January Chalmers Conference


“Eat, talk, wash dishes and share life together”

Each January since 2016, Chalmers has hosted a home-based conference combining the best possible teaching and a home environment in which participants eat, talk, wash dishes and share life together. The programme is designed to give participants plenty of space for processing, reflection and therefore deep learning.

On 6 January- 10 January, Huw Williams, Pastor in Greystones, Ireland and also an Orchestral Conductor will join us for “Music, Meaning & Myth: Telling our Creator’s Story in Sound.” 

I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all, whether a feeling, an attitude of mind, or psychological mood, a phenomenon of  nature, etc… Expression has never been an inherent property of music.”

Thus wrote Igor Stravinsky, the towering presence in the C 20th musical landscape, in something of a musical modernist’s creed. As modernism has given way to post-modernism, never has this issue been more pertinent for the Christian contemplating the arts.

As literary criticism asks the question, “is there meaning in this text?” so musical criticism asks the same question of sound. Is music capable of holding meaning, and if so how are we to understand that meaning?

C.S. Lewis maintained that to be human is to tell, read and listen to stories, with all our stories and myths as echoes of the Great Myth, God’s story. If this is true, is it then possible that music operates along the same lines, telling our Creator’s story in sound?

How we choose to listen to music reflects, in many ways, how we see the world around us.

We will explore these questions with an historical overview of the development of Western art music, examining specific masterpieces along the way with the aim of deepening our love for art and our Creator.


Cost is 175 pounds, including accommodation and meals. Scholarships will be available.

To register, e-mail rebecca.giles@chalmersinstitute.org

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