Our hugely popular evening of sacred poetry returns to the spectacular setting of Bradford Cathedral.  This will be a joyous celebration of beautiful, transcendental poetry and music from across the religious spectrum, featuring a range of devotional styles, from kirtan recitation to a show-stopping gospel choir performance.

The Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford, will host the evening. He will be joined by soloist Claire White-McKay, Buddhist poet Dh Maitreyabandhu, Bhajan singer Ranjana Ghatak, songwriter Rabbi Hugenholtz, singer Shabnam Khan who will recite naats from her Muslim faith, and performer Keertan Rehal who will recite a beautiful selection of Shabad Kirtan from the Sikh tradition. The evening will be brought to a close with a glorious gospel medley by the Voices in Praise Choir.


About The Speakers

Claire White-McKay

Claire is a mezzo-soprano with a voice delivering a range of tonal colours.  She has performed at numerous events in Yorkshire and beyond, such as the Bradford Service of Remembrance. Recently Claire has performed and recorded with the award-winning City of Bradford Brass Band.

Dh Maitreyabandhu

Maitreyabandhu’s first full collection, The Crumb Road is a PBS Recommendation. His new collection Yarn was published in autumn 2015. His pamphlet The Bond won the Poetry Book and Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award. He lives and works at the London Buddhist Centre and has been ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order for 26 years. He has written three books on Buddhism.

Ranjana Ghatak

Since training with legendary Indian classical musician Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, composer and artist Ranjana Ghatak has been commissioned to compose pieces for the Commonwealth Games and regularly tours across the globe. She is currently artistic director for a choral piece with the Royal Opera House community chorus, BBC Singers and a school group, which will be performed at the Southbank Centre in May 2017.

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz

Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz was born in Amsterdam. She received her Jewish education at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and the European Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm, and was ordained a rabbi in 2013. She is a songwriter and composes liturgical music. She takes an interest in issues of multiculturalism, social justice and firmly believes in representing a socially-relevant and spiritually-compelling Judaism for today’s world.

Shabnam Khan

Shabnam Khan has been singing professionally since her school days, always enjoying music from several genres including ghazal, geet, Punjabi folk and Sufiana Kalam. She sings in many languages and has performed alongside artists including Ghulam Ali, Mehndi Hassan and Rajab Ali, Alaap, Heera, Arif Lohar, So Solid Crew, The Dhol Foundation and Fun-Da-Mental. She is currently working on a Shabd album with Sunil Kalyan and Bindi Sagoo.


Keertan Kaur Rehal

Keertan Kaur Rehal has held a passion for music since the age of four, when she began performing Indian classical music at the Sikh Centre in Leeds.  She has undertaken a number of residencies in South Asia, and now works as both a performer and teacher of music.

Voices in Praise Choir

The Voices in Praise Choir has performed gospel songs and traditional hymns at a range of events in different cities across England. Established more than 30 years ago, the choir features members of the New Testament Church of God in Leeds.

About The Host

Bishop Toby Howarth

Toby Howarth is the Bishop of Bradford. He studied at Yale University and trained for the Church of England in Oxford, Birmingham and Uganda, holds an MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham and has a PhD in Islamic preaching from the Free University of Amsterdam. He has worked in inter-faith relations and taught Islamic studies.