Lunchtime Lectures return on the 25th of February.

Welcome to Peterborough Parish Church Tuesday Till Two

A series of lunchtime lectures in conjunction with St Johns Development Board CIC 25th February–1st April 1.00pm–1.45pm
Admission £3

Tuesday 25th February-June & Vernon Bull ‘Peterborough Parish Church–built 1402 to1407-entirely by public subscription’ June and Vernon Bull have lived in Peterborough for over 45 years. They are local historians and authors who have a real passion for St John’s and for Peterborough. They will be giving an illustrated talk on the history of Peterborough Parish Church from when the original St John’s church (built c1078) was sited to the east of the Abbey Church (Cathedral) to its location today in the heart of the city centre–where it stands as an imposing early 15th century jewel inthe crown of the city’s heritage. The new site must have made an attractive prospect to many parishioners seeking a more accessible and better built church. The old St John’s church, east of the town by the side of the Nene, at the point where dry land submitted to the marshy Fens, was a fertile place blessed with natural abundant food and building resources but the waters started to encroach on the ploughlands and woodlands with rich fertile meads and pastures becoming waterlogged. The rebuilding and relocation of the existing Parish Church and its rich architecture and fabric, along with prominent Peterborough people associated with it, make for a mesmerising tale.’
Tuesday 4th March-Brendon Fox
‘Peterborough’s Trams–a Social History’
At the turnof the twentieth century, Peterborough was transformed by the latest in transportation technology–the electric tram. Linking the centre with Walton, Dogsthorpe and Newark, it not only changed the landscape of the city, but the lives of those who worked and travelled on this wonder of the modern age. Using postcards and other documents we will attempt to gain insights into life with the trams during this 30 year period of the city’s history.
Tuesday 11th March-Sophie Antonelli
‘The Green Backyard’
Tuesday 18th March–Alun Williams
‘Fractals and the Natural world’
The first fractals were mathematical monstrosities, conceived by 19th century mathematicians as “pathological” examples. But in the last fifty years or so scientists have come to realise that far from being pathological monsters, fractals are all around us-in clouds, trees, and inside our own bodies. The talk will also take a look at the question “How long is the coastline of Britain?” to help us understand what a fractal actually is.
Alun Williams began work as a software designer in 1984 after reading mathematics at university. Around 1999 his interest in mathematics was rekindled when he became interested in the artistic possibilities of using mathematics and computers to create music and images, and in theyears since, his software has been cited in mathematical papers, and his artwork exhibited at Warwick university at an international mathematical conference.
Tuesday 25th March–Ben Middleton
‘Land rights in England, why it should be discussed and how it affects us here in Peterborough’
Tuesday 1st April–Michael Reid ‘The noblehistory of the philosophic fool’ Have you ever met someone and after not been sure whether they were the biggest fool you ever met or the wisest person you ever met? This is a noble tradition reaching back at least as far as Socrates. What can we learn from these great people? Mightthey hold the key to a better way to view the world and a nicer way to work with people? Join in the exploration. No knowledge of philosophy required, just an enquiring mind.


2014 Lent talks at St John’s After the success of last year we have organiseda series of Lent Talks for Thursdays during Lent. Each evening will begin with a said Eucharist at 7.30pm. After tea/coffee the talk will follow at 8.15pm. The evening will end at 9.30pm. This year’s theme will beArt and God. Thursday 13 March–Lent Talk 1: Andrew Reid, Director of Royal School of Church Music, God and Music Thursday 20 March–Lent Talk 2: Stuart Pedley, Poet, God and Poetry Thursday 27 March–Lent Talk 3: Garth Bayley, Artist in Residence, God and Art–a chance to talk to Garth about his year at St John’s Thursday 3 April–Lent Talk 4: Margaret Hunt, Editor Religious Drama Society Magazine, God and Drama Thursday 10 April–Lent Talk 5: Jonathan Baker, Canon Missioner at the Cathedral, God and Film Everyone is welcome to any of these talks. Each evening is ‘stand alone’ so if you have to miss one it will not affect the subsequent

Merry Christmas from Art @ Advent

So Merry Christmas one and all!

