The Nativity by Geza Vermes

Scholarship. I’m seriously thinking about putting all my other books that I want to read in a massive pile somewhere and just reading this author’s work one after another until I’ve completed them all. Geza Vermes places the story of The Nativity in its historical context and examines the Infancy Gospels to separate tidbits ofContinue reading “The Nativity by Geza Vermes”

Liverpool Cathedrals

The First Commission The first commission to build a cathedral was given in 1853 to Edward Pugin (1833-1875), son of Augustus Pugin, the man who had helped design the Houses of Parliament in London in the 1830s. Initially, it was decided the cathedral should be built in the grounds of a seminary at one ofContinue reading “Liverpool Cathedrals”

Instagram snapshots: Tokyo’s places of worship

Showing a different side to Tokyo, Belfast-born photographer Conor MacNeill turns his lens on the striking architecture and stunning interiors of a mosque, cathedral and temple

Armenia – Park of Letters

In 2005, the Armenian alphabet celebrated its 1600th birthday. In commemoration, 39 large, carved Armenian letters were placed near the final resting place of the man who created the alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots. The place is known as the Park Of Letters and can’t be missed by anyone who is travelling towards Amberd Fortress. When MashtotsContinue reading “Armenia – Park of Letters”

Echmiadzin in Armenia

Any visit to Armenia has to include a trip to Echmiadzin (or Etchmiadzin), which is the seat of the Armenian Church. This was the place where Gregory the Illuminator saw a beam of light fall to earth in a vision and where he built the first Mother Church of Armenia between 301 – 303. ThisContinue reading “Echmiadzin in Armenia”

Armenia – Saghmosavank Monastery

On the way back to Yerevan I stopped at Saghmosavank (“Monastery of Psalms”) another Armenian sight close to a spectacular gorge, this time the Kasakh Gorge. The monastery has a large gavit to the west of the Zion church. A gavit serves as a narthex, mausoleum and assembly room for the church, but at SaghmosavankContinue reading “Armenia – Saghmosavank Monastery”

Geghard Monastery – Armenia

Geghard Monastery is beautifully located in a gorge and is surrounded by high hills on three sides. There are fairy chimneys on one of the cliffs and the walking opportunities appear to be excellent. Legend has it the monastery dates from the 4th Century AD and was burned by Arab armies in 923AD. The mainContinue reading “Geghard Monastery – Armenia”

Diwali celebrations: the lights and sounds of Leicester’s Golden Mile

Guardian photojournalist David Sillitoe visits Leicester in the run-up to Diwali, the ancient Hindu festival of light


I have visited some of Armenia’s outstanding monuments during this day. The ‘temple’ at Garni is the only Graeco-Roman structure in the whole country and is situated by the side of a spectacular gorge where basalt columns, similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, can be seen. Garni has been expertly reconstructed after aContinue reading “Armenia”

Hill of Crosses

Bulldozed three or four times by the Soviet authorities the Hill of Crosses in Northern Lithuania always came back. Today, over 75,000 crosses of all sizes are found at this site which occupies perhaps 2,400 square metres of land, spread over two hillocks, 12km north of the city of Siauliai, Lithuania’s 4th largest city. TheContinue reading “Hill of Crosses”