Collections Unlocked series explores Questions of Truth, religious intolerance and the English Reformation

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Religious communities in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Northern Nigeria and Sudan are among those currently facing increasing levels of intolerance and even persecution from groups determined to impose their version of religious truth at any cost.  

Whilst these events may seem very distant from a British perspective, “Questions of Truth” - the next event in York Minster’s “Collections Unlocked” interactive learning sessions will compare and contrast contemporary events with the English Reformation - one of the most traumatic, turbulent and intolerant periods in the history of the British Isles.

The Reformation was a turning point in history that changed our country and sent it spiralling into almost 100 years of religious turmoil and persecution with some of the effects still being dealt with today.

Canon Chris Collingwood and the Minster’s Historic Collections Team will explore the impact of the Reformation through discussion and investigation of six of the most significant objects and books in the Minster’s Collections - items that represent this period of intense struggle and learning. 

“Questions of Truth” will look at:

  • how history can be rewritten depending on which “truth” you choose
  • how propaganda can be used to manipulate the truth
  • how control can exert a particular truth.

Chris Collingwood said:

“The upheavals that we are seeing in the world at the moment have a direct historical parallel in the English Reformation.  In “Questions of Truth”, people will be able to consider the modern context for religious violence and then get up close and personal with objects from the Reformation that will illustrate religious intolerance, persecution, violence and control of hearts and minds. 

“We are pleased that the session will take place in the middle of Interfaith Week 2014 and that it will take its place in a UK-wide series of events that will focus on developing and strengthening relationships between faiths, increasing awareness and tolerance of difference and embracing people with religious and non-religious beliefs”.

Collections Unlocked – “Questions of Truth” – takes place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19th November in the Upper Hall of the Old Palace, Dean’s Park York. Tickets for the event cost £5.00 and can be booked in advance online from or by telephone on 01904 557208.

For more information about Collections Unlocked and York Minster’s Adult Learning programme please visit

For more information about Interfaith Week please visit


For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Sharon Atkinson

Director of Communications

York Minster

Tel:        01904 557428  Email: