Cranmer Hall, the theological college within St John’s College Durham, is marking Black History Month this October with a series of special interviews and events to celebrate the stories of BAME students past and present.
Three in-depth interviews with former students now in church leadership will be released on the Cranmer Hall website. There will also be a number of guest speakers, including Arun Arora, who, having trained at Cranmer Hall, is now Vicar of St Nic’s Durham, and will be preaching at the College Communion on Tuesday 20 October and also taking questions from current students.
Quotes from other interviews with former Cranmer students will be shared on the College’s social media channels, and the month will conclude with a special Q&A session with current BAME ordinands telling their stories of responding to God’s call.
Warden of Cranmer Hall, Revd Dr Philip Plyming said, ‘I am so thankful for this chance to hear the stories of the excellent BAME students, past and present, who have trained at Cranmer Hall and gone on to do great things for God throughout the UK. I have learned much from listening carefully to current students tell their stories of pursuing God’s call as a BAME ordinand, and believe this month is a great opportunity both to celebrate and learn much from those who have gone before us.’
Shakeel Nurmahi, one of the student team who has been co-ordinating Black History Month, commented, ‘I am so excited about the chance to celebrate Black History Month at Cranmer Hall. There are so many diverse communities and stories of faith found in the Church. I am delighted that we get to share and highlight stories from BAME communities that are often unheard within our Church. Stories from past students inspired our team and me, and we are grateful to learn from their wisdom and experience. I believe that this month will be an educational and forming experience for our Cranmer community.’
Revd Steve Muneza, Director of Formation and Mixed-Mode Training, who has worked with the student planning team, added, ‘It has been a joy and a privilege to work with the team planning for the Black History Month celebration at Cranmer Hall. I was particularly struck by the creativity, leadership and generosity of the team behind the idea, planning and organisation of this month’s celebration. A helpful reminder of the rich and diverse God-given gifts, often untapped due to difference of colour, gender or culture. This month’s activities are an invitation for all to celebrate God’s gifts together.’