Sally Mann has lived on the same road in East Ham that her family have lived on since the 1800s. She and Dave have worked and played with their neighbours to form all kinds of shared spaces for common life: community halls, gardens, sports fields and more. This is a story about faith shaped more by encounters with people and place than by institutions and dogma.

After the interview David Blower and Joy Brooks reflect on their own experiences of place and encounter with others. They consider the impact of power and politics on how they experience connection, community and spirituality.

Image used with permission.


Looking for Lydia: Encounters that shape the Church


Bonny Downs Baptist Church


“Whenever you meet Jesus, he’s on the other side of any kind of boundary that people have put up between us and them.”

“Where churches are draining people of spiritual life, there’s something wrong with that expression of church.”

“Christianity is always best lived at the margins; always best lived where you haven’t really got time for too much introspection and navel-gazing. What you do is you get involved with expressing love and then you reflect on that, and that’s how you know what you believe.”


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  1. Phil Steer Sep 2, 2023

    This was an absolutely fantastic interview. There was so much to appreciate in what Sally Mann said that I can not begin to mention anything specific. It was all so gracious, and positive, and life-affirming, and encouraging, Many thanks to Sally, and all at Nomad.

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