Tag Archive | circle cafe

A talk by Holocaust survivor Ruth Barnett

Ruth BarnettYou are warmly invited to a talk by Holocaust survivor Ruth Barnett at the Northampton Jesus Centre on Tuesday 7 October 2014, 12.30pm – 2.30pm

“There is one race and that’s the human race”
Ruth Barnett – Holocaust survivor

childRuth Barnett was born in Berlin in 1935. She escaped the Nazi regime at the age of four with her seven-year-old brother Martin on the Kindertransport, a rescue mission that evacuated refugee children out of Germany.

Budapest, Festnahme von JudenRuth’s story highlights the struggle with identity that many Holocaust survivors experienced and offers a different perspective on this period of history.

In her autobiography, Person of No Nationality, she describes the feelings of failure and worthlessness and her experiences of having to travel with a document with the words ‘Person of No Nationality’ across the top.

Her account of how her early experiences shaped her life shows how it is possible to recover from trauma and become an inspiration to others.

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people-at-the-centreBooking charge is £3 (includes refreshments)
Book in at Eventbrite

For more info email: paul.veitch [at] northamptonjesuscentre.org.uk or phone: 0745 109 2222

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Circle Cafe Book Club Tomorrow

Friday 7 March – 7.30pm
Circle Café, Northampton Jesus Centre
Next date on 11 April

We have been reading Martin Luther King by Godfrey Hodgson. Martin Luther King left an indelible mark on twentieth-century American history through his leadership of the non-violent civil rights campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s. The election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president in November 2008 has spawned a renewed interest in King’s role as an agent and prophet of political change in the United States. This book gives a fascinating insight into a remarkable man.

Our next book will be Cranford by Elizabeth Gatskell. Cranford depicts the lives and preoccupations of the inhabitants of a small village with the Industrial Revolution approaching. It is an exquisitely observed tragicomedy of human nature, told with great delicacy and affection.

If you would like to borrow a copy of either book to read, contact Tony Sanderson on 07740 853105.

For more details ask at the Info Desk, call 0845 166 8202 or go to facebook.com/CircleCafeBookClub.

In Celebration of Alcohol Awareness week

ImageThis week is Alcohol Awareness week. Last week I was meeting with one of our Group leaders who has been ‘dry’ over 15 years and now co-leads an alcohol recovery & support group called Stay Dry Be Free once a week, to support people on their journey to freedom from alcohol addiction. We talked about the additional support we could make available to both visitors and volunteers at this time of year when in every supermarket and newspaper there are adverts for cheap alcohol for the Festive season.

The next day I popped in to take some publicity shots in  our Art group which is co-lead by a volunteer who’s been ‘dry’ for over 8 years. He introduced me to a new visitor who is just a week into detox & had come to keep herself busy and had heard about the group from a friend. It was particularly important to her that one of the leaders would have walked the path she had started and would understand the struggles she was going through as she attempted to face life without the alcoholic haze.

ImageThis morning one of our cafe helpers is volunteering as part of her recovery programme. Tomorrow another of our Cafe volunteers  will have been ‘dry’ nearly 6 years.

Nicci came into our drop in one evening, a bit the worse for wear and desperate to find some hope and a way forward for her life. She went back to one of our community homes which was for single women only. There she found friends and the support and encouragement to help her stop drinking. 3 years later, she returned briefly as a member of staff and last year joined our volunteer team. She helps out on our Info Desk, in Step up and more recently the cafe. Volunteering is a way of giving something back.

Image” I’m very thankful God delivered me from alcoholism”  declares Nicci’s Face Book status at the start of Alcohol Awareness week.

If you or someone you know is having problems with alcohol and you are concerned you can pop in to our “Stay Dry be free group on Thursdays 12-1pm or pop in to our Info Desk and ask to speak to someone confidentially.

Both Alcoholics Anonymous & Al Anon offer support for those directly affected by alcohol abuse. You can look up your local group on the web or in Yellow pages.

Music From The Heart – Handel’s Belshazzar

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Handels-Belshazzar

A performance directed by William Christie of Handel’s Belshazzar from the Aix Festival is being shown. His experienced team brought Handel’s not-so-high drama and philosophic tragedy to almost operatic dramatic standards as the Persian prince, Cyrus, overran the dissolute Babylonians and freed the captive Jews.

Belshazzar, written in 1744, was among the first English oratorios that Handel composed after he had abandoned the Italian opera form and so still retains a strong dramatic element.

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Friday 15 Feb 7.30pm – 10.00pm

Circle Café, Northampton Jesus Centre (Refreshments available)

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Circle Café Book Club’s August Gathering

The NJC’s book club meets monthly and is organised Tony Sanderson, who writes this week’s post.


