joseph’s Boy  (Young Testament Series)  (*Family)
4.15pm     Rev Dr Samuel Wells – Humbler Faith, Bigger God
5.30pm     Sharon Garlough Brown – Feathers of Hope 
6.45pm     Phil Clarke – Falling Night
8.00pm     Tola Doll Fisher – Still Standing, 100 lessons in an ‘unsuccessful’ life!

One Day Ticket @ £28 to all of the Authors’ Talks
Or you can buy tickets for each individual session @ £10 each
*£15 for a family or £5 each family event
With day tickets and 3 Storyteller tickets …each adult and child will have a stamp on their hand to come and go as they like.
Book Tickets here:

Online  https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/christianartsfestival

or telephone 0333 666 3366

Ticket Source: in-house telephone box office is open Monday to Friday, 9.00AM to 7:00PM (excluding bank holidays). If customers call outside of this time, They can leave a message on our answerphone system, and we’ll return their call.

10 am  CBeebies Star Gemma Hunt – A Good Friend  (Family)
Gemma Hunt children’s TV Presenter also known as Gem from CBeebies ‘Swashbuckle.’  Gemma talks about and reads from her first children’s book – a mixed-race retelling of the stories of Jesus! The BAFTA-nominated presenter decided to produce the stories after being unable to find any children’s books which featured a mixed-race family like her own.

Written by TV presenter and children’s entertainer, Gemma Hunt, and one of the hosts of Alpha and Songs of Praise. The charming illustrations by Charlie Cooke will delight young children. Gemma Hunt’s See! Let’s Be series encourages young children to understand how to act and behave in everyday situations through observing good examples by adults and inspired by Jesus’ parables and teachings. Perfect for end-of-the-day reading time with children, providing support, encouragement, and reassuring words.

Based on the following Bible stories: Parables of the lost sheep and the Good Samaritan, The Feeding of the 5,000, Jesus meets Zacchaeus and Jesus washes his disciple’s feet.

11.15am  John Pritchard – 20 Questions Jesus asked and how they speak to us today

There are many arguments against Christian beliefs today, often as a result of misconceptions. By exploring Jesus’ conversations afresh … perhaps you can inform and shape the lives of people, get them to reconnect. For those curious about faith, have stepped away from faith or Christians themselves, fresh perspectives and insights are essential.

We usually think of Jesus as preaching and teaching, but throughout the gospels he is often asking questions – searching enquiries, that disarm the hearers into responding unreservedly and provide some of the most profound lessons in the New Testament.
But what were the questions that Jesus asked? And how can we learn from them today?

With contemporary stories, questions for reflection and prayer exercises, Twenty Questions Jesus Asked is a brilliant book for both individual and small group use. With his characteristic grounded thoughtfulness, John Pritchard guides us through Jesus’ questions and helps us better understand the lessons he was trying to impart, so that we can grow as disciples and apply Jesus’ wisdom to every day life.

In this wonderful book, John Pritchard draws you into twenty of Jesus’ most important questions, which ring as true today as ever they did. I loved it.’ Paula Gooder, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral

John Pritchard has recently retired as Bishop of Oxford. Prior to that he has been Bishop of Jarrow, Archdeacon of Canterbury and Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham. His only ambition was to be a vicar, which he was in Taunton for eight happy years. John is the author of a number of popular books including How to PrayThe Intercessions HandbookThe Life and Work of a Priest and Living Jesus.

12.30pm   Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester – Encounters

Through reflections on encounters between Jesus Christ and those he met, as described in the gospels, and significant encounters with people and places in her personal journey with God, Bishop Rachel encourages us to make new connections in our own story and to contemplate the God of encounter. Each chapter of this carefully-crafted book ends with a prayer and a space for you to journal your own reflections.
‘There could be no better moment for this book, which reminds us that the tangle and connectedness of human lives cannot be broken, and God’s relationship with us knows no limits or barriers.’
Archbishop Justin Welby
‘Bishop Rachel’s accounts of her encounters with the living Word through friends and communities are not only easily accessible but render the biblical stories she relates refreshingly compelling.’
Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town
‘Encounters is a rare thing: a book by a bishop written from the inside out. Bishop Rachel doesn’t preach, she reflects – on scripture, on life, on God – with humour and warmth, with honesty and vulnerability and insight. ‘
Baroness Maeve Sherlock OBE

1.45pm  Richard O’Neill – Spoons and Stories To Stir Your Soul  (Family)

Spoons have been part of our lives for thousands of years, to stir our foods and to stir our imaginations, featuring in many traditional stories like the magic porridge pot and Goldilocks and the three bears. Most cooks have a favourite spoon as children have a favourite story. Every hand carved spoon is as unique as every person.
Master storyteller and spoon-maker Richard O’Neill will share stories and the secrets of how he makes his amazing wooden spoons.
Listen to a story and watch a spoon being carved before your very eyes.
Richard O’Neill is an international award winning storyteller, children’s author and woodcarver.

3.00pm (side chapel)  Lynn Robertson Hay – Jairus’s Girl and Joseph’s Boy, The Young Testament Series – a kids’-eye view of Jesus  (Family)

Entertaining and moving kids’-eye view of Jesus – aimed at 8-12s, though some adults have sneakily enjoyed it too!
Tammie’s life in a quiet fishing town would never be the same. Her future wasn’t looking good – understatement! – but things quickly went from bad to WICKED with the arrival of a strange grown-up with nice eyes. And as for the business with Daniel’s lunch, or Dibs’s roof…
The Young Testament is a fun, accessible series of full-length books covering the breathtaking sweep of the Jesus story, all from the perspective of the children.
“Funny, imaginative and moving… We loved it… The characters feel as if they’re there in front of you… definitely a recommended read for 8-13 year olds” New Wine Magazine
“Innovative approach to a well known historical era, told in a light-hearted way and in a voice ideal for the pre-teen reader… an entertaining story, fun and informative… a really enjoyable read, even for an adult” Readers’ Favorite.

