Living Theology York 2018

Bar Convent chapel
Bar Convent chapel

“Thy Will be done?” ~ healing God’s world 

You are invited to a Study Weekend at The Bar Convent in York, on the 14th & 15th July, 2018.  This involves informative talks, lively discussion, prayer and companionship – a most worthwhile combination!  Some accommodation is available (see below).  We look forward to seeing you!

What are the implications of the prayer “Thy Will be done”?  Our speakers will consider ‘justice’: from scriptural foundations, church teachings, peace and war, and environmental issues to refugees and asylum seekers.  We also have an option to consider how God’s Will was fulfilled in the development of Christianity in England.

Our Course Leaders

Our Course Leaders are:

Fr Frank Turner SJ, who was an advisor on international affairs to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and is now the British Jesuits’ ‘Delegate for the Intellectual Apostolate’

Lucy Beckett has written nine books, including In the Light of Christ, a substantial survey, in a Christian context, of western literature from Plato to Czeslaw Milosz.  She has written books about Wallace Stevens, Wagner’s Parsifal, York Minster, and the Cistercian Abbeys of North Yorkshire.  Of her three historical novels, one, The Time Before You Die, is set in Yorkshire during the Reformation and the other two are about Germany before World War II, and Poland and England during and after World War II.  A new novel, The Year of Thamar’s Book,  will be published this summer.  She taught for twenty years at Ampleforth Abbey and College.  She regularly reviews books for The Times Literary Supplement and for The Tablet.  

Dr Theo Hawksley CJ, is a theologian by training, with a background in ecclesiology and social science.  Her postdoctoral work at the University of Edinburgh focused on peacebuilding and the arts, and she is currently finishing a book on Catholic social teaching on peace.  She entered the Congregation of Jesus in 2015, and is based in London

Our Courses

For Saturday, each person should choose either Course A or Course B;
for Sunday, each person should choose either Course C or Course D (see the Booking Form)

Saturday Course A: ‘Justice, faith-based witness’, with Frank Turner SJ

A1.  Scriptural foundations of Justice
A2.  ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ - a discourse rooted in both faith and reason
A3.  Religion as problem / religion as resource: faith-based witness in a secular world

Saturday Course B:  ‘Christianity in the North in the Middle Ages’, with Lucy Beckett

B1.  The twelfth century renaissance of Christianity in the north
B2.  The dissolution of the monasteries in the North and the Pilgrimage of Grace
B3.  Catholic England through the centuries

Sunday Course C:  ‘The environment: a Christian perspective’ with Frank Turner SJ

C1.  Christian foundations of environmental thinking - Scripture, Theology, Philosophy
C2.  ‘Environmentalism’: questions of sustainability and justice
C3.  ‘Beyond Environmentalism’: the notion of integral ecology


Sunday Course D: ‘Religion & Peacebuilding’ with Theo Hawksley CJ

D1.  Doesn’t religion cause war?
D2.  Can religion be involved in peacebuilding?
D3.  Peacebuilding and the Catholic Church

Dowload a reading list PDF icon 2018_re_reading_lists.pdf

Our Open Talks

In addition to our courses, we are delighted this year to welcome speakers to give us two Open Talks, one each day, to which all are invited.  These talks will focus on some practical issues of justice – social and political – in our country today, and so will be complementary to the content of the courses.  They will not be theoretical, but discuss real-life circumstances where people are addressing issues where justice may be lacking.

Saturday 14 July 11.45am to 1pm 
The Medaille Trust is a charity founded by a group of Religious congregations in 2006 in response to the plight of thousands of people who are trafficked into the UK every year.  The Trust is a significant provider of support and safe houses.  Its primary mission is the empowerment of women, men and children who have been freed from the modern day slavery industry in the UK, enabling them to regain their dignity and self-worth.  They do this by providing safe housing and offering opportunities for physical and psychological healing, rehabilitation and protection to the victims in their care.

Sunday 15th July 11.45am to 1pm 
‘Justice First’ is a charity which works with people in the Tees Valley with those seeking asylum in the UK whose appeals have been rejected by the Home Office.  They help them to re-engage with the legal system and to avoid destitution. They offer practical and emotional support, use volunteer ‘befrienders’, and endeavour to raise awareness of the needs of refugees. They are a unique service in North East England, working closely with many other agencies.

Our Programme

We hope you will come for the weekend, but if you cannot manage both days do come for just one!  Each day the programme starts at 10.30am, with registration from 10.00am.  There are three sessions led by our Course Leaders, plus the Open Talk.  There will be ample opportunities for questions and discussion.  The day will finish with Mass in the Chapel at 5pm.  Buffet lunches are included, as well as coffees/teas throughout the day.  Download the full time-table PDF icon 2018_timetable.pdf

Our Venue

Again we shall be enjoying the hospitality of The Bar Convent 17 Blossom Street, York YO24 1AQ where all the facilities are quite recently refurbished.  The Bar Convent is not only an oasis of tranquillity with a beautiful chapel and peaceful gardens, - but is also close to York railway station.

There is (limited) car-parking available on-site, and York has an excellent ‘Park and Ride’ scheme.

Accommodation at The Bar Convent

Up to 20 guest bedrooms are available in The Bar Convent Guest House (rates vary); breakfasts are served in the Café.  Accommodation must be booked separately.  If you are interested in staying here for the weekend, please book early on 01904-643238, and quote ‘Living Theology weekend’.
Rooms are only being ‘held’ for us until the end of April.

The Cost

The suggested donation for the Study Weekend, including lunches and refreshments, is £60 per person (£30 for students).  If you can come for only one day, the donation is £30 per person (students £15): please specify this on the Booking Form.  We don’t want anyone to be excluded for financial reasons, so please make contact if you find difficulty with the suggested amounts.


Please download the Booking Form, File 2018_booking_form_3.docx

complete it and send it with details of your payment and your choices of courses to:   Brenda Fazikas, 34 Broome Close, Huntington, York, YO32 9RH   

It is essential that we receive your application by 30th June at the latest!


For making your donation: 

either send a cheque payable to ‘Living Theology York’ to Brenda with your Booking Form
or make a BACS payment (including your name as the reference) to ‘Living Theology York’ with Sort Code 40-43-11 and Account Number 72012642.

Confirmation and queries

Further details about travel, parking, etc will be sent when your booking is confirmed.  Please contact Patricia Egerton or phone 01642-645732 with other queries.


We will be very grateful for your help in publicising this event, by printing and distributing the Poster.  In particular, it would be appreciated if you could print off the Poster for display in churches, schools, colleges, etc.  Thank you!  PDF icon final_poster_lty_2018_1.pdf

About ‘Living Theology’

‘Living Theology’ courses are sponsored by the Jesuits and led by those who are experts in their fields.  Courses are informative but informal.

The original impetus for ‘Living Theology’ was to help Catholics study the outcomes from Vatican II. Fifty years on - with summer schools, weekend programmes and study days in different parts of the country, ‘Living Theology’ still offers ways for people of all denominations to:

  •   deepen their knowledge of Christian tradition,
  •   reflect upon important issues facing Christians today,
  •   learn more about spirituality.
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 10:00 to Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 17:00
Bar Convent
17 Blossom St
YO24 1AQ
United Kingdom