Category Archives: Uncategorized

Past Courses

I know some of you organise lectures for the U3A or local societies and are looking for suitable topics and lecturers. Many of our lecturers are available for one off lectures and will be happy to discuss terms with you.

After a lot of requests, we decided to leave the past courses online, so you can see what we have already done, and what the area of general interest of our lecturers is. I hope you approve.

New exhibition co-curated by our lecturer Anthony Burton

The Elizabeth Gaskell house in Manchester is  showing from February an exhibition on
Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester

Elizabeth Gaskell lived in Manchester from 1832 until her death in 1865, a time of huge change and expansion for the city, which raised many challenges for its residents from the coming of the railways and the Free Trade Movement and the Reform Acts to the Cholera and the Cotton Famine on the other.

The exhibition focuses on the Politics, Commerce, Transport, Learning, Churches, the Mills, the Poor, the Shops, Art, Music and Literature.

Anthony is hoping to offer a day school in the Summer term on the topic

The Elizabeth Gaskell House at 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester M13 9LW

is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11.00am – 4.30pm (last admission 4pm) enquiries: 0161 273 2215 or



What is Heka? – An introduction to the Course

Joanne Backhouse

fertility-figurine-2 The course

Heka: The Magical Arts of Ancient Egypt

will focus on the concept of Heka (magic) in ancient Egypt. Heka was a divine force imbued in deities, the king and the dead.  It could be used for good or bad, private or state purposes.  This course will focus on two main areas.  Firstly, deities and ritual practitioners (priests and priestesses), this will include the god Heka and and the gods as healers, for example Sekhmet.  Secondly, the course will examine the objects and images created to channel the power of heka, including execration and fertility figurines, amulets, wands and spell books.

sekhmet-figure-3Although much, if not all, of Egyptian art was magical this course will examine images and objects created specifically for magical practice. A broad definition of magic will be used; which is, any activity that seeks to obtain its goal outside the natural laws of cause and effect, will be deemed magical.

This includes rituals in the home, temples and in the funeral realm; most rituals in ancient Egypt used a combination of recitation and action.

The lectures will demonstrate the assimilation of magic, medicine and religion in ancient Egypt and illustrate how magical practice was part of everyday life. As Egyptologist, Robert Ritner said, ‘one man’s magic is another man’s religion’.  The course also presents a rare opportunity to handle and photograph many magical objects from ancient Egypt at Manchester Museum.


How to contact us:

For general enquiries

Birgitta Hoffmann
MANCENT Course Director
55 Broadwalk
Wilmslow, Cheshire

email:    Phone: 0161 300 5532

mobile: 07747 533 070


For bookings or information on individual courses:
Please contact the lecturers listed for the specific courses.

Welcome to our new home

Dear All,

MANCENT is entering its 8th year in existence and thanks to all your efforts, so far it has been a big success. To ensure that things can continue to grow, it is time for a few changes. Mostly they are cosmetic and, hopefully, most should make life a bit easier.

The first one of these is our new mobile friendly webpage. As you can see, the layout has changed, but we hope that in the coming week the contents will prove as popular as ever.

But as with so many moves to new premises, for the next two weeks, we are metaphorically living amongst boxes and are still finding out, where everything is. So, please bear with us, or even better let us know if there are any items you hope we will add. I look forward to hearing from you.

Birgitta Hoffmann
Course Administrator.