Writers’ Guild award-winner Lynn Robertson Hay has written numerous episodes of Doctors for the BBC and recently entered another Doctor’s TARDIS with scripts for Big Finish! Her first feature film, Brave The Dark, stars Jared Harris and Nicholas Hamilton.

3.00pm  Sarah Meyrick -Talks to John Pritchard about Truth in Fiction and her book Joy and Felicity

What happens when everything you thought you knew about your family turns out to be a lie?
Joy and Felicity have always been like chalk and cheese. Self-sufficient and practical, Joy was a war baby who was forced to stand on her own two feet at a very young age. Her younger sister Felicity is the cosseted darling of the family. Highly musical and doted on by her father, Felicity looks set for a career as a singer until disaster compels her to choose a very different path. Now their mother is dying. And there are secrets buried deep in the past. Will the truth finally set them free? As the sisters meet at her bedside to say goodbye, they discover a bond that runs far deeper than either of them ever imagined.

Sarah studied Classics at Cambridge and Social Anthropology at Oxford which gave her a fascination for the stories people tell and the worlds they inhabit. She have worked variously as a journalist, editor and PR professional. She is also the Director of the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature.

4.15pm  Samuel Wells – Humbler Faith, Bigger God

Each chapter sets out traditional expressions of Christian beliefs, engages with the arguments against them and then seeks to express those truths afresh as stories that can inform and shape our lives.

Revd Dr Sam Wells is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, a unique configuration of commercial, cultural, and charitable initiatives rooted in a vibrant congregational life. He is also a widely known preacher, pastor, writer, broadcaster, and theologian. He co-founded the HeartEdge movement and co-authored the Being With enquirers’ course. He has served as a Church of England parish priest for 25 years. He also spent 7 years in North Carolina, where he was Dean of Duke University Chapel.
Sam is also Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at King’s College London. He has published 44 books, including academic studies and textbooks in Christian ethics, and explorations of liturgy, preaching, faith, welfare, apologetics and mission.

‘This book is for seekers, doubters, questioners and those who wonder what faith might mean in these days.’

5.30pm  Sharon Garlough Brown  Feathers of Hope (Study Guide Available)

“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) In a season of loss and change, Wren Crawford and her great-aunt, Katherine Rhodes, share the journey as companions in sorrow and hope. How might disruption become a gift that opens the way to new growth?
In this sequel to Shades of Light and Remember Me, fans of the Sensible Shoes series will not only be able to attend Katherine’s final retreat sessions at New Hope but also encounter old and new friends along the way. Also available: Feathers of Hope Study Guide.  Recommended for individuals, book groups and clubs.

Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director, speaker, and cofounder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats and resources. She is the author of Shades of Light, the Shades of Light Study Guide, Remember Me, and the bestselling Sensible Shoes Series, which includes the spiritual formation novels Sensible ShoesTwo Steps ForwardBarefootAn Extra Mile, and their study guides. Her latest work, Feathers of Hope (third in the Shades of Light series) releases in April 2022.
A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Sharon has served on the pastoral staff of congregations in Scotland, Oklahoma, England, and most recently in West Michigan, where she co-pastored with her husband, Jack, for many years. In March 2013 her book Sensible Shoes was named one of television personality Kathie Lee Gifford’s “favorite things,” and in December 2018 An Extra Mile was awarded Christianity Today’s “Fiction Book of the Year.”

6.45pm  Phil Clarke – Falling Night 

Real life Botanist turned Human Rights Investigator!

Falling Night is Phil Clarke’s debut novel, based on actual experiences by the author or his acquaintances in the various wars that took place in Africa during the 1990s but using fictional characters. It will be published in June 2023 by Ambassador International.

The novel follows Alan Swales, who is no hero and no saint. Bored by a successful, yet dull life in Britain with his girlfriend, Mandy, he decides to become an aid worker in Africa to experience adventure and acquire anecdotes to impress his mates. Plunged into a civil war blighted by vicious warlords and child soldiers, Alan has to make unexpected choices about the direction of his life as well as his relationship with Mandy.  As the situation deteriorates, he hears rumours of a hidden genocide, which leads him on a dangerous quest to gather evidence in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles.

Philip spent most of the 1990s in Africa, both as a humanitarian aid worker and as a tropical forest researcher, about which he has written newspaper articles, scientific papers, and a textbook on the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa. He then worked for almost a decade in Copenhagen as an executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) before founding the war crimes investigation agency, Bloodhound.

8pm  Tola Doll Fisher – Still Standing, 100 lessons in an ‘unsuccessful’ life!

· Life not turned out how you expected?
· This book from Woman Alive editor Tola Fisher helps you through life’s messes.
· A friendly book that helps you find hope and wisdom from God.

Life expectations have changed significantly for women over the years but many of us are left still trying to navigate them, berating ourselves for not having the perfect job, husband and cute children to Instagram to our ‘friends.’
Still Standing is a series of 100 “life lessons” from someone grappling with the messy middle. After the bereavement of a daughter shortly after birth followed by the demise of a marriage and unwanted divorce, Tola Fisher explores what she has learned in this wilderness season.
This is a book about discovering joy in a life which has been completely broken. To the world, she remains unfixed; she is still single, still childless, but God has brought her to understand that no experience is wasted and that He is in the business of restoration every day, in every one.
Tola candidly uses her own life experiences to explore what she has learned in this season, turning to the Bible’s wisdom to help us find God in every lesson thrown our way.


Literature Talk
Location: Pip and Jim's Date: April 22, 2023 Time: 10:00 am - 8:45 pm GOSPEL23