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Speakers include:

Ian Adams

Ian Adams works with words and images to explore the possibility of faith, hope and love reshaping the world. He is a poet and priest, Tutor at Ridley Hall Cambridge, Spirituality Adviser to Church Mission Society, and partner in the Beloved Life project. He loves jazz.


Edward Clarke

Edward Clarke teaches English literature at the Department for Continuing Education, Oxford University, as well as tutoring at various Oxford colleges. His latest book, The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry, published in 2014, makes claims for the efficacy of poetry in our industrialized world, where we are presented with environmental, political and economic challenges. The Later Affluence of W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. He is currently embarked on a cycle of poems in response to his experience of reading the Psalter through once every month according to Cranmer’s divisions in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer.

John Cox

John Cox retired in 2010 after forty years of teaching English in secondary schools. Since then he has lectured at Sarum College and joined the editorial board of Sarum Chronicle. He is a trustee of three local charities: EdUKaid, La Folia, and Sarum St. Michael Educational Charity.


John will be the Master of Ceremonies for the festival. 

Jeremy Davies

Jeremy Davies served in parish ministry in London's East End and in university chaplaincy before becoming Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral, a role he held for twenty-six years. He is well known as a liturgist, hymn writer and broadcaster, and is renowned in many countries for his preaching. 

He is the author of In Season and Out of Season: Crafting Sermons for all occasions (Canterbury Press, 2014)

Elizabeth S. Dodd

Elizabeth is a lecturer at Sarum College in Salisbury and a research associate at the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture. She teaches literature and theology for Sarum College’s MA in Theology, Imagination and Culture. She has a particular passion for spiritual poetry and spoken word poetry, and has published a book on the poet priest Thomas Traherne. She organises study days on poetry and spiritual practice, and is working towards a book on the contribution of poetry to public speech about God.


Carla Grosch-Miller

Revd Dr Carla A. Grosch-Miller is a practical theologian and poet, living in Northumberland and travelling the country to speak and teach.  When not working, she is walking the hills under big skies.  She is the author of Psalms redux: Poems and prayers (2014).

Malcolm Guite

Poet-Priest Malcolm Guite is Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He lectures widely in England and North America on Theology and Literature and has published poetry, theology, and literary criticism and has worked as a librettist. His books include: Love, Remember (October 2017); Mariner, a spiritual biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (February 2017); Parable and Paradox (2016); The Singing Bowl (2013); Sounding the Seasons (2012); Theology and the Poetic Imagination (2010) and Faith Hope and Poetry (2006). Malcolm has edited two poetry anthologies for Lent and Advent: The Word in the Wilderness (2014) and Waiting on the Word (2015).

Malcolm has a particular interest in the imagination as a truth-bearing faculty and continues to reflect deeply on how poetry can stimulate and re-awaken our prayer life.

Malcolm enjoys sailing, walking, old books, live music, riding his Harley Davidson motorbike and all the varieties of the British countryside and weather. Malcolm is also part of the rock band Mystery Train, regularly performing gigs at Grantchester, Cambridge and other places around Cambridgeshire. @MalcolmGuite

Paul Kerensa

Writer for BBC1’s Miranda and Not Going Out, among countless others, Paul Kerensa’s the in-demand comic who plays comedy clubs and cathedrals. He’s one of the few to have appeared both at London’s Comedy Store and on Radio 2’s Pause For Thought.

A decade into his stand-up career, Paul’s one-man show has played to packed-out venues over the last few years, including the Edinburgh Fringe and Montreal Comedy Festival. Most recently, he’s been part of the writing teams for TFI Friday, Top Gear, The Kennedys and ITV’s Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special.

As a stand-up, he’s known as a likable, intelligent and creative comic, ever since winning ITV’s Take The Mike Award in 2002, and becoming a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards & The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards the same year. Since then he has gone on to work regularly all over the UK and Europe, including The Comedy Store, Jongleurs, the Montreal Comedy Festival, and five solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, ranging from spoofs of Back To The Future to journeys through the Bible and around the world in his most recent show, ‘Borderline Racist’. 

