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The Word Bank

Paul Burbridge's vision for Riding Lights Theatre Company was that we are called to make kingdom-centred theatre that is responsive, urgent, visionary, insightful and prophetic, and that in order to do that we need new plays.

Paul made extraordinary theatre with a spirit of abundance and generosity, and we invite you to give to The Word Bank with that same spirit of abundance, no matter how much or how little you can give.


He was genuinely excited when a first draft dropped into his inbox. A skilful wordsmith himself, he became an excellent commissioner and dramaturg: a midwife of new work, and encourager of writers. He simply loved new writing: developing it through rehearsal, bringing it to performance and sharing it with audiences. In his hands, new writing became the lifeblood of the company.

So we are honouring that by setting up a new fund in his memory. The Word Bank will support the commission and production of new writing, ensuring that it remains at the heart of Riding Lights’ work.

When Paul died, he was – as ever – full of plans for Riding Lights. But underpinning plans, Paul always had a vision of theatre that was abundant and generous, because it was a response to the abundance and generosity of God.

He was very amused, in the early days of the company, when a stern critic accused him of employing ‘unnecessary humour’.


Years later, he described the work that Riding Lights makes as a precious outpouring, like Mary’s jar of perfume poured over Jesus’ feet: an apparently unnecessary, costly offering; an act of witness, and an expression of the abundance of the kingdom. 


The Word Bank will remain open as a fund for the next year, during which time it can receive gifts regularly or irregularly that will nurture the creation and presentation of new work as Riding Lights moves into the future.

Let's Connect

Friargate Theatre
Lower Friargate
York, YO1 9SL

01904 655317

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