Heritage Festival at St John’s

Beneath one of Antony Gormley’s “Places to Be” sculptures, preparations were taking place today for the Heritage Festival just outside St John’s.

But plenty will be happening inside St John’s too during the festival. On Saturday between 10am and 4pm:

June and Vernon’s exhibition and the café will also be open between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday.

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3rd July: Lunchtime Talk – “Thank God I’m Gay!” with Jayne Ozanne

Can you be Christian and Gay? Of course! But for many years, Jayne Ozanne believed the two were incompatible and tried desperately to change her sexuality. Now she is out and proud, and thanks God for making her the woman she is. Come and hear her story of how she came to say “Thank God I’m Gay!” in this special “Tuesdays Till Two” lunchtime talk, taking place as one of the events the Peterborough Pride 2018 festival.

As usual the St John’s café will be open from noon, staffed by volunteers from The Green Backyard, and a selection of hot drinks and home made quiche, cakes, scones etc will be on sale. This week 50% of the profits will go to the Ozanne Foundation, with the remainder going to the GBY.

Admission is free, but those attending are invited, if possible, to make a donation to help cover the costs of the event. The suggested donation is £4. St John’s has waived the fee it usually charges St John’s CIC for church hire, so any donations in excess of Jayne’s travel costs will go to the Ozanne Foundation.

“Thank God I’m Gay!” is just one of almost thirty events taking place as part of Peterborough Pride 2018. The full programme of events is available in the Peterborough Pride Brochure.

About Jayne Ozanne:

Jayne Ozanne is a prominent evangelical Anglican who came out in 2015. She is the founder and director of The Ozanne foundation, which believes in a world where all are accepted and equally valued and works with religious organisations around the world to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender in order to celebrate the equality and diversity of all. Her autobiography “Just Love: A journey of self-acceptance” will be published by Darton, Longman and Todd.

16th June: 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm “I was there” talks by children’s author Stuart Hill

Jump into a world of fierce battles, brave knights, and great armies!

Step Back in Time with children’s author Stuart Hill in three talks “I was there” talks suitable for ages 7 and up. Stuart will be delving deep into specific time periods in his three talks, and will read from his thrilling novels. Find out what life was like for a young boy at each of these eras, and you might even hear some ghost stories! Stuart will also be offering fascinating tales from when he worked as an archaeologist, including digging up skulls…

11.30am – Richard III: step back into the life of a medieval prince
1.30pm – The Life of a Young Knight in Training
3.30pm – Viking Invasion – step back into the fight for York

‘I was There … Richard III’ is the thrilling story of a young boy acting as a page to England’s last Plantagenet king. Children will love this vivid first-hand account of a child’s experience of a royal court. Perfect for children intrigued by Richard III’s exhumation and reburial.

The Life of a Young Knight in Training will enable children to put themselves in the place of a boy destined for battle. What was life like? What would you need to learn? Come along and find out!

‘I was There … Viking Invasion’ is an exciting account of a young boy helping to defend his village against fearsome Viking invaders. Children will love this vivid first-hand account of a child’s experience of the Vikings.

Each talk is free and lasts around thirty minutes and copies of Stuart’s books will be available for purchase and to have signed.

Stuart Hill is the award-winning author of the ‘I Was There’ series for younger children, and the ‘Icemark’ trilogy of historical fantasy novels for older readers. His novels have been translated into 18 languages and he is invited to many schools and festivals to talk about his work. As well as being a writer, Stuart is also an artist.

20th March: Lunchtime talk – “History of Peterborough’s bridges” with Brian Keegan

The last in this short season of Tuesdays Till Two talks, History of Peterborough’s Bridges, will be given by Brian Keegan. Railways, the river Nene, the drainage of the Fens and the Development Corporation have given Peterborough a rich legacy of over 300 Bridges.

As usual the St John’s café will be open from noon, staffed by volunteers from The Green Backyard, and a selection of hot drinks and home made quiche, cakes, scones etc will be on sale with all profits going to the GBY. The talk will begin at 1pm.

Admission is free, but those attending are invited, if possible, to make a donation to help cover the costs of the event. The suggested donation is £4.

