Citizens' Parliament Events

Lichfield Cathedral is set to play host to People InSpired, a series of Citizens’ Parliament events taking place on Sunday 22nd March and Sunday 19th April, both at 6pm.

The aim of the events is to bring together as many people as possible, of all faiths and none, from across Lichfield and the wider region. People InSpired creates a platform for people to openly share their views, concerns, worries and hopes and about their communities and country.

Politicians, councillors and political office holders will be invited to attend to listen and observe conversations taking place on Sunday 22nd March, before the second event on Sunday 19th April.

The second event will provide an opportunity for the community to present their concerns at a People InSpired hustings for local Parliamentary candidates, in conjunction with Churches Together in Lichfield.

People InSpired is organised by national partners, the Association of English Cathedrals (AEC), the Cathedral Innovation Centre (CIC), Theos, and public participation advocates, Involve. The participating cathedrals include Lichfield, Portsmouth, Manchester, Derby and Bradford, with many others hosting traditional hustings and Accountability Hearings.

The Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Chair of People InSpired and Dean of Lichfield, says: “People InSpired is all about putting people back into politics and decision making. Often, ordinary people feel powerless in shaping community or national progress and this leads to disengagement. We went to change that by giving local people the means to ensure their voices are held loud and clear.”

Ted Green, Secretary of Churches Together in Lichfield and District, says: “We had around 300 at a simple hustings in 2010, so having the cathedral involved and getting this deeper process is just marvellous.

People InSpired events have been carefully designed to create a comfortable and open environment to stimulate the exchange of ideas among people of all backgrounds and points and view. Involve, a charity and think tank specialising in public participation, will assist in the event execution to ensure the forum is productive and delivers practical outputs.

After the events have taken place, People InSpired will produce a community whitepaper summarising the key points and outcomes from the forums. The document will then be shared with local and national politicians in order to inform public policy.

“It is important that national and local representatives hear everyone’s voice. People want to be more in control of their destinies, more in control of their lives,” says the Very Revd Adrian Dorber.

Hundreds of people from all faiths and none, from Lichfield and the wider region, are expected to attend the events at 6pm on Sunday 22nd March and Sunday 19th April.

-ENDS-

About People InSpired
People InSpired is an initiative aiming to welcome people of all communities and to involve them in events which demonstrate a new, participatory way of doing politics.

Participating Cathedrals: Lichfield, Bradford, Wakefield, Ripon, Portsmouth, Coventry, Derby, Manchester, Winchester, Salisbury, Norwich, Exeter.

In the run-up to May's general election, People InSpired will tackle the problem of voter disengagement by opening-up a neutral and welcoming space for people to come together and discuss a new approach to politics.

By doing this People InSpired hopes to encourage individuals to get more involved and engaged in political decision-making.

Cathedrals are perfect venues for People InSpired events: visited by over a quarter of the UK population every year, these iconic buildings represent safe and open environments which have been at the heart of British communities for centuries.
People Inspired is a loudspeaker for entire communities: by working together, we can make our voices heard by politicians and decision makers locally and across the country.


About Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral – a centre of Christian worship for over 1300 years.
Lichfield Cathedral is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Britain and the burial place of the great Anglo-Saxon missionary Bishop, St Chad. It has a rich history, which is reflected in its architecture and treasures. It lies seventeen miles north of Birmingham and it is the only medieval Cathedral with three spires. It is the Mother Church of the Church of England Diocese of Lichfield and its symbolic centre. The Cathedral is committed to the daily offering of worship and prayer to God, and of spiritual nourishment to all who come on their own journey of search and discovery.

Cathedral Treasures
Lichfield Cathedral is home to the St Chad Gospels and the Lichfield Angel:
The St Chad Gospels, an illuminated Anglo Saxon gospel book which dates from about 730 (that is, about 50 years older than the famous Book of Kells).
Discovered in 2003 the Lichfield Angel is a remarkable survival of Saxon sculpture. The carved limestone corner-piece, which is dated to around 800 A.D., comprises three separate fragments which are thought to have formed part of a tomb chest, presumably that of St Chad (d.672).

Running the Cathedral costs around £5.50 for every minute it is open.

About Involve
"Involve are experts in public participation. We believe passionately in a democracy where people are able to take and influence the decisions that affect their lives. We run projects with national and local government, public services and others to help inspire, innovate and embed change."

About Theos
Theos is a religion and society think tank which offers research and commentary on issues of faith and belief. It was launched in November 2006 with the support of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the former Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. For further information, see www.theosthinktank.co.uk


Abby Wilson
Marketing Officer

Lichfield Cathedral

t) 01543 306121
e) abby.wilson@lichfield-cathedral.org
www.lichfield-cathedral.org