November Events

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Depending on the popularity of an event, tickets will be available on the door (NB cash only on the door).

Telephone enquiries about events with no booking number listed – 01367 700615.

If you wish to book for all the events on Saturday November 5th please contact 01367 700615 to book a day ticket.

Please Note Telephone bookings cannot be taken after 4pm on Friday 4th November but can be bought on the door (cash only) unless sold out.

Please visit the Contributors page for more detailed information about the people involved in this year’s Festival.

All venues are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise stated.

November 1st

Ethical 1.pngAssisted Suicide

The debate around assisted dying is intensely polarised. Our experience of panels is a deadlock of entrenched positions with emotive arguments on all sides. We have invited Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology Oxford University, to examine the philosophical questions raised by this subject. We hope for a calm, nuanced exploration enabling each of us to make our own personal decision. The format is a talk from Nigel, small groups to discuss the questions raised, then a plenary and questions.
November 1st 19:45 Book – 01367 700615  £7/£5
The Lecture Theatre, Mansfield College, Oxford, OX1 3TF

November 2nd

life after 1There is Life in Death
Led by qualified drama therapist Lizzie Cummings, this creative workshop will explore the theme through reflection, movement, play and story work. We will journey through an ancient Greek myth of the life/death/life cycle and then reflect and meditate on what was experienced and how to take whatever we have learned about ourselves into everyday life. The workshop provides a space, not to perform, but simply to be and become. Image by USDA.
November 2nd 18:15-19:45 Book – 01865 244321 FREE
Inner Space, 21 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AS

November 4th

home funeral

Funerals to Die For – That Won’t Cost the Earth
The Home Funeral Network hosts a day of workshops, films, inspiring stories and informative talks.  Jerrigrace Lyons, Professor Tony Walters, Dr Ros Taylor MBE, Antonia Rolls, Josefine Speyer and other guests. A practical guide to dealing with death, dying and bereavement, through a compassionate, informed, natural approach to deathcare.
£55 HFN members/£60 non-members.
November 4th 10:00-16:00 Book and for more detailed info – 01903 339150 / 07717 482721 Dean Court Community Centre, Oxford OX2 9DH

kismet close up creepy light

Day of the Dead Ceilidh
Dance with the living.  Dance for the dead.  After two hugely successful Day of the Dead Ceilidhs, this is definitely a new tradition! Kismet play a mix of traditional Scottish and Irish tunes, Eastern European numbers and their own compositions, all with energy and passion. All the dances are called and everyone’s welcome.’Hard times require furious dancing,’ says writer Alice Walker. Soft drinks available, or please bring a bottle. Dressing up welcomed. See you there.
November 4th 20:00-23:30 Book – here £12/£10 Under 18s £5
Wolvercote Village Hall, 1 Wolvercote Green, OX2 8AB

November 5th

alison and sue talking

A light, airy room overlooking the peaceful, enclosed garden. Serving hot drinks and a delicious lunch (booking strongly advised). Browse the resources, view the Postcards Project, chat to festival goers and contributors or light a candle at the Day of the Dead altar. Last festival people valued the conversations that continued here long after the event that inspired them had finished. A trained volunteer counsellor is there if you wish to talk to someone in confidence.
November 5th 9:00-18:00 Book (for lunch only) – 01367 700615 £8
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW
mindfulness 1Breathworks Mindfulness
Start the Festival weekend with a short Mindfulness session. A chance to arrive, settle yourself and become more receptive and present. We will be attuning to the breath; its coming in to life and its dying, its fullness and emptiness, its activity and repose. This helps us become more balanced in our lives. Valuing repose as well as activity, emptiness as well as fullness, letting go as well as gathering. As it is evidence based, health professionals use Mindfulness to help many health problems.
November 5th 9:45-10:15 Booking not required FREE
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW
Skulls website final 1 resizedSpeed Dating with Death
Short talks from 10 experts in a wide variety of fields. Then, dash to a small table, meet them briefly and when the bell sounds move on. Time to meet five in small groups, finishing with final questions and comments. A chance to meet contributors over lunch, but essential to book this. Numbers limited to 30. Visit Contributors page to find out about Angela Samata, Catherine Blaxhall, Grace Noble, Hazel May, Helen Mackinnon, James Grote, Joan Gardner, Jo Withers, Penny Beerling, Rosie Inman-Cook and Sue Brayne.
November 5th 10:30-12:30 Book – Here: Full price/Here: Concs £12/£10 
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW 

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A light lunch of delicious soup, bread and cheese, something sweet and a hot drink served in the Garden Room. Booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. There are also a wide range of cafes within easy walking distance.
November 5th 12:30-13:30 Book – 01367 700615 £8
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW



