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“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Lichfield Cathedral
'The Word' Poetry Project


Updated: September 2020

Lichfield Cathedral was founded in AD 700, one of the earliest in the UK and a religious site of great importance. We serve the fifth largest diocese in England, a diverse community incorporating towns and cities such as Tamworth and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as rural communities.


Our Strategic Vision 2014-2023 sets out one of our key roles as ‘nurturing Christian faith, worship and understanding through learning, exhibitions, events and interpretation of the Cathedral’ as well as to be 'a place of education and exploration for all ages'.

With the support of Westhill Endowment, Lichfield Cathedral undertook its first poetry competition in 2019, working directly with schools and communities across our diocese to write poems on the themes of ‘awe and wonder’ and ‘light in our darkness’.

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Benjamin Zephaniah 
 
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Many sacred texts come in the form of verse, and poetry has been the necessary medium for hymns and for sacred song. This is why we chose to encourage expression through poetry. The project also enabled us to diversify our arts outreach into new forms of art, such as the written word. Previously (with the support of Westhill Endowment) we have focused on the creation of art installations.
 
We received over 1,000 entries for the competition and on November 28th 2019 there was a prize-giving event at the Cathedral. We also welcomed poets Benjamin Zephaniah, Rachel Mann, and Michael Symmons Roberts among others for events and poetry readings.

Winning poems were printed and displayed inside the Cathedral throughout Advent and Christmas and we estimate that 50,000 people were able to engage with them.



Find out more about Lichfield Cathedral at www.lichfield-cathedral.org