Photo of Rebecca Smith credit Lina Hayes. Image of Rural book cover

Every year we like to add new venues to the mix. Partly because it’s always fun to go to new places – even if they’re on the doorstep – but also because they can add an extra flavour to an event. Some context, if you like!

One of our new venues for our 25th Edition is Chelmsford Cathedral. It may not be the oldest ecclesiastical building in Essex – that goes to the Chapel of St-Peter-On-The-Wall in Bradwell-on-Sea – but it certainly has its own remarkable story to tell. Not least of all the partial collapse of the nave in 1800. Luckily no one was hurt as recalled in the rhyme, Chelmsford Church and Writtle Steeple / Fell down one day but killed no people. It also fell victim to the rampaging militia who smashed the East Window during the Civil War.

While such dramatic events are not on our menu this June, we are delighted to be welcoming author Rebecca Smith to the Cathedral for our first lunch-time: Taking the Long View Conversation.

Rebecca, a writer and journalist who has worked for BBC Radio for over a decade, will be talking about her memoir Rural on Thursday 13th June at 1pm.

The Editor’s choice in The Bookseller for paperbacks in June, Rural explores the lives of the rural working class in contemporary Britain and how generations of precarious lives on the land have been shaped by shifting industries, government policies and global forces. Something that resonates with generations of congregations who have gathered in the Cathedral over the centuries.

Anyone who has a sweet spot for Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield, including Festival Director Ros Green who grew up Akenfield (Charsfield in East Suffolk) and who will be is chairing this event, should get this event in their diary now!

Tuesday 13th June, 1pm
Rebecca Smith, Rural – Taking The Long View
Chelmsford Cathedral.