Gifts of wisdom and the poetic imagination: Bradford Cathedral to welcome Bishop Rowan Williams in its Centenary year

Bradford Cathedral will be hosting Bishop Rowan Williams at two events on Monday 20th May as part of a series events to mark its centenary year, 100 years since the parish church of St. Peter officially became a Cathedral.

The first event of the day will be a public square lecture where Bishop Rowan will answer the question ‘What does national identity mean these days?’

This will be followed by a de Lacy Arts & Theology Lecture entitled ‘Poetry in the Making’ which will focus on Bishop Rowan’s poetry work.

He will, in this second talk, look at what goes on in the writing of poetry, in various contexts across the centuries – the place of rhyme and metre, the way images can be used, and the relation between poetry and other kinds of seeing or thinking, including religious faith.

The Very Revd Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford, said this about the upcoming events:

“Bishop Rowan has a strong connection to Bradford Cathedral and we look forward to welcoming him on May 20th. Wisdom and the poetic imagination are two gifts that we need to hear in these difficult days. Bishop Rowan is recognised as a significant contributor to both national debate and the arts in this country. These are not to be missed events.”

Bishop Rowan Williams:

“I’m greatly looking forward to being back in Bradford. It will always have a very special place in my thoughts because of the fact of getting married there – at St Barnabas in Heaton, thirty eight years ago; and my father-in-law’s time as bishop, although tragically short, was a period of great creativity for him and he loved the area. I’m glad that this visit will bring opportunities to take part in conversations about both our public life and the nature of our human imagination. For me, the ability of the Christian community to ask searching questions about our humanity – and to be asked searching questions – is central to the life of faith. If we can’t convey that faith has something to say that really enriches our vision for society and culture, we’re failing. And in the already rich and complex diversity of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city like Bradford today, where no-one is going to be satisfied with clichés, it’s all the more essential to listen and exchange ideas and hopes.”

To accompany the talks, copies of some of Bishop Rowan’s work will also be available to buy courtesy of Waterstones, Bradford. These works will include: “Being Human: Bodies, Minds, Persons”; “Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life”; “Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer”; “God With Us: The Meaning Of The Cross And Resurrection – Then And Now”; and “Christ the Heart of Creation”; alongside a selection of his poetry books. Sales will be cash-only.

Both events are free to attend, and are to be held at Bradford Cathedral on Monday 20th May. You can express your interest and book your place at, or turn up on the day

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