We hope you are having a wonderful day and we wish you an even better New Year!


To top off the Art @ Advent project, we have our very own Artist in Resident Garth Bayley, its a traditional scene with a difference. This is what Garth had to say about it:

My gouaches are very traditional description of the subject as I always thought about it. The first Christmas journey to Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph on their way, travelling around various places. The figures are absolutely lonely but there is a great hope reflected in the colour which shows promise… there is always promise and great potential in the human journey…

We just wanted to say thank you to every person who took an interest in the work and also to the amazing artists who gave us some thought provoking and exceptional pieces of art to brighten each day of this advent in 2013. Lets see what 2014 now has in store for us.

To find out more about Garth Bayley, please go to:

Day 24 of Art @ Advent- Christmas Eve

Day 24 of Art @ Advent- Christmas Eve


This striking work is by Kaine Kulczak aka Korp who is an urban artist from Peterborough, Korp has painted this directly onto an old pallet, so this piece is already unusual in its use of materials and Korp is also happy for this to go to a good home afterwards, so if you would like to have this in your home, then please email Keely at

The purpose of the work is to remind us all, that for some other people in the world both near and far, on this particular day of the year. The only wish on their Christmas list is to be healthy and to be with family.  So in the frenetic craziness of last minute shopping and preparations, take a moment to reflect on this picture of a Romanian orphan, drawing your attention to those whose only hope is love and health.  This work also draws parallels with the baby Jesus  and if he was born into poverty now what would that look like?

In the stillness of this work, take the chance for a quiet piece of time to send love to those who will find it hard to get through the next 24 hours and to say thanks for those things which make you grateful, loved or at peace.

To find out more about Korp, then please got to:

Day 23 of Art @ Advent- Monday the 23rd of December

Day 23 of Art @ Advent- Monday the 23rd of December


Today’s artist is Vivien  Binks and this is what she wanted to say:

Vivien is first and foremost a Christian Artist who loves to portray the truth of the Gospel through her work. Hoping you all have a blessed Christmas and New Year,Viv would like to lend this quote to her nativity offering .ST Luke Ch 13 ve 29 and 30. “And they shall come from the east, and from the west,and from the north,and from the south,and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold,there are last which shall be first and there are first which shall be last”

To find out more about Vivien, then please email us here at the website.

Day 22 of Art @Advent- Sunday the 22nd of December

Day 22 of Art @Advent- Sunday the 22nd of December

unnamed (1)



Today’s artist is Faye Gagel- Panchal and she has worked with water-colour as her medium and this piece portrays  the ‘Light of the World’. It features all the names of Jesus, as written generations before his birth by the prophet Isaiah and encompass every aspect of Jesus, which Faye hoped that these many names would depict the greatness that many people feel when they think of Jesus.  A simple concept for a multi- faceted picture.

Faye is based in Peterborough and she works in a variety of styles from fabrics to water colour. To find out more about faye, please go to:

Day 21 of Art @ Advent- Saturday the 21st of December

Day 21 of Art @ Advent- Saturday the 21st of December

Jesus The Transformer


I have no words, Jay Gearing the artist’s words are definitely enough and it made me cry… Please take a look:

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I guess that mostly stems from my childhood experiences of it, like most things. It was a confusing time with various messages being conveyed. My school and other organistations that looked after my well-being and nurtured me were teaching me about this bloke called Jesus who seemed super nice and went around telling people how to be good citizens, shaking up the established order and generally being an all round good egg. My television and my peers had different ideas. For a month and a half my telly would parade all the wonders of capitalism in front of me, non-stop, a relentless bashing of the senses. Toy after toy, advert after advert, a new more exciting thing for me to unrealistically covert. My family couldn’t afford these things but my telly didn’t seem to care about that, it just wanted to show off all its glittery wares in my face.

