Middle Eastern links with Southwell explored at Minster exhibition

A unique exhibition called “Promises Promises” in The Chapter House of Southwell Minster from 14th – 28th October seeks to explore some of the issues raised in a letter, written a hundred years ago by Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour in November 1917.

The letter states :“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country…”

It was one factor which has had a long lasting impact on the people and lands of the Middle East internationally and locally. The exhibition will feature Field
Marshall Viscount Allenby who was born at Brackenhurst, Southwell; Group Captain Hanmer of Westhorpe Hall Southwell ; and T. E. Lawrence, also with local
connections, who were all in Palestine in 1917.

Over the last 20 years several exchanges from the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and the Minster have created strong links with the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East and St George’s Cathedral Jerusalem. From the Minster community, Brian Hiscoe served in the British army in Palestine in 1947 and more recently local couple, Jane and John Henson have volunteered in both Jerusalem and Palestine.

The most significant narrative of the exhibition is that of Rana Tannous, a friend who participated in an exchange and stayed in Southwell, whose family of Palestinian Christians has been affected in the most profound way.

There will also be an important talk hosted by Southwell Minster Partnership Group with St George’s Jerusalem, to which all are very welcome:
The Balfour Declaration and implications for Palestinians” led by the Revd Dr Fadi Diab (Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East) on Sunday 15th October at 3pm in Trebeck Hall, Southwell Minster.

The exhibition culminates in a free conference for all who would like to know more about Britain’s historical role in the complex situation in Israel/Palestine and who would like to explore possible ways forward from the present impasse.

This will include an address by Professor Mary Grey (Roman Catholic liberation theologian and Trustee of the Balfour Project) “The Promised Land?” Everyone is welcome.
Britain and Palestine 1917-2017
‘Unfinished Business’
Saturday 28th October 2017 2.00 – 5.00 pm
The State Chamber, Southwell Minster
(arrive from 1.00pm for tea & coffee and a chance to visit the related exhibition in Southwell Minster)

To register interest/find out more please contact either:
Tel 0115 952 1802 / 0115 965 2948 or e mail: john.henson3@ntlworld.com