Peterborough, divided north south by the River Nene, and east west by the East Coast main line and with the Fens to the east, is today a city with over 300 bridges, from the earliest existing bridge at Wansford, built in 1577 on the original Great North Road, to the many bridges constructed by the Development Corporation during the development of the city’s parkway system in the 1970’s and 80’s. The draining of the Fens and the coming of the railway also led to the building of many bridges.

Today 19 of the bridges are listed, including the Nene Viaduct – the only remaining cast iron bridge on Britain’s mainline railway system.

This illustrated talk will give listeners a chance to reflect on how design, material and technology has revolutionised bridge design over the past half millennium and to learn about some of Peterborough’s rich engineering heritage.

13th March: Lunchtime talk – “Good old Red Cross” with Jane Hogg

This week’s Tuesdays Till Two talk, “Good old Red Cross”, to be given by Jane Hogg, looks at the work of the Red Cross in the city during the two world wars. What did the Red Cross in Peterborough do for the war effort and what did the Red Cross worldwide do for Peterborough?

As usual the St John’s café will be open from noon, staffed by volunteers from The Green Backyard, and a selection of hot drinks and home made quiche, cakes, scones etc will be on sale with all profits going to the GBY. The talk will begin qt 1pm.

Admission is free, but those attending are invited, if possible, to make a donation to help cover the costs of the event. The suggested donation is £4.

6th March: Lunchtime talk – “Peterborough folklore” with Francis Young

Our second Tuesdays Till Two of the year is the first of three talks with a historical theme: Peterborough and its surrounding region has a rich store of fascinating folklore, from the first sighting of the ‘Wild Hunt’ in England in the twelfth century to First World War UFOs. This talk, given by freelance historian and author Dr Francis Young (pictured), explores some examples of Peterborough’s folklore, including tales associated with St John’s church and its former vast parish, from ghosts and revenants to holy wells and unofficial ‘folk saints’.

As usual the St John’s café will be open from noon, staffed by volunteers from The Green Backyard, and a selection of hot drinks and home made quiche, cakes, scones etc will be on sale with all profits going to the GBY. The talk will begin at 1pm.

Admission is free, but those attending are invited, if possible, to make a donation to help cover the costs of the event. The suggested donation is £4.

Francis Young is the author of a number of books including “Peterborough Folklore”, published in Septmber 2017 by Lasse Press.

27th February: Lunchtime talk – “Fairtrade – What difference does it really make?” with Beki Sellick

This year Fairtrade Fortnight, which begins the day before our first Tuesdays Till Two talk of the year, invites us to “Come on In”. Our speaker is Beki Sellick, who will be asking (and answering!) the question “When we buy Fairtrade in Peterborough, what difference does it really make?” Beki’s talk will be based on her personal experience of meeting Fairtrade farmers and producers in Peru last year.

As usual the St John’s café will be open from noon, staffed by volunteers from The Green Backyard, and a selection of hot drinks and home made quiche, cakes, scones etc will be on sale with all profits going to the GBY. The talk will begin at 1pm.

Admission is free, but those attending are invited, if possible, to make a donation to help cover the costs of the event. The suggested donation is £4.

Beki wearing some traditional textiles in Peru!

Beki Sellick earns her living as a professional railway engineer, but has always campaigned for a better world too. She set up her own consulting business in Peterborough in 2016 after being made redundant after a thirty year career in the rail industry stretching back into the days of British Rail. Established as an independent consultant, she could afford to spend her redundancy payout on a trip to Peru last summer.

The trip felt like several different holidays: a cultural and culinary tour of Lima; a walking holiday in the Andes, including the Inca trail to Machu Picchu; a stay in the Rainforest at a lodge a day’s boat-ride up the Amazon (and back with a look out when it was swollen and log-filled); inclusive syncretic theology in sumptuous Cathedrals and churches; rides on fabulous trains, participating on-board in traditional music and dancing. And then there was the Fairtrade core: ceramists, jewellers, exporters, farmers, chocolatiers, traders…, families, cooperatives and villagers.

Learn more about what Fairtrade really means to the Peruvians Beki met during her trip, and how it connects to Peterborough.