Funded PhD scholar looking into children’s biblical reception and what it tells us about the state of religion. Currently focussing on Godly Play in the broad context of Christian children’s work using archives, real reader methods, discourse analysis and a splash of stylistics.

Also currently joint general editor of trackchanges and co-ordinator for the Sacred Texts Child Readers research project.



MRes in 2018 – 19 in Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield.

BA just before. I was a mature student, or so they say.

Back in the day, ‘A’ Levels, TEFL certificate, Protestant Theology in Montpellier.

Other Publications

“Daughters of a Lesser God? Abraham’s Women in Jerome Berryman’s Complete Guide to Godly Play”  27/02/2020  http://ow.ly/UFb950yOc4T

“Berryman’s Abraham: Friend of God and Spiritual Scientist?” 30/01/2020 http://ow.ly/V7Fd50yOc7l

“‘So Abraham Took Hagar’: A Children’s Retelling of Abraham” Sheffield Gender History Journal, Summer 2017. https://sheffieldgenderhistory.hcommons.org/?p=51

“Family Values? A Narratological Investigation of Sunday school and Ideology. The Abraham Cycle in Godly Play: A Case Study” Poster presentation with Jo Henderson-Merrygold at the Church of England Faith in Research Conference, Birmingham, 2018.

“Images of Entitlement: Faith formation’s Less-Than-Immaculate Conception of Consent” Poster presentation at the Shiloh conference, University of Sheffield, 2018.

“Dead Men Walking: Lepers, Zombies, and other Revenants in the Biblical Imagination” at the Gothic Bible conference, University of Sheffield, 2017

“Taystee is the New Ruth” at the Orange is the New Bible conference, University of Sheffield, 2016. Available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_lbuqnDbAU


Co-ordinator for Sacred Texts and Child Readersmulti-author blog here

Joint general editor for trackchanges faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Sheffield

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

I’m speaking at the Dismantling Whiteness conference on the 17th April 2021. My paper ‘Whiteness and Godly Play’ looks at online discourse about the people of God figurines, a key Godly Play material, and the implications of this conversation for practitioners’ representations of the church.

On the 7th of May 2021 I will be speaking at the Victorian Popular Fiction Association study day. My paper, ‘Where are the biblical heroines?’ will be online from the 29th of April. It considers an example of the children’s temperance press from the 1850’s, and reasons for the paucity of Bible stories within its pages.

I spoke recently at the second mini-conference for ‘In the Crosshairs: Biblical Violence in Focus’ organised by the Centre for the Study of the Bible and Violence. My paper was ‘Time for her to get married: forced marriage as a trope in Jerome Berryman’s Godly Play’. The conference can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRv1amejYSw  Now to write it up for the forthcoming edited volume …



The Oral History Society, the Victorian Literature Society, the Society of Biblical Literature.

Cath Kennedy

Profile picture of Cath Kennedy


Active 2 weeks ago