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Creating Connections – Religion & Media in the North East

18th October @ 2:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Explore the way religion and worldviews are interwoven into the life of the North East, as people from long-standing and diverse communities share their stories and open the window into their world.

Join the Religion Media Centre for workshops and presentations with journalists, teachers, academics, religious leaders and invited guests, making new contacts and networking with local media representatives looking for stories.

The intention is to raise understanding between religious groups and the media, explore new stories, break down misunderstandings, and showcase the expertise of RE teachers and academics from local universities.

Newcastle is one of six cities chosen to host this unique networking opportunity this year, along with Bristol, Bradford, Coventry, Liverpool and Norwich.

Attendance is free, although the event is primarily tailored for the aforementioned groups. You must register beforehand to participate in the event.

Click here to register via Eventbrite.

Programme courtesy of the Religion Media Centre:

2pm Coffee and tea
With stalls from faith groups around the room
2:10pm Introduction with presenters Leo Devine, former senior editor in BBC regions

– What is the Religion Media Centre and why are we all here?
– What are the concerns about the relationship between religion and the media in
the North East?
– What stories are not being told?

2:30pm Presentation: the religious landscape of the North East by Rev Gavin Wort, Lead Chaplain at Durham University, who is also Chair of the County Durham Faiths Network, Vice-Chair of the Newcastle Council of Faiths and is a Diocesan Inter-Faith Advisor for the Church of England Diocese of Durham
2:45pm Presentation: the media landscape of the North East with guests including Helen Dalby, Audience and Content Director, Reach North East and Yorkshire
3pm Media panel: Who are the local media, what stories are they interested in and tips of
the trade?
 Chaired by Leo Devine, with a panel including
Gavin Foster, Group Editor Newsquest (North East)
Sarah Drummond, Co-head of journalism, film and PR at Newcastle University and former BBC editor;
Sarah Carter, assistant editor, BBC Radio Newcastle
3:30 pm Students and Sixth formers from local schools tell us how they pick up their knowledge of religion from the media. What stories do they like to read?
3:45pm Networking and coffee / tea break
4pm Workshops: Opportunity for faith groups and individuals to present their stories of
interest to journalists, through a variety of workshops and conversations:
•     Introduction to media skills for faith groups
•     Religion Education hub and resources (Karenza Passmore)
•     60th anniversary of Reform Judaism in Newcastle (Linda Scott)
•     The Chinese Methodist community in Newcastle (Rev Paul Cleever-Thorpe)
•     Healthcare chaplaincy (Raza Rahman, Mental Health Chaplain, Newcastle)
•     Faith and front-line support (Rev Joanne Thorns)
•     Faith groups supporting refugees and asylum seekers
•     New forms of cremation (Rev Prof Douglas Davies)
•     Pagans in the North East (Dr Jennifer Uzzell)
4:40pm Plenary and evaluation. What are the next steps?
4:45pm Afternoon Section Ends. We move to the Cathedral Café where refreshments are served.
5:30pm Welcome and introduction to the Religion Media Centre, and exploration of local
concerns about the relationship between religion and the media in the North East
5:40pm Interview with the Bishop of Newcastle, Helen Ann Hartley, on religion and the media
6pm Panel summarising the afternoon event, with journalists and workshop leaders,
including questions and discussion
6:20 pm Networking break – opportunity for faith groups to present their stories to journalists
6:40pm Presentation on the Faith Museum in Bishop Auckland, with Amina Wright, Senior Curator
7.15 pm Concluding the event – next steps
7:30pm End

Watch the video below for an idea of what you can expect.

The event is hosted by the Religion Media Centre, an impartial and independent organisation aiming to increase further cohesion and understanding in society by helping the media report and understand religion and belief.

This project is generously funded by the Culham St Gabriel’s Trust.


18th October
2:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Categories:


Newcastle Cathedral
St Nicholas Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1PF, United Kingdom
Newcastle, Tyne & Wear NE1 1PF United Kingdom
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0191 232 1939
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