Tyndale Weekend at Wells Cathedral, 26–27 May, 2001

We are delighted that Wells Cathedral in the West Country will be the setting for this Tyndale Society event, at the invitation of the Dean, Chapter and Chancellor of the Cathedral.

Tyndale set out to translate the original Greek and Hebrew versions of the Bible into West Country English which could be understood by a ploughboy. It is the ‘Ploughboy Group’ which has organized this weekend. The aim is to offer something of interest to all; including those who have never had the time to study Tyndale or the Reformation before.

Normally visitors to the Cathedral are admitted only to the Exhibition room and not to the Library itself. We are privileged that on this occasion the Librarian, Jean Moore, will take small groups to see some remarkable books, prayer books and Bibles, including some once owned by Erasmus and Cranmer.

Places are limited to 60 only so early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment. Please let David Ireson know as soon as possible to reserve your place (he can be contacted at the address at the end of this article).

Regrettably the Cathedral was built long before disabled access was regarded as important and the steps up to the Vicar’s Hall mean that disabled access is restricted. Please book being aware of this potential difficulty.

The evening programme in the Cathedral nave is open to the public so members who are unable to attend the whole event are welcome to join us from 7.15pm. Disabled access to the nave is available.

Details on accom-modation in Wells can be provided by the Society but must be booked indep-endently. Subject to demand there will be transport avail-able from Bristol Temple Meads to Wells Cathedral.

Contributors to the Wells Weekend

Canon Melvyn Matthews is the Chancellor of Wells Cathedral, having previously been the Senior Chaplain at Bristol University and Director of the ecumenical Ammerdown Centre. He has published many books, especially on ecumenism and spiritual matters, most recently: Rediscovering Holiness – The Search for the Sacred Today (SPCK) and in 2000 the challenging Both Alike to Thee – The Retrieval of the Mystical Way (SPCK).

Richard Pasco CBE is an actor whose experience ranges from the West End stage and the Royal Shakespeare Company to television, film and radio drama. He travels the world as an actor in theatres, festivals and recording studios. His wife, Barbara Leigh-Hunt also enjoys a busy and distinguished acting career. She works with the Old Vic and the RSC. On stage she has played a wide range of characters, from Saint Joan, to Hedda Gabler and Lady Macbeth. She is frequently on television, currently making further episodes of Kavanagh QC and about to start work on another film. Subject to their commitments in May, it is hoped that Richard and Barbara will join Professor Daniell in reading from Tyndale on Sunday evening.

Dr. Joseph Bettey has lectured and written many books on religious history, church architecture and studying local history. He taught at Bristol University and has researched the subject of his talk, The Reformation in the West Country, for many years, publishing Suppression of the Monasteries in the West Country. He will set the scene for the visit to Glastonbury Abbey.

Professor David Daniell read Theology and English at Oxford and is Emeritus Professor in the University of London and Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. He has published extensively on Shakespeare and John Buchan. His biography of Tyndale and his editions of Tyndale’s Old and New Testaments led to the creation of the Tyndale Society and the journal Reformation. He is currently completing a major book on the evolution of the Bible up to the present day. His scholarship has been invaluable not only to those interested in the study of the English language and also those concerned with ecumenism.

Dr Lavinia Byrne is known to all listeners to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Formerly a religious sister, she is a Roman Catholic whose concern for ecumenical healing is an inspiration to all whose hearts, once lifted by Vatican II, now often feel discouraged. Incredibly 1,300 copies of her book Women at the Altar were burnt in 1998 on the instructions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome … You will understand why members of the Tyndale Society would want to appreciate her present perspective on the future of the Church and the ecumenical imperative.

Programme for the Wells Weekend

Saturday 26 May 2001
        9.30    am      Coffee and welcome in the Vicar’s Hall.
        10.00   am      Group 1: The Treasures of the Cathedral Library.
Group 2: Guided tour of the Cathedral.
Group 3: Let There Be Light audio-visual presentation on life and work of William Tyndale, Chapter Room, Vicar’s Close.
        11.00   am      Group 1: Tour. Group 2: Audio-Visual. Group 3: Library.
        12.00   noon    Welcome to Wells Cathedral: Chancellor, Melvyn Matthews.
Dr Joseph Bettey: The Reformation in the West Country, illustrated talk in the Chapter Room, Vicar’s Close.
        1.00    pm      Buffet Lunch in the Vicar’s Hall.
        2.00    pm      Group 1: Audio-Visual. Group 2: Library. Group 3: Tour.
        3.15    pm      Professor David Daniell: The Obedience of a Christian Man.
        4.30    pm      Refreshments in the Vicar’s Hall.
        5.15    pm      Evensong in the Cathedral.
        6.15    pm      Evening meal in the Cloister Restaurant.
        7.15    pm      Public Event in the Cathedral. Professor David Daniell: Introduction to William Tyndale’s Old and New Testaments. Readings by Barbara Leigh-Hunt and Richard Pascoe.
        8.00    pm      Dr Lavinia Byrne: The Pure and the Free: Orthodoxy in a Post-Modern World.
        9.15    pm      The Beers and Ciders of the West Country: an informal investigation by Members and Friends before retiring.
Sunday 27 May 2001
        9.45    am      Sung Eucharist in the Cathedral with the congregation.
        11.20   am      Coach trip to Glastonbury Abbey for a conducted tour.
2.00    pm      Coach to Temple Meads Station.

For more information and to book your place contact David Ireson as soon as possible to avoid disappointment: the cost of the weekend will be known in early January 2001. Rev’d David Ireson, The Vicarage, Brendon Road, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0HU. Phone: (01984) 631228. Email: David.Ireson@btinternet.com

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