End of Life – What happens? How can I help?
When someone is very close to death we often find ourselves rather lost. We may be exhausted, distressed, even bored at times. But if we have gained some understanding of what might happen and what might help, we are in a stronger position emotionally and practically. Our panellists will talk about dying processes, pain relief and simple care through touch, music and deep listening to words or silence. GP Jo Withers, Community Nurse Jo Oates, Music Therapist Kate Binnie and M-Technique Massage Therapist Janet Le Seur.
November 5th 13:30-15:00 Book – Here: Full price/ Here: Concs £8/£6
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW
angela samata event image 1Life After Suicide
Angela will show extracts from the BAFTA-nominated BBC documentary she presented earlier this year featuring her life since her husband and the father of their two sons took his own life, her work with the charity Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, and exploring what can cause someone to take their own life.  Angela is convinced that only by being open about what has happened and honest about our feelings can we hope to create a positive life after a suicide and prevent further repercussions.
November 5th 15:15-16:15  Book – Here: Full price/ Here: Concs £7/£5
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW

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Don’t Leave Me Now
This reading by professional actors is inspired by two real stories. A journey of grieving for the person who was and finally for the physical loss of the love of your life. Where is the line between love and duty? Endorsed by all major dementia charities, the National Council for Palliative Care and Cruse Bereavement Care. Performance followed by a panel discussion with audience including cast, Hazel May, Anna Eden, and Larry Gardiner and Liz Woods, who are both living with early onset dementia, and Liz’s husband,
November 5th 16:30-18:30 Book –Here: Full price/ Here: Concs £8/£6
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW
The singing event which follows welcomes everyone and will be run with dementia awareness.

Dementia films

Free Film Showings
A series of creative responses to the experience of dementia will be viewable in the library most of the day on request.
Hazel May will be available to discuss the material.
November 5th All day Booking – not required
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW
singing 1
Singing from the Heart
An opportunity to connect with others through song, to express our relationship to life, death and the present moment. Experienced community music facilitator Janet Stansfeld will teach some simple and beautiful harmony songs. No previous experience necessary – all the songs will be taught by ear, and no assumptions made about your belief system! Please feel free to contact Janet if you would like any more information about the event: Event image by Andrew Gustar 
November 5th 18:45-19:15 Book – 01865 762200 £6/£5
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW


Laughing in the Face of Death
Paul Mayhew-Archer, comedy writer, with his friends Professor of Laughter and neuroscientist, Sophie Scott and Radio 4’s Andy Hamilton. Paul has Parkinson’s and presented the BBC’s Parkinson’s: The Funny Side. He feels it is vital to laugh in the face of illness, death and bereavement. ‘A woman once thanked me for saving her life. She was considering ending it all when Dibley came on. She laughed so much she decided life was worth living. I thought – “How humbling” and “Thank goodness it was one of the funnier episodes, otherwise she’d have been a gonna.“‘  Andy is a News Quiz regular and created the award- winning series Old Harry’s Game.  Image by Rachael.
November 5th 20:00-21:30 Book – Here: Full price/ Here: Concs £13/£11
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW

November 6th

death cafe resize.jpg

Death Café
Good company, cake and a chat about death. What could be better? Led by the Kicking the Bucket Festival team, headed up by Sue Brayne. A chance to reflect and share your thoughts in relaxed and informal settings. Never morbid, often light hearted! Not recommended for the recently bereaved. One of thousands such cafés springing up worldwide. For more information
November 6th 10:00-12:00 Book – 01235 849427 FREE
Café Rouge, 11 Little Clarendon Street, OX1 2HP

holywell cemetary 1

Oxford University at Rest – exploring and reading Holywell Cemetery
Avril Maddrell, human geographer, gives a guided tour of a selection of graves including those of Kenneth Grahame of Wind in the Willows fame and poet Margaret Louisa Woods, as well as other memorials of historic or aesthetic interest; followed by a consideration of the cemetery as a ‘green space’ and refuge for wildlife.
November 6th 13:30-14:30 Booking not required FREE
St.Cross Rd, City Centre, OX1 3TP – very limited parking nearby

Just passing through

Just Passing Through – Workshop
Journalist John Simpson says ‘Sixty is the new middle age.’ Is this true? Certainly we are living longer, many of us have greater affluence, better health and more choice about how we spend our time. However this, in a society that has lost its spiritual moorings, can bring difficulties in relationships, questions about identity, and crisis in meaning. An opportunity to talk about issues that really matter as we enter our ageing process. Image by Glen Van Etten.
November 6th 15:30-17:30 Book – 07729 468289 £8/£6
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW 

mindfulness 1

Breathworks Mindfulness
End the weekend with a gentle mindfulness breath practice and a chance to ask questions. Our lives are carried on the wave of the breath; our breath reflects our life and our life reflects our breath. How wonderful then that we can be aware of the breath and  can get to know it and allow it to find its natural rhythm and balance. Led by Marguerite Wallis, Breathworks Practitioner
November 6th 17:45-18:45 Book – 01865 718240 £10/£8
Friends Meeting House, St Giles, OX1 3LW

November 12th & 13th

Jane Duncan Rogers workshopBefore I Go: Practical Questions to Ask and Answer Before You Die
Talking about end of life won’t mean you die. A workshop with Jane Duncan Rogers working through her publication Before I Go: Practical Questions to Ask and Answer Before You Die. Time for reflection and preparation between sessions. Workshop includes copy of the workbook. (Free talk on the same subject on Tuesday 8th November, Friends Meeting House, St Giles 1-2pm).
November 12th & 13th 14:30-17:30 Book – 07894 882215
£55/£45 St Albans Hall, Charles St, Oxford, OX4 3AH