New Year 2019
The Annunciation: A Pilgrim’s Quest
Inspired by a chance viewing of a painting in the National Gallery, on loan from Winchester College, award-winning journalist and Winchester resident Mark Byford searches for the spiritual meaning of Luke’s biblical story of the Annunciation.
Wednesdays 23 & 30 January and 6 February, 12.30 – 1pm
at The United Church, Jewry Street, Winchester.
Mark Byford was Deputy Director-General of the BBC and head of BBC Journalism from 2004 to 2011. He chaired the BBC Journalism Board, with overall responsibility for the world’s largest news organisation’s radio, television and interactive journalism across the UK and around the world. He was a member of the BBC Executive Board for thirteen years. After leaving the BBC, Byford became a writer as well as focusing on voluntary and charitable work. His first book, A Name on a Wall, about an American soldier killed in the Vietnam War, was published in 2013. His second book, The Annunciation: A Pilgrim’s Quest, was published in April 2018. He is a Lay Canon and a member of the Chapter at Winchester Cathedral.
|23 January||The Journey Begins
Mark Byford explains how a chance encounter with François Lemoyne’s painting of The Annunciation led him to set out on a three-year pilgrimage of discovery, to understand the history of the eighteenth-century picture that came to Winchester College from Paris in 1729 and to learn more about Luke’s gospel passage that was the inspiration behind the image. One bishop tells him the Annunciation is ‘the most important event in human history’. If so, why has the status of the feast been lost in today’s world?
|30 January||The Meaning of the Meaning
For three years, Mark Byford listened to more than a hundred senior clerics from all Christian denominations, world-renowned theologians and art historians offer their own personal interpretations of Luke’s gospel story of the Annunciation. What did they tell him and what phrases resonated in particular?
|6 February||Seeing not Looking
For three years, Mark Byford traveled the length and breadth of the country, crossed the Continent and visited the Holy Land in search of the most famous and iconic images and artistic symbols of the Annunciation. From the earliest known image hidden in a catacomb in Rome to the great Renaissance paintings in Florence and Venice; from an Andy Warhol screen print and a Grayson Perry tapestry to unknown works from around the world, what images made the most impact and why?
Mark took questions after this talk
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|Loving God, calling your friends in new and unexpected ways,
choosing Mary from the powerless and unnoticed in the world,
yet greatly loved and cherished in your sight,
that she should be the mother of our saviour;
so fill us with your grace
that we too may accept the promptings of your spirit
and welcome your angel with glad and open arms.
|from “Annunciation prayer” by Jim Cotter|
Space in the City is an ecumenical venture organised by lay, licensed, ordained and associate members of Winchester’s city churches: St Bartholomew and St Lawrence with St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate, St Peter’s and the United Church.