Shh! Do not disturb

Just to say that I’m away from work on annual leave for a week or so. I’m not going far, but I’m not going to St Mary’s.

The Vice Provost, Cedric Blakey is in charge whilst I’m not around.

Usual rules apply to this blog whilst I am resting heart and mind and soul. Comment moderation is being applied more aggresively. Anything I post is because I feel like it or alternatively because I’ve felt like it before and posted it in advance.

Here I am

Here I Am – Reflections on the Ordained Life by Richard Giles (Canterbury Press £9.99)

This is a little book about ordination that is full of glistening little gems of insight, wisdom and humour.
Richard Giles will be known to many for his books on the shape of liturgical space (Repitching the Tent) and the shape of the liturgy itself (Creating Uncommon Worship). This latest book is itself a different shape – small and hardback and easily fitted into the cassock pocket. However, it is about the shape of the ordained life.

The text is based on words taken from modern ordination liturgies. It feels as though one has been invited to join in a pre-ordination retreat with someone who is at once, wise, witty, clever and holy.

A time may be coming when a new conversation is needed within the churches about the nature of ordination and its place amongst the people of God. If we believe that the People of God are fundamental to God’s mission in the world and that liturgy is itself the Work of the People then we will need priests to minister in changing ways. This book may form part of that conversation. No more will we be able to speak of someone being ordained as “entering the church”. The church and the ministry of the church is something that we all share. Our language and our assumptions are challenged by changing patterns of ministry. Richard Giles would challenge us gently, nudge us and cajole us. He is a visionary trying to communicate a vision of a different kind of church life than that which many of us have known. It is a vision worth trying to catch and his is a voice worth listening to.

A good book for an ordained person to mull over on retreat. Or for a lay person to mull over in order to try to understand why ordained people behave the way they do. Or for anyone considering ordination. Sprinkled with gold dust. Highly recommended.

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