'Clive James raged against the dying of the light, as you would expect from a man who had punched out prose like a prizefighter all his life; yet he also showed grace and gratitude at being allowed to stay in that light for a little while longer. He saw beauty in even the smallest things. Every moment was potentially precious, because there were so few left. As his daughter Claerwen said, for him "Everything was Extraordinary."'
What if we could learn to live with such awareness long before the end? To appreciate every moment, and every encounter with another human or with the natural world around us? Might we, too, learn that everything is extraordinary? That we are interconnected and interdependent?
Each encounter we have with another person is potentially meaningful because our very humanity depends on being connected with others. As Desmond Tutu says: 'I couldn't be a human being on my lonesome, I wouldn't know what to do.'
In a set of lyrical meditations, award-winning writer and interviewer Cole Moreton takes us face-to-face with the famous, the infamous -- and others with insights to share -- from Scarlett Johansson, Tiger Woods and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Zahra, a refugee who crossed the Channel on a tiny, overladen rubber boat. We meet all of them as equals and each fascinating story tells us something about the way we live, love and reach out to find each other, whoever we are.
Everything Is Extraordinary builds into a mesmerising and lyrical meditation on the joy of being alive and open to the world. All we need to do is pay attention.
Cole Moreton is a writer and broadcaster exploring who we are and what we believe in. Cole was named as Interviewer of the Year at the Press Awards for his work with the Mail on Sunday. Cole has covered many of the major news stories of our times as a writer for titles including The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Financial Times and was once executive editor of the late, lamented Independent on Sunday. Cole's new podcast Can We Talk? is a series of crafted short stories about encounters with remarkable people and what we can learn about how to live. He is the author of four non-fiction books.
The Very Reverend Dr Mark Oakley was ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1993 and served his curacy at St John’s Wood Church. He was later appointed Chaplain to the Bishop of London and after four years was made Rector of the Actors’ church in Covent Garden. He has subsequently served as an archdeacon in the Diocese in Europe, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge. Mark holds a PhD in English Literature and is an admired author of several books on poetry and spirituality. He is well known as a speaker and preacher and has been awarded both the Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing and the Lanfranc award, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for education and scholarship. Mark has a strong commitment to human rights and has served on the board of Liberty and the Civil Liberties Trust, as well as being awarded one of the first ‘Upstander’ awards for his work with hate crime victims. King’s College London awarded him a Fellowship in recognition of his work and ministry. Mark was installed as the Dean of Southwark in early December 2023.
This event is in-person only and will not be streamed or recorded.
Copies of Everything is Extraordinary will be available to purchase on the evening.