Learning is central to the mission and outreach of Southwell Minster. The stunning Cathedral sits on a site which tells the story of our land from Roman times and, along with the Archbishop's Palace and Palace Gardens, make a rich resource for learning. We welcome all age groups to the Minster and would be happy to arrange tours and talks. Every September the education team organise an annual 'Discovery Day' for adults, where visitors are given the chance to choose workshops, tours or talks on a range of creative, historical or religious themes.
We aspire to offer learning for all – schools, community groups, adults and the interested visitor – keep an eye on the events calendar to see what’s on.
Justice Action Group
The Minster Justice Action Group was formed to raise awareness of justice, peace, poverty and persecution and meet six time a year. The group are committed to working for social justice in the local community and wider world and are pursuing a number of initiatives on behalf of the Minster Community, including:
- Foodbank support and canvassing our MP about food and fuel poverty;
- Support of Church Action against Poverty and Christians against Poverty;
- Provisions for refugees and asylum seekers;
- Human trafficking and support of the Christian charity Hope for Justice;
- Christian Aid and other campaigns against climate change;
- Jubilee Debt campaigns seeking to reduce the debt commitment of poorer countries;
- Work with Framework on homelessness and housing need.
Most of the initiatives are pursued in partnership with Churches Together in Southwell, the Diocese and other organisations. We are currently in discussion within the Minster and with these bodies about future directions for this work. There are huge opportunities through considering links with the international Community of the Cross of Nails, based in Coventry, and with the Southwell Leaves Project exploring, among other things, the justice and reconciliation symbolism of the Chapter House stone carvings and the significance of the assurance that ‘the leaves of the tree (of life) are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22.2)’.
‘What we need is action’ is a frequent refrain of meetings. Action requires actors – all of us, to take part in the group, communicate concerns, support activities and, above all, to pray that God’s kingdom will come on earth. Social justice has been described as the collective equivalent of loving one’s neighbour. As Micah said ‘What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6.8)’.
There is always much more that we’d like to do than are able to. New members of the group will always be very welcome – please have a word with Vincent Ashwin (email@example.com/813975) or Patrick Sills (firstname.lastname@example.org/815173).
Patrick Sills, Chair of the Minster Justice Action Group
The Refugee Crisis – How can we help
There are over 4000 refugees and asylum seekers in Nottingham. Demand for the services of charities, in particular Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Refugee Forum, the Rainbow Project, Nottingham Arimathea Trust and Host Nottingham, is already growing and likely to rise significantly over the next few months. Many are fleeing persecution, traumatised by their experience, and often have complex needs in addition to shortage of money and other resources.
The Diocese asks us to pray, act and give.Refugee Notice
Mission Partnership Group
The Minster’s ‘Mission Partnership Group’ continues to give publicity, funds and prayer for mission projects outside the life of the congregation, both in this country and overseas.
We support overseas projects:
- in China, via the Bible Society
- in Tanzania, where Stewart Ayling - whose parents worship at the Minster - works with the Mission Aviation Fellowship; he came to Southwell twice in 2019
- in Uganda, where we support Keframa High School; church members visited last year
- and the Swaziland Schools Project in eSwatini; we receive monthly updates
Also we support local charities like Framework Housing for the homeless. There were regular articles in Southwell Leaves about all our partners, including in the Holy Land where church hospitals and schools serve Christian and Muslim Palestinians; we are delighted that our Jerusalem friend Dean Hosam Naoum has been made coadjutor bishop of that diocese.
The Minster gives away 10% of our planned giving; this year it is £11,000. As well as grants for overseas projects, we supported a specialist hospital for women in Ethiopia, and Framework Housing benefited from the collections at two special services held in the Minster. Lowdham Grange branch of The Prison Fellowship and Home Start Newark also received donations from us.
One of the ‘Marks of Mission’ is caring for creation, so our group has been delighted about the emphasis on protecting the planet among individuals and in the Minster. At Harvest Thanksgiving we welcomed as the preacher Andy Lester, the conservation director of A Rocha, a large Christian conservation campaign.
The group is always happy to hear of other charities, particularly church-based ones, with which the Minster could have a partnership.
Revd Canon Vincent Ashwin,August 2020
7.30pm to 9pm at Sacrista Prebend Retreat House
Meets on the following Tuesdays in early 2023
24 January, 7 and 21 February, 14 and 28 March
The group meets in person at Sacrista on alternate Tuesday evenings in term-time and is led by Alison Millbank. The group decide what they want to study. Recent books include:
- Julian of Norwich Revelations of Divine Love
- Rowan Williams On Being Human
- Tom Wright Luke for Everyone
Alison Milbank is Professor of Theology and Literature at the University of Nottingham and Canon Theologian at Southwell Minster. She works on many aspects of the relation of faith and the arts from Dante to Harry Potter, with a particular expertise in Gothic and horror fiction. She is currently writing on divine indwelling and the agency of nature in natural philosophy, poetry and art and a sequel to For the Parish, which she co-wrote with Andrew Davison in 2010: The Once and Future Parish.
To book a place please email: email@example.com