Dickens of year lined up for city

Di Jones of the Dickens Fellowship
Di Jones of the Dickens Fellowship

THE bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens is too good an opportunity to miss for local devotees.

Members of the Sheffield Dickens Fellowship, who meet in Channing Hall in Surrey Street, are lining up a series of events, including readings, lectures and a heritage day.

The group was formed in 1904, when it had up to 200 members. Now there are around 30.

Secretary Di Jones, of Fulwood, who has been invited to Buckingham Palace to take part in an official celebration of the bicentenary, said: “There are so many different things to talk about with Dickens. The detail is unbelievable and he must have never stopped writing.”

Chairman Sue Wormald added: “His characters are so rich and vivid that they have become part of our national consciousness – we all know who Oliver, Scrooge and Miss Havisham are.”

The Sheffield fellowship, which is one of 57 branches worldwide, meets monthly and concentrates on one book a year. “There is just so much to talk about,” says member Jean Ireland. “He picks up on many truths that are still part of our lives today.”

A thanksgiving service will be held at the Upper Chapel in Channing Hall on February 12 at 11am and 6.30pm and Mike Gardner will give readings at Waterstones book shop in Orchard Square on March 9 at 2pm.