Skip to content

The Department of Theology and Religious Studies welcomed A level students from as far afield as Norfolk, Bolton, Stoke and Wrexham for a residential conference entitled ‘Kick Start Your Year 13 Religious Studies.’ Our visitors had a taste of student life, staying over in Grosvenor House and eating at White’s Dining Room.  They learned about Student Finance and making UCAS applications, as well as the support offered to Chester undergraduates by the Wellbeing and Study Skills teams. Matthew, one of our second year Religious Studies undergraduates showed the visitors round the campus and chatted with them about the student experience.  Workshops on topics in A Level Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics were provided by departmental staff. They also explored the presentation of Islam in the Media, and had the chance to mark some A level papers under the guidance of an A Level Examiner. The highlight of the two days was attending the Chester Mystery Plays in the Cathedral.

Most of the students are studying Christianity as part of their A level, and were intrigued to explore the ways in which the Mystery Plays had interpreted biblical texts. The morning after the performance, two of the actors, (TRS Chester’s Professor of Theological Ethics, David Clough, who plays  a ‘rock-star’ figure symbolising the debauchery of humanity prior to the flood in the Book of Genesis, and Nick Sherratt, one of our own graduates, who plays Jesus) dropped by to answer questions and discuss the performance with the visitors. The discussion ranged from how the Mystery Plays depicted sin, evil and the Trinity, to the emotional and physical challenges of performing in those roles.

The actors and departmental staff were impressed with the quality of the critical engagement and reflection exhibited by the students. Event organiser Dr Wendy Dossett explained, ‘It’s encouraging to see the appetite for the open and critical study of religions amongst these able young people. They asked challenging questions and made insightful links, bringing fresh perspectives to debates articulated within our disciplines. We enjoyed our time with them enormously and wish them all the very best for the rest of their A level Studies and beyond.’

Share this content