Organised by the society’s Ely Diocese Branch, the one-day event at St John’s College, Cambridge on Ash Wednesday, March 1, is entitled The Penitential Theology of The Book of Common Prayer and its use in piety and mission.

The keynote speaker will be Lord Williams of Oystermouth – Dr Rowan Williams – a former Archbishop of Canterbury and currently master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. His address will include comment on the service of Commination included in the Book of Common Prayer specifically for use on Ash Wednesday. 

Other speakers at the event – all from the Ely diocese – will include: Dr Bridget Nichols, lay chaplain and research assistant to the Bishop of Ely; the Revd James Gardom, Dean and Chaplain at Pembroke College; the Rev Margaret Widdess, associate priest at St Botolph’s Cambridge, and the Rev Robert Mackley, vicar of Little St Mary’s Cambridge and rural dean of Cambridge South. The Revd Dr Duncan Dormor (St John’s College) and Canon Jessica Martin (Ely Cathedral) will be in the chair, and the day will be introduced by the Revd Stephen Anderson, Chair of the Ely branch of the PBSS.

The conference will end with Choral Evensong in St John’s College Chapel. Attendance is optional. The service, which will include the Allegri Miserere, will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3..

Tickets for the conference are on sale now. Priced at £27.50 to include lunch, they can be booked online at or by calling the Prayer Book Society’s Ely branch secretary Philip White on 01223 324176. The booking deadline is February 22, 2017.

THE COMMON GOOD FUND: An opportunity to get your project off to a good start

The Common Good Fund is a new Church Urban Fund (CUF) grant initiative that is available in the areas that have not benefitted from the Near Neighbours programme, and offers grants between £250 and £5,000 as seed funding for projects run by local groups. The purpose of these grants is to address tensions (recent or long entrenched) between different faith and ethnic communities, in particular where there are reported incidents of intolerance, to help build connections at local level, increase trust and support, and encourage practical activities to bring about change.

The Fund has four key objectives:

  • Create a common agenda so that local people can reach a shared vision and plan to improve their areas.
  • Promote personal responsibility so that everyone can contribute to and own local initiatives.
  • Increase participation and social cohesion by involving the local community to strengthen social action.
  • Promote an alternative to hate, tolerance, and prejudice through meaningful relationships based on understanding, trust and respect.

Projects it funds must meet all these criteria:

  • Bring together peoples of two or more different faiths and/or ethnicities, to build friendships and develop relationships of trust.
  • Work locally, to bring together people who are living very locally (i.e. in the same street, estate or neighbourhood).
  • Work sustainably so that natural relationships grow, and will last beyond the period of funding.
  • Work to improve the community to make it a better place to live
  • Involve diverse people in planning and implementation: the project partners must come from more than one faith group and/or ethnicity.

The Fund is keen to receive applications from the East of England, in particular (but not only) from Boston, Cambridge, Harlow, Peterborough, South Holland and Wisbech.

If you have a project, or a good idea for one that would meet the objectives and criteria, firstly contact the diocese’s CUF Link Officer Rachael Heffer ( She will be able to tell you more, and note your interest. Also, if possible, let your local Anglican Vicar have a short outline of the project, as s/he may be able to help you with contacts in due course (the Link Officer will have their details, if you don’t already) and CUF may ask them to comment on your proposals. Then apply on-line by visiting and following the instructions. CUF aims to make decisions on applications within 14 days.

Please note that the deadline for applications is 29 February 2017.

For general enquiries, please contact

Amnesty Ely Free Talk on People Smuggling & Trafficking

Amnesty International Ely City Group is running a series of three free talks at the Babylon Gallery from this month through to March.

The first, “Migrant smuggling into Europe: Trends, Experiences and Moral Dilemmas”, will explore the relationship between people smuggling and people trafficking and examine the moral dilemmas of policing this type of crime.

Based on real-life interviews, the talk will be given by two leading Cambridge University experts: Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, co-founder of the Cambridge Migration Research Network, and her colleague at the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology, Dr Paolo Campana, who is investigating people smuggling, the emergence of Mafia-like organisations and their impact on local communities.

The talk will be held at Ely’s Babylon Gallery on Tuesday 31st January, 7pm for 7.15pm.  It is free to attend, although donations for Amnesty’s human rights work will be welcomed, and refreshments will be available.

The Scientific World of Robert Grosseteste: Medieval and Modern Science – open seminar in Ely












Two new posters for our fascinating upcoming Ely seminar on Grossesteste on 11th February: jpeg’s above and links to pdfs here:

ely-poster the-scientific-world-of-bishop-robert-grosseteste-white-background-poster.

The white-background one is intended to be home-printer friendly!

Ely Diocese launches 2017 Lent Course “All Loves Excelling”

lent-course-coverWe are delighted to introduce the “All Loves Excelling” Lent Course for 2017 – studies in the Letter to the Philippians.

These five studies take us through the whole of the letter to the Philippians. The material is designed to be easy to use, with ideas for prayer activities, led reflections and questions for discussion.

Specially recorded music and testimonies will be available on the diocesan website shortly (, along with a PDF of the course booklet, which is also in PDF format here: lent17-all-loves-excelling-studies-in-the-letter-to-the-philippians-january-2017

The aim of the course is to grow us in confidence in our faith in Jesus Christ that we may fulfil the mission and ministry he entrusts to us. It is designed to be accessible and flexible for use in the different contexts in which we worship and minister across the diocese.

A printed copy of the Lent book will be also be posted to all Clergy and should be with you no later than the 23/24th January. Additional copies will also be sent to Rural Deans if you require, and we thank Rural Deans in advance for their help in distributing further copies to their parishes upon request.

We do hope that this resource proves useful in the services you hold.

Best wishes,

The Lent17 Editing team

Diocese of Ely

James Blandford-Baker, Andy Chrich, Richard Darmody and Hugh McCurdy

A Festival of Preaching

10th – 12th September 2017       Christ Church, Oxford

Join us this September for the Festival of Preaching – three days of worship, lectures and workshops in the beautiful surroundings of Christ Church Oxford.

A varied programme of lectures and workshops

Exploring the craft of preaching, celebrating its poetry, dealing with the worst the lectionary can throw at you… and much more.

Outstanding speakers from across the Christian church

Including Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Paula Gooder, Sam Wells, Pádraig Ó Tuama, Kate Bruce and many others.

A historic venue in the heart of Oxford

Late-night liturgy in Christ Church Cathedral, seminars in the College’s comfortable modern lecture rooms and fine dining in the atmospheric Tudor Hall.

Early Bird tickets – save money when you book this month

Our Early Bird ticket offer ends 31st January 2017.
Book tickets online or call 0845 017 6965 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)

Discounted tickets for ordinands and readers-in-training

Anyone training for ordained or licensed lay ministry in the Anglican church is eligible for a 25% discount on ticket prices – see the website for full details.


The Festival of Preaching is sponsored by:

The Festival of Preaching is created and managed by Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd.
© Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd. 2017 – all rights reserved. Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.