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Events for July

Some two thousand years ago, a motley collection of Jewish men and women began to proclaim extraordinary beliefs about the God of Israel and their teacher, Jesus of Nazareth. The 'good news' of these 'Christians', universal in its address, would in due course spread to every corner of the earth, transforming the everyday existence of billions across the globe.
It is this legacy of Christianity that, from this month to September 2012, Deddington Parish Church, in conjunction with the Faculty of Theology at Oxford University, seeks to explore. Taking its inspiration from Neil MacGregor's extraordinary survey of world history on BBC Radio 4 last year, The History of Christianity in 15 Objects will consist of 15 lecturers presenting an object that in some way defines and illuminates a particular period of Christian life and thought since the apostolic era. With the bishops of Oxford and Gibraltar, the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and the Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity from Oxford and Professor James Dunn already committed to the series, it looks set to be a novel insight into the rich storehouse of ecclesiastical history.

The series begins on September 5, with the Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, exploring the enduring symbolic power of two intersecting planks of wood.
The timings of events had not been worked out as we went to press, but lectures will be available to view online as well as in person in Deddington. For more information contact Daniel Inman on 01869 338582 or at

There's still time to see the British Museum exhibition that brings together some of the finest surviving sacred treasures of the medieval age. Running until October 9, Treasures of Heaven: Saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe gives visitors the opportunity to see objects from more than 40 institutions, many of which have not been seen in the UK before.
The beauty of a reliquary was intended to reflect the spiritual value of what it contained, and were made of the highest quality, often crafted in precious metals by extremely skilled goldsmiths. Exceptional examples include the arresting 12th-century bust of St Baudime, (left) which once contained a vial of the saint's blood and is shown for the first time in Britain

To book tickets (admission is £12, though members go free and there is a range of concessions) visit www. or call 020 7323 8181.