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King’s Lynn Minster to celebrate famous mystic

A series of talks at King’s Lynn Minster will explore the life of Lynn’s famous medieval resident, Margery Kempe on the 650th anniversary of her birth.

Starting on Monday September 11 at 6pm, a series of weekly talks will take place at the Minster, exploring the life of Margery Kempe, a medieval mystic, pilgrim, and author from Norfolk.

Margery Kempe was born in Bishop’s Lynn (renamed King’s Lynn during the reign of Henry VIII) in 1373. She came from an influential merchant family and was accustomed to wealth. Her marriage with John Kempe produced fourteen children, but later in life Margery found herself wanting a different life. St Margaret’s Church, now the King’s Lynn Minster, was her parish church.

Canon Mark Dimond, Team Rector at King’s Lynn Minster, said: ‘Margery Kempe is King’s Lynn’s most famous daughter. Since the discovery of her autobiography in 1934 there has been increasing national and global interest in her, as a spiritual figure, a pilgrim and a personality in the turbulent times of the early fifteenth century. We wish to give her a focal point at King’s Lynn Minster. Do join us as we celebrate this extraordinary character from Lynn.’

The talks are free and welcome to all:

Monday 11th September 2023, 6pm – “Talk: Reading Margery Kempe’s Mystical Body” by Dr Laura Kalas, Swansea University

Monday 18th September 2022, 6pm – “Talk: A Modern Medieval Mystic: Reading Margery Kempe Now” by Dr Laura Varnam, University College, Oxford University

Monday 25th September 2023, 6pm – “Talk: What We Don’t Know About Margery Kempe: Questions and Future Directions” by Prof. Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London

Monday 2nd October 2023, 6pm – “Psychological Types Like Margery: The Spectre of Hysteria and Re-visioning Mental Illness in Kempe Studies”, by Emily Harless, University of Manchester

Monday 9th October 2023, 6pm – “Julian and Margery: Ahead of Their Time” by Rev’d Dr Luke Penkett, Norwich


The team at the Minster hope that the talks will introduce Margery to local audiences to mark the 650th anniversary of her birth.

For further information, please email: [email protected]

Visit: kingslynnminster.org/whats-on

Or reserve a place online


Peter Bending, 28/08/2023

Read the full article here

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