Creative Conversations

Creative-Conversations-7-Optimized-1024x683This page is designed to help those of us who have participated in Creative Conversations Days to stay connected as well as share ideas, questions and resources.

The page has restricted access to those involved in Creative Conversations so that content cannot be accessed publicly – this is particularly important as we share conversations that are not intended for the public domain. Therefore please do not duplicate the content of this page without prior permission.

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We hope that the following resources are helpful. Please send other resources as you come across them.

Caitlin Burbridge: An informal write up of an exploratory pilot project

When the Creative Conversation project started, Urban Life had the opportunity to present two individuals with grants in order to pilot the project in their respective contexts. Caitlin Burbridge was one of these indviduals who used her grant to explore Creative Conversation in the East End of London. You can read her report here.

BBC Listening Project

The Listening Project is a good example of how conversations can work. They are not exactly like Creative Conversations, but some of them in particular show how, in the course of conversation, there can be real moments of new and profound insight. They are also a good example of how recording a conversation can in some cases help develop a sense of intentional conversational space.



Once ethnography might have seemed a really obscure subject! The amazing thing is that, once you start dipping into it, it seems to keep popping up everywhere (not least on Radio 4 and Channel 4). A few of us found these Thinking Allowed programmes really interesting. One person said that it really helped them see what ethnography was about. Follow the links if you want to listen.


15 Apr 15: Ethnography Award Shortlist

The Ethnography award ‘short list’: Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, presents a special programme devoted to the academic research which has been short listed for our second annual award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub culture. Laurie Taylor is joined by three of the judges: Professor Beverley Skeggs, Professor Adam Kuper and Dr Coretta Phillips.



22 April 15: Ethnography Award Winner

This year, the BBC’s Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, launched the second year of its award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub-culture. Laurie Taylor presents a special edition of Thinking Allowed to mark the announcement of the winner of the 2015 award. Laurie and a team of leading academics – Professor Beverley Skeggs, Professor Adam Kuper, Dr Coretta Phillips and Dr Louise Westmarland – were tasked with judging the study that has made the most significant contribution to ethnography over the past year.


Books That Might Be Helpful

Here are some books that you might find helpful.


Book extract from Practical Theology by Terry Veling

Terry Veling has some excellent stuff on how to do theology from your everyday place.


Book extract from Doing Ethnographies by Crang and Cook

Crang and Cook give a really helpful understanding of Ethnography.


Helen Cameron and Catherine Duce, Researching Practice in Mission and Ministry: A Companion (London, SCM, 2013)

This is a really helpful introduction and handbook to research. It is written partly for people doing formal research for dissertations, but has loads of helpful guidelines that would relate equally well to Creative Conversations.


Christian Scharen and Anna Marie Vigen, Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics (London, Continuum, 2011)

Christian Scharen is known for his very good (though slightly dense) book on ethnography.


Christian Scharen, Fieldwork in Theology (Church and Postmodern Culture): Exploring the Social Context of God’s Work in the World (Grand Rapids, Baker Academics, 2015)

Christian Scharen has come out with a newer book on ethnography which has caused great excitement for ethnography geeks!


Recomended Equipment

recordingequipmentJem Mackay has been really helpful in offering advice about how to make and edit recordings to get good quality. He has also done a lot of work around the power dynamics that happen in using digital media.

Jem is happy to offer advice and can be contacted on Also see his website:

For good quality recording we have been using  Zoom H4n recorders.

Thank you for your interest in Creative Conversations. The Creative Conversations webpage is a key way for those involved in this project to share ideas and insights. If you are already registered you can log in here. If you would like to find out more information please email Mike Pears. 

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