AT THE CIRCLE CAFE BOOK CLUB we provide a relaxed and friendly environment where people can both chat about a book we have been reading together or about anything we like. Some have just enjoyed spending the evening with us. Light refreshments are available.

We have been reading Hard Times by Charles Dickens. This is the only one of Dickens’ novels to be set in the North of England and it highlights the enormous gulf between the rich and the poor of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. This parallels the rise of the super rich in our day, in which ordinary people are suffering under austerity measures.

It is in Hard Times, set in fictitious Coketown, that the social and moral purpose of Dickens’ work is most evident. Openly ironic and satirical in its tone, Dickens savages the concept of human beings as being merely workers.

Our next book which will be available at the Book Club will be The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009 it is the first of two books we are reading about Northamptonshire’s famous poet John Clare.

After a lifetime’s struggle with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, in 1840 the nature poet John Clare is incarcerated. The asylum, in London’s Epping Forest, is run on the reformist principles of occupational therapy. At the same time, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and becomes entangled in the life of the asylum.
This historically accurate and intensely lyrical novel describes the asylum’s closed world and Nature’s paradise outside the walls: Clare’s dream of home, of redemption, of escape.

If you would like to borrow a copy of either book to read contact Tony Sanderson on 07740 853105.

The next Circle Café Book Club is on Friday 31st Aug, 2012 from 7.30pm in the Northampton Jesus Centre’s Circle Café.

2012 dates: October 5th, November 9th and December 21st

April’s Stunningly Intricate Art Exhibition

Detail from 'sophie'

Close up detail of 'Sophie'

Art and poetry converge to create stunningly intricate artwork at the hands of Jamie Poole.

The piece above, called ‘Sophie’, is made of thousands of lines of poetry. Individual strands of hair are single lines of poem, while one of her eyes could contain a whole stanza. Click the large image above to see the incredible detail in full.

Jamie was born in Northampton and now teaches art at Northampton School for Girls. In recent years he has been an active member of the arts event known as ‘Open Studios’ in Northamptonshire and has produced commissioned works for private clients.

He has exhibited widely around the UK with mainly landscape paintings and a hand printed ‘Landscape Sofa’ in his portfolio, but April sees his landscapes and poetry collage artworks coming to the Northampton Jesus Centre’s Circle Café. ‘Sophie’ will be the centrepiece of this exhibition.

Painting with poems

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Visit poetsandartists.com for more on Jamie Poole’s work.
Of course, you can come and see this piece and many others by the Artist for yourself in the Circle Café and the vestibule exhibition space on Wednesday and Friday evenings and most Saturday mornings.

March Circle Café Exhibition

Artwork - When the Saints go marching in

Yvonne Bell‘s dramatically rich artwork is set to feature as the Circle Café‘s March exhibition.

Her canorously vivid creativity is infused with stories of faith that give her work a unique edge, a far cry from any stereotypes of Christian art as insipid and clichéd.

Yvonne wasn’t given the best start in art at school. Being taught art in a Roman Catholic school Yvonne was told she wasn’t talented enough to be an artist; they recommended she should just teach art instead! Furthermore, her interest in art as an expression of faith was discouraged as art was seen as a purely secular pursuit; art was “unchristian” and art and faith should not mix, she was told.

After a full conversion experience a minister recommended she join the Anglican Church because of their openness to artists. There Yvonne discovered stained glass windows and their rich cultural heritage of the exploration of faith through art.

Yvonne’s first venture into making her own art started with a two-year college design course. She asked a friend to give her a title for a painting, and her friend’s response was “urban mission”. Initially puzzled by the title another friend pointed her to Isaiah 61:1-3, and her first painting took shape.

Artwork - Urban Mission

Urban Mission

Her design project became a spiritual adventure. However, her college disliked it as they said it was “pushing a message”. Christian art is still not accepted in many galleries.

As Yvonne explains, the professional art establishment loves impressionist art but often fails to tell meaningful stories. Artists can charge vast amounts for art that shocks but doesn’t enrich. We’ve all heard a friend or stranger bemoan what the art establishment calls ‘great art’, with the public often estranged from the frivolous fashions of modern art. The colour that faith can add to art can be perceived as more virtuous than extortionate market ‘values’ endowed by the auctions of art fashion. Art that is filled with depth and meaning demands engagement.

Yvonne’s art is enjoyed by a few well-known people, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, for whom she is also a vestment dresser.

Colour copies of her artwork are used in schools to teach RE, and they adorn the walls of theological students’ studies. She has also illustrated various Christian books, gives talks on Christian art, silk painting, vestments and icons. A number of her banners have been featured in books and on TV, including a few recently filmed episodes of ‘The Bill’.

Why not pop into the Circle Café for a coffee and to browse the whole exhibition for yourself?

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To see more of Yvonne’s artwork visit www.yvonnebell.co.uk and if you’d like to buy prints go to christian-art.vpweb.co.uk.

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