He was nominated for a British Comedy Award as part of the writing team for Miranda, which he continues to work on. He has written on each series of Lee Mack’s sitcom Not Going Out among other shows, and is a published author with numerous books under his belt. His writing helped win hit sitcom Not Going Out a Rose d’Or Award in 2008, as well as a nomination for the British Comedy Award for Best New Sitcom. Miranda has recently been nominated for three Royal Television Society Awards, including for best writing and best sitcom.

A comic wave that just keeps coming… As effortless a writer as he is a performer
The Stage

If I was a joke thief, I would be shinning up Paul Kerensa’s drainpipe.
Milton Jones


Rachel Mann

Rachel Mann is a priest, writer and poet. Formerly Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral, she is the author of four books including the bestselling memoir, ‘Dazzling Darkness’. Her most recent book, ‘Fierce Imaginings: The Great War, Ritual, Memory and God’ reflects on the place of faith and myth in our rituals of remembrance. A selection of her poems will be published by Carcanet in ‘New Poetries VII’ in April 2018.


Mark Oakley

Mark Oakley is Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and responsible for the educational and outreach work of the Cathedral. He writes and broadcasts on the areas of poetry, literature, spirituality and human rights.  He is a trustee of the Civil Liberties Trust, an Ambassador for Stop Hate UK, Patron of Tell MAMA and a Visiting Lecturer at Kings College, London and a Visiting Scholar of Sarum College.  In 2016, he was awarded one of the first National Hate Crime Awards for Community Volunteer Upstander.

Follow Mark on Twitter @CanonOakley, where he is currently posting a poem every day.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet and a theologian who leads the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation. Pádraig worked as poet in residence for Corrymeela for eight years previous to his appointment as leader.  His poetry is noted for its narrative, musical and lyrical tones, as well as its innovation in form. In addition to poetry and reconciliation work, he cofounded Tenx9 with his partner, a community storytelling event that has spread to fourteen cities and is now also involved in prisons. His publications are Readings from the Book of Exile (2012), Sorry for your Troubles (2013), In the Shelter (2015) and Daily Prayer (2017). For more, see or 

Pádraig's latest work continues to challenge, provoke and advocate that a better world is not just possible but essential. Honesty, empathy,  compassion are the hallmarks of this work from a poet who accepts that he too has a responsibility to help make the world a fairer and better place.

— The late Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister, Northern Ireland Assembly. From the Reflection on 'Shaking Hands', in Sorry for your Troubles. 


Pádraig Ó Tuama is an extraordinary person, whose influence extends quietly and gracefully across the world. His poetry bears these same qualities and brings him close. It is a gift to us all.

Krista Tippett. Creator and host of ‘On Being’


Reading Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work is like living inside a prayer. 
James Martin SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

@duanalla @corrymeela

Christopher Southgate

Christopher Southgate trained originally as a biochemist and has since been a house-husband, a bookseller, and a lay chaplain in university and mental health contexts. He has been publishing poetry since 1985, and has won a number of awards including a commendation in the National Poetry Competition. His work has been read on Radios 3 and 4 and performed at Greenbelt and the Edinburgh Fringe. Rain falling by the River is his eighth collection, and includes poems inspired by biblical themes, by music and painting, and also by situations of suffering and grief.

Michael Symmons Roberts

Michael's poetry has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and of the English Association.

His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and operas for the Royal Opera House,  Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera. Their WNO commission – ‘The Sacrifice’ – won the RPS Award for opera, and their Royal Opera House / Scottish Opera commission – ‘Clemency’ – was nominated for an Olivier Award.

His broadcast work includes the BBC4 verse film ‘Men Who Sleep in Cars’ – described by the Observer as “a work of genius”,  ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ – for Radio 4 – which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and ‘Last Words’ commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11.

He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. @symmonsroberts


Michael Symmons Roberts
Rachel Mann
Elizabeth S. Dodd
Malcolm Guite
Jeremy Davies
Wed 22 Jan @ 09:59
RT @ChurchTimesJust one month to go until the Festival of Faith and Literature! Come and hear: Mark Oakley on poetry; Marie-Elsa…