Writing the Divine

Writing the Divine

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Writing the Divine‘ was a workshop held at St Chad’s, Rochdale on Saturday 19th October 2019. It was led by author, poet and priest, Canon Rachel Mann.

The intention is to make this an ongoing Christian creative writing group with people from any and all denominations that have an interest in creating new Christian writing.

It’s hoped that members will bring a diverse range of backgrounds and experience. They could be clergy or non-ordained, amateurs or professional writers. The binding force is a wish to write creatively from a Christian perspective in any form – prose or poetry, fact or fiction, clearly Christian or not. What all will have in common is a love of both writing and reading.

In this workshop, Rachel explored the ways in which Christian writers and poets can write about God and the Divine in a sceptical literary culture. This session included an opportunity to try some writing exercises and reflect on writing techniques. No previous experience was expected or required.

What happens out there?

The very raw, moving poem below was created at the workshop by an Authorised Lay Minister in the Manchester Diocese, newly licensed in 2019. She’s also new to creative writing…


She can do anything where faith surrounds

What happens out there where no one believes – or do they?

How will I know? Communication lines cut

MISSION – how did I get here ?

On the estate – curtains closed

Dancing on the edge – I’d leave if I could

I can pray for you but can you feel it?

Dialogue needed – am I brave enough?

He says “Follow me”

Trust, wait, listen – tread slowly, softly

Breathe and wait, Breath and speak

Ask and it will be given – but what will “it” look like?

Workshop leader Canon Rachel Mann is the author of a number of books. ‘Fierce Imaginings’ was shortlisted for the Michael Ramsey Prize.


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