The Faith and Freedom Calendar for 2019 is now winging its way to all individual subscribers around the world. Additional copies can be had for a suggested donation of £5 (all of which goes to the Send a Child to Hucklow Fund). Email Nigel Clarke at email@example.com if you would like to order one.
The Calendar is full of fantastic images celebrating the world of faith and the natural world, each month carrying a large illustration from around the world including Derbyshire Peak District, Northern Ireland (Armagh and Down), Malta (St John’s Co-Cathedral Valletta), Transylvania (Torockó and Bölön), and Macedonia (Lake Ohrid) as well as Graham Bonham’s brilliantly detailed pictures of plants and birds.
There is a scan of the cover at the top of this page, and of the back cover at the bottom and here are some of Graham’s images:
Gerbera is a member of the daisy family and was named after Dr Trugott Gerber, an eighteenth-century German botanist and friend of Carl Linnaeus. The plant is native to the tropics and is commonly known as the African daisy. A perennial, it is attractive to insects and birds but resistant to deer. The picture was constructed by combining multiple images focused at different points into a single composite image.
The common blackbird is a species of true thrush. RS Thomas’ poem ‘A Blackbird Singing’ cites “a suggestion of dark Places about it.” However it is not normally seen as a symbol of bad luck. In medieval times the trick of placing live birds under a pie crust just before serving may have been the origin of the nursery rhyme. A blackbird also featured on the UK 4d stamp in 1966.
The image of the dandelion seed head can be interpreted in many ways, explains Graham Bonham who created the focus-stacked composite image. “It could symbolize transience – the temporariness of existence: there one moment and blown away the next. Alternatively, it could represent fecundity – one bloom produces hundreds of potential new lives – or be about underappreciated beauty: even pesky ‘weeds’, which many people use ‘chemical weapons’ against (to the detriment of the environment), have beautiful aspects.”
If you saw a copy of last year’s Faith and Freedom Calendar then you will recognise the three images on this page as from that publication. Last year’s Faith and Freedom Calendar was well received and helped to raise a good sum for the charity Send a Child to Hucklow Fund (SACH). The journal is planning to publish another Calendar for 2016 the proceeds from which will again go to the SACH.
Next year’s theme will be: Faith in the World
The publishers invite anyone to submit photographs for consideration for inclusion in next year’s Calendar in accordance with this theme. Please interpret the theme as broadly as you like – an act of worship, a faithful community or individual at work, a symbol of faith, a place of worship, it is up to you. However, the photograph should be your own work and you must be happy to give permission for it to be used in the Calendar should it be selected for inclusion. Photographs can be in colour or black and white, they should be landscape in orientation, of high resolution and sent, by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org
All successful entrants will be sent a free copy of the Calendar and have the satisfaction of being part of an interesting project that shares the diversity and vibrancy of faith and which will also help to raise money for SACH. We may be able to include a broader number of pictures submitted in the journal’s website.
If there is a seasonal element to your entry please state it in your accompanying email as well as when and where it was taken. Please remember also that parental permission is usually required if your picture includes children under the age of 18. The deadline for submissions will be 18th September 2015.
These words of the Chinese philosopher Lau Tzu seem appropriate for the beginning of any new enterprise, they also tie in, for me personally, with the picture of the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth, a place which was very much a starting point for me. But the purpose of this blog will be to flag up things that interest me particularly in relation to the journals Faith and Freedom and the Transactions of the Unitarian Historical Society, both of which I edit. Not that I intend to confine myself to either of those publications – anything that catches my eye will go in here – the blog will have a special remit towards faith, religious history and associated matters but it will by no means confine itself to matters of religion.