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The Library was very pleased for the second year to host and provide venue facilities for the annual Ecclesiastical History Society Postgraduate Colloquium. The event was very well attended and provided an excellent forum for postgraduate students to ‘find their voice’ and promote their research and receive constructive feedback. Professor Jeremy Gregory, Dr Stella Fletcher (EHS Honorary Secretary), and Dr Peter Nockles each chaired at least two panel sessions. Dr Fletcher writes:

Ceramic ornament depicting John Wesley. Sidney Lawson Ceramics Collection.

Ceramic ornament depicting John Wesley. Sidney Lawson Ceramics Collection.

“When Clifford Dugmore founded the Ecclesiastical History Society in 1961 he was professor of ecclesiastical history at King’s College London, but had previously served as Bishop Fraser lecturer in the same subject at the University of Manchester.* It may well have been during his years in Manchester that the seeds were sown not just of the Ecclesiastical History Society, but also of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, of which he was the founder.  Since the 1960s the Society has become less of an overtly London-based organisation and has held its annual summer conferences in various locations throughout Britain and Ireland.  Although none of its residential conferences have been held in Manchester, a number of its postgraduate colloquia have taken place there, most recently at the John Rylands Library on 22 February 2013.  On that occasion twenty-three papers were read by students from the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Queen’s Belfast, Oxford, Westminster and York.  The subject matter ranged widely, though there was an emphasis on early modern and modern British topics that doubtless reflects the current balance of research.  It also happens to reflect the strengths of the Rylands’ own collection.”

*Copies of the Society’s history are available from the Honorary Secretary.

Peter Nockles