Manchester Cathedral is launching a series of events aiming to reaffirm the rich potential of the sermon as a popular literary art form. Not only is contemporary secular culture heavily prejudiced against it (the Chambers Dictionary, for instance, defines 'to preach' as 'to deliver a sermon; to discourse earnestly; to give advice in a sententious, tedious, obtrusive or offensive manner') but it's an art form all too often seemingly unloved, even by its own practitioners.
Each event will feature public readings, and discussion, of classic sermon texts by such old masters of English prose as John Donne, Hugh Latimer and Lancelot Andrewes. The first event takes place on Thursday 6th May immediately after 17.30 Evensong in the Cathedral (i.e. about 18.15). Michael Schmidt will introduce the sermon and Matthew Frost will deliver Hugh Latimer’s great Sermon of the Plough - an opportune sixteenth-century statement for election day!
Other Great Sermons of the Past will take place on 27 May, 3 June and 10 June.
Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Cathedral have also joined forces to commission a Great Sermon for the Future, to be delivered as part of the festival in October – watch this space for more information…