An invitation to join Bishop Stephen on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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Real Easter Eggs 2018

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Here’s the 2018 range of Real Easter Eggs. Fairtrade chocolate, supporting charities, containing an Easter story-activity book and actually calling themselves an Easter egg. What’s not to like. Should be stocked in Tesco, Morison, Waitrose and now ASDA, and online at

Confident in sharing your faith?

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That’s not an easy one to say yes to! But Our Lord seems to have wanted us to do it – so how to make a start?

On Saturday we commissioned the Revd Sheila Anthony, one of our parish priests, to have an add-on ministry as Bishop’s Officer for Evangelism. If you know Sheila you’ll know that sharing her faith and enthusiasm comes naturally to her and she seems to infect other people to do the same, so we’re going with the flow!

And while Sheila’s time for this extra work is very limited, she is making a start by offering local courses in doing what it says on the tin, sharing your faith. Drop her a line at

The Lion roars at Hamerton

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I was over at Hamerton Church last week for the thanksgiving service for the late Canon Bill Girard, may he rest in peace and rise in glory. I knew him through Little Gidding where he lived in his later years, but I had never gone into Hamerton Church before. And what a gem it is, mostly as we see it of the fifteenth century I suppose, nicely done but not pretentious, but with a very good display of carving in both wood and stone, inside and out.

The gargoyle on the corbel is not amused. Above him the lion of St Mark, dressed as an acolyte, is ready for the Gospel to be roared out. It’s VERY unusual. Can anyone offer an analogue?

A visit to Landbeach Tithe Barn

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I’m just back from a visit to the old Tithe Barn at Landbeach with Gemma O’Shea, chair of the Tithe Barn Trust. It’s a wonderful example of this once ubiquitous form of building, the place to which parishioners would have brought a tenth of their produce to provide a living for the priest of the benefice and other church costs. The system lasted up to 1836 when it was replaced by cash payments, which themselves lasted a further century in various forms before also being abolished.

Many tithe barns, left high and dry by the changes didn’t stay high or dry for very long and were either lost or converted to other uses. Just a few survive unchanged, and Landbeach’s is one of them, and is particularly special because it forms a near group with the church and former rectory close by.

It is now in the ownership of the District Council and leased gratis to the Trust who have taken on the job of both essential conservation work and also aim to improve facilities so that its access and use can be widened to provide both a resource for the local community and a visitor destination. A bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is in process, but local people have already raised some £60000 to help the project on its way.

If you go to you’ll find there is already an interesting programme of events in place from film nights to a carol evening. Do email Gemma on to find out more or offer help, and you can donate at

And visit! The barn is opposite 2 Waterbeach Road, Landbeach CB25 9FA. Go through the kissing gate, up the grassy track, and there it is. (And why not drop in at All Saints Church while you’re there, look at the amazing stained glass in the east window, and bless them too.)

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Dark Water, Burning World

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On Monday 12 March 2018 (from 9-1pm) I’ll be publicly installing Dark Water, Burning World (similar to the one currently at the British Museum’s Living with God but with 1,000 boats this time) on the floor of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.  

With an evening of  Liturgy, music and poetry, (please see poster above). 

The installation will remain in Chapel until March 15th – the 7th anniversary of the Syrian uprising –
I will publicly de-install it by midday, and will then be replaced by seven candles at the Chapel altar to mark 7 years and to remember all who were lost and deeply scarred by the Syrian conflict.

Look forward to sharing this very special event with  you.

Yours truly



Issam Kourbaj

Artist, Lector in Art 

Christ’s College