Author: John M Redford
ISBN: 978-0-85244-836-6
Date: 2014
Price: £15.99 RRP
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Publisher: Gracewing

This book was written during Canon Redford’s last illness, and is published posthumously. Had the author’s name and personal references been concealed, I think I still would have deduced that John Redford wrote it, from the evident desire to affirm the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, from its very closely argued case (reminiscent of the same author’s Mad, Bad or God?), and from the patent intention that readers use the book to affirm their own belief and then utilise the arguments in order to evangelize.

The book is based on the author’s Master’s course at Maryvale, and this pedagogical background yields a number of benefits. It is clearly set out, with a handy summary at the head of each section.

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January/February 2015

Author: John Philip Newell
ISBN: 978-1-59473-542-4
Date: 2014
Price: £16.99 RRP
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Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing

The imagery of birthing pervades John Philip Newell’s new book – not only the joy but the travails, and frankly, the messiness of it all. It is Newell’s conceit that we presently lie as a church and a spiritual community in a time of birth – with all its attendant excitements, dangers and mess. This, of course, will strike a deep chord with some readers and put off others. I gave a chapter of the book to one of my classes to discuss and a lively debate ensued – not least on the striking image Newell uses at the beginning of the book from Jung’s memoirs (I won’t spoil this for you – sufficient to say it will stay in your mind for some time to come!).

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January/February 2015

Author: Gerard W. Hughes
ISBN: 978-1-4729-1040-0
Date: 2014
Price: £12.99 RRP
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum

I was going to begin this review with the words: ‘It was with great sadness that we heard earlier this month of the death of Fr Gerry W. Hughes SJ’ However, having reflected on Gerry, his life and teachings, and gone back to Cry of Wonder, published just before his death, I find myself rejoicing rather that we have had the privilege of sharing the last nine decades with such a great soul.

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January/February 2015

Author: Graham Tomlin
ISBN: 907814080188477
Date: 2013
Price: £7.99 RRP
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2014 is written by the Dean of St Mellitus College, London. As is appropriate for a Lent book, it blends Christian spirituality with scholarship with the addition of perspectives from a priest who has a background both in parish ministry and in training future ministers. Given that mix and grounding, it is a book that should stimulate Christians in their daily discipleship by beginning from familiar territory and then leading readers to explore in greater depth than they may have done before.

The familiar territory is, of course, the cross. But how familiar is it?

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January/February 2015

Editors: Michael Paterson and Jessica Rose
ISBN: 978-0-334-04956-2
Date: 2014
Price: £17.99 RRP
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Publisher: SCM Press

A Center in the Cyclone
Author: Bruce Epperly
ISBN: 978-1-56699-713-3
Date: 2014
Price: £10.95 RRP
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Publisher: Alban Institute, Inc

I am not a qualified psychotherapist or pastoral supervisor, merely someone who – as a member of our diocesan Ongoing Formation of Priests Committee – has been involved in discussions about pastoral care and appraisal of the clergy. This is not, therefore, a peer review by an expert in the field so much as a review by a potential ‘end user’ who is, it must be admitted, a little wary of psychobabble.

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January/February 2015

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