University prayer exhibition sparks inter-faith seminar

13 Jul 2010 16:51:26.727
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Voices of clergy and people of other faiths, who have been recorded at prayer and used in a special exhibition at The University of Nottingham’s Lakeside art gallery, have sparked new discussion between people of different faiths.

Following the opening of the multi-faith installation on prayer, by South African artist James Webb, members of the University’s chaplaincy team have organised a special seminar this week to discuss prayer.

The Inter-Faith seminar, entitled What prayer means to me, will include contributions from Christian, Jewish and Muslim representatives and will start at 7.30pm on Wednesday July 14 at the Djanogly Art Gallery Lecture Theatre.

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Seminar organiser and University chaplain, the Revd John Bentham, said: “It’s amazing that an artist has achieved what councils and committees find it hard to do — cross multi cultural barriers. We hope to contribute to the new dialogue that has been started through the exhibition — the seminar will include a contribution from the three Abrahamic faiths. It represents our growing partnership this academic year in a new chaplaincy space within the University, and forms a fitting farewell to the outgoing Jewish chaplain Yochanan Pereira.”

The installation, by James Webb, was created over a six-week period of research with the support of the Nottingham Inter Faith Council and is presented on floor-based speakers in an otherwise empty gallery, allowing visitors to pick out individual voices or listen to the entire piece as an ever-changing tapestry of sound.

The Nottingham interfaith council had assisted James Webb in contacting a variety of faiths and he included some 42 voices in the installation, representing some 20 different faith groups. Some of the Christian voices included in the installation were Canon Christina Baxter, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and Principal of St John’s Theological College, Nottingham Trent University chaplain, the Revd Richard Davey, University Methodist chaplain, Anna Ratcliffe , and the Revd John Bentham, University of Nottingham chaplain, among others.

John explained:” I felt that Christianity itself is extremely varied in its cultural expression and worshipping diversity in Nottingham, and encouraged sampling of that diversity of tradition — black and white churches, evangelical, catholic and liberal.”

Drinks will be served and the Gallery will be open for viewing from 7pm before the seminar begins, no tickets are required.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.



The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

 Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City

Story credits

More information is available from Rachel Farmer, Director of Communications at the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, on +44 (0)1636 817218, mobile 077121 96381,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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Published Date
Monday 28th February 2011

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