sharing stories • building bridges

Not Just Fish and Ships - Experience a Unique Play 

Experience a unique and immersive play when Not Just Fish and Ships is performed at Peterborough Cathedral on Saturday 21st September

The stunning setting of the choir stalls at Peterborough Cathedral will be transformed into a seventh century Synod on Saturday 21st September with two special performances of Pat Ashworth’s Not Just Fish and Ships.
It’s the year 664 and Whitby Abbey is hosting a Synod by royal request. Two opposing currents meet as the delegates arrive, with the date of Easter and monks’ haircuts dominating the agenda. It’s about the power of Rome and the pull of the saints, but most of all, it’s about conformity.
And who can argue with that?

Colman for one, the impetuous Abbot of Lindisfarne. He’s pitted against the ambitious Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, impatient to become a bishop. King Oswy has a lot on his mind, with a north-south divide in the country and the Mercians always at his back. Meanwhile, Caedmon the poet is in a world of his own. It falls to Abbess Hilda to navigate these choppy waters – and to fulfil her own destiny.

A portrait of monastic life in Anglo-Saxon England, Not Just Fish and Ships is a courtroom drama with a light touch, with more than a little resonance for our own quarrelsome times.

Here are some reviews of Not Just Fish and Ships from its recent performance in Nottingham:

“A brilliant mix of history, entertainment, inspiration and topical comment.” Revd Simon Witcombe

“Wonderfully atmospheric play… A humorous, perceptive and thought-provoking portrayal of the Synod of Whitby showing what happens when flawed but godly people who believe passionately disagree. Set in 664, it could be the church or even parliament today.” Janet Henderson

“The performance last night was simply amazing. To bring such an episode of our history to life in such a well-researched and vivid manner – blending humour, theology, church history and even some implicit comment on church politics today – was truly remarkable … I was thrilled we could be a venue for the play.” Revd Christopher Harrison, Rector of St Peter and All Saints, Nottingham 

There will be two performances of Not Just Fish and Ships on Saturday 21st September – a matinée at 3.00pm and an evening performance at 7:00pm. 

Tickets for the matinée performance are £12 per person (£10 concessions). For the evening, tickets are £15 (£12 concessions). To book, visit or call Peterborough Visitor Information Centre on 01733 452336.


To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: