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  • St Giles Online

Introducing Our New Poet-In-Residence

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

St Giles-in-the-Fields has long been known as ‘The Poets Church’ and has enjoyed a rich association with poets for many years. As part of this living history we are beginning a new initiative to support the development of the arts by hosting a Poet-in-Residence. We are delighted to announce Jay Hulme as our Poet-in-Residence for 2021-2022.

Jay Hulme is an award-winning transgender poet, performer, educator, and speaker. In late 2019, his fascination with old church buildings turned into a life-changing encounter with the God he had never believed in, and he was baptised in the Anglican church.

In his new collection of work ‘The Backwater Sermons’ (due for release in October) Jay details his journey through faith and baptism during an unprecedented world-wide pandemic. As he finds God in the ruined factories and polluted canals of his home city, Jonah is heckled over etymology, angels appear in tube stations, and Jesus sits atop a multi-storey car park. Cathedrals are trans, trans people are cathedrals, and amidst it all God reaches out to meet us exactly where we are. Jay’s poetry explores belief in the modern world and offers a perspective on queer faith that will appeal not only to Christians, but young members of the LGBT+ community who are interested in faith but unsure of where to start. The Rector of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, The Revd. Thomas Sander, said:We are delighted to welcome Jay to the community of St. Giles. Jay has a canny knack for communicating our faith to a society which thinks it’s left God behind; he speaks to us from a place of genuine encounter which has known its own struggles and hardships, however his work always points us onwards towards the redemptive love of God in whose hope we must all learn to trust'.

Jay says: ‘I’m looking forward to getting to work as Poet-in-Residence at St. Giles. As a church that embraces the arts, and with a long history of association with poets and poetry, St. Giles is the perfect place to use as a catalyst for a poetic exploration of the intersection of faith, space, and community, all centred around this beautiful historical building, filled with a living faith'.

If you would like information concerning up and coming events, then please contact the church through the parish office:

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