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Church Times Faith and Literature Festival moves to Winchester. Tickets on sale now

09 September 2022

New venue and top speakers announced for 2023

KT Bruce

Audience members at the 2020 festival

Audience members at the 2020 festival

TICKETS are on sale for the next Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature, the Festival’s first in-person gathering since February 2020.

The Festival — which continued during the pandemic with a series of one-day online events — will be held from 24 to 26 February 2023. After many years when it was in the village of Bloxham, in Oxfordshire, its new home is the city of Winchester. Events will be held at the University of Winchester, Winchester Cathedral, and St John’s Parish Church.

The programme — with the theme “Mapping the Landscape” — will be made up of its usual mix of talks, discussions, and performances. The event opens on the Friday night in the cathedral, when the Archbishop of York will be speaking on his new book for Lent, Godforsaken.

A new feature of the Festival will be the first Sir Tony Baldry Lecture, named after the Festival’s founder, a former MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner. The 2023 lecture, “Ethics and Solidarity: A basis for Christian politics”, will be given by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams.

Other speakers on the Saturday include the Revd Dr Sam Wells, Canon Mark Oakley, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, the Revd Azariah France-Williams, and Dr Renie Choy. The historian Sir Anthony Seldon will be talking about The Path of Peace: his book about a pilgrimage walking the Western Front Way.

The novelists Francis Spufford, Catherine Fox, and Jo Browning Wroe will be speaking about their work, and poetry will be provided by Canon Rachel Mann and Jay Hulme. On the Saturday night, the five-part, all-female a cappella group Papagena will give a concert in St John’s.

The TV historian Professor Suzannah Lipscomb will return to the Festival on the Sunday, when she will speak about the spiritual inheritance of Mary I, in Winchester Cathedral — the place where the Tudor queen was married to Philip of Spain in 1554. After a festival evensong, the author James Runcie will be in conversation with the tenor James Gilchrist — famous for his performances in the role of the Evangelist in J. S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion — about his novel about Bach, The Great Passion.

Tickets can be booked on the faith-and-literature website, or by phone on 01603 785925 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-4.30 p.m.). Early-bird offers are available.

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Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

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