There was another message that television wanted to portray, that was the blissfully happy family gathering around the fire at Christmas, all their faces red with cheer, too much food and booze and with eyes filled with so much love it actually seemed like the varnished eyes of a puppy dog staring back at you, although the puppy was dead. This is what the real world Christmas wanted from me, to be consumed with the desire of want for everything, to want my family to be like those “normal” ones on telly, whilst boring old preachy school was telling me about the birth of Christ without really telling me anything about the guy, apart from the fact that he was a miracle sent from God.

None of this faced up to my reality as a child. In reality I was from a large family who couldn’t afford to lavish us with gifts. In reality booze was used by the adults to get through the day with the glazed look of a moron rather than the varnished gaze of a puppy dog. In reality we weren’t a religious family and I knew very little about Christianity apart from the odd story of his birth, death and resurrection. Why has every year built up to this? Every year I was subjected to advertising promoting a better lifestyle through consumerism in the name of profit not good-will. Every year I’m sold a belief that all other families in the world are perfect, love each other implicitly and have the most amazing Christmas ever. Every year I watch the nativity play wondering what the hell it all means. Sure I know the story but what’s the significance of it? Where’s the message?

It seems to me that my School was teaching me about Jesus like the story of Christmas was just some knowledge to memorize for the curriculum, like being able to recite my times-tables without understanding the theory behind the mathematics. At the same time the rest of society was frantically obeying the almighty television, scurrying around consuming as much as they could without really having a thought as to why. It seemed to me back then that most people were lying to me, they had no genuine belief system in God. They felt more strongly about goods in reality and are fooled into thinking they are a spiritually and mentally fulfilling things to attain. They really aren’t.

So, I created this piece of art, Jesus as a Transformer. It encapsulates my confusion as a child about the message of Christmas. It’s also a cynical look and what the Church could do to make the story of Jesus more appealing to children now that consumerism reigns supreme, if the Church were to be that cynical.

I’m not a religious man but I wish children were subjected to more of the good-will and compassionate message of Christianity rather than just a retelling of a story, or worse, that Christmas is about getting new toys. Someone very dear to me pointed out recently that whilst Christmas can appear to be all kinds of wrong it’s important to have a celebration in mid-winter, if only to keep spirits up. I like that idea. I also like the idea that that time can be used to celebrate love, humanity and be thankful for all we have. I hope that sentiment returns to Christmas for the populous soon.

To find out more about Jay then please go to:

Day 20 of Art @ Advent- Friday the 20th of December

Day 20 of Art @ Advent- Friday the 20th of December

Gemma Kulczak_Art AT Advent

Gemma Payn

Moving away from her usual collaged and illustrated style this piece was a collaboration with husband and creative partner Stuart Payn.

Teaming up to create this Conceptual piece in response to the topic “Commercialization of Christmas, this present evokes and illuminates the questions we should be asking about the effect the commercialization of Christmas is having on our environment  (and our bank balances)today.And at what cost?And who is to blame?

  • How big is Santa’s carbon footprint?
  • The price of Christmas
  • If Jesus was born today what gifts would he receive?
  • Goodwill or good shopping ?

Just how much extra Carbon dioxide are we adding to the atmosphere over the Festive season? With extra manufacturing,  lights,travelling around the country/world to visit family,deliveries of on-line gifts and all the importing of food especially to our supermarkets from all over the world to get that  “perfect Christmas Dinner”

It has been said that on average, each household will chuck out an extra five bags of waste over Christmas, adding up to 736,571 tonnes of refuse.

To try and reduce the risk of ever more extreme weather, we need to reduce how much fossil fuel we are burning. This isn’t easy but the best gift that we can give at Christmas is the gift to reduce our excessiveness and  to give the World we live in a chance for future generations.

The design of the piece has been carefully crafted to communicate these concepts in a number of different ways and levels with simple motifs used sometimes serving a dual purpose , for example, The use of red and white.The red being a significant Christmas colour but also significant for the church in which the piece is displayed.

To find out more about Gemma & Stuart Payn then please go to: or