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A space to reflect on Christian theology, spirituality, and ministry within the Church of England

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Vicar's FAQ

Today is the publication date of my book: The Vicar’s FAQ: All you ever wanted to know about Christianity and the Church, published by Darton Longman & Todd.

As you might expect, I’m pretty excited about it! Here are some things you might want to know.

Is it just for vicars / Christians?
No! It’s deliberately aimed at those people outside the Church who are curious about what we believe and do. I’ve tried to avoid jargon, or explain it where it’s unavoidable, and hopefully have managed to address all those questions you’ve been burning to ask!

What’s it about?
The book seeks to answer a vast range of questions that I have been asked both while training to be ordained in the Church of England, and since becoming first a deacon and then a priest. These range from simple questions about whether vicars get holidays and how much they’re paid to deeply complex questions about what members of the Church of England believe God is like or what our attitudes are towards same-sex marriage.

I answer all of these questions as myself. That is to say, I make no bones about the fact that I’m firmly at the ‘liberal’ end of the liberal-conservative spectrum, and reply accordingly. I try to present alternative points of view where appropriate, and in as even-handed a way as I can, but in the end will always make clear what my own stance is. Be warned!

What’s the style like?
It’s informal, with one question running into another in a conversational style. I try to answer complicated questions simply.

What topics do you cover?
There are five main chapters:

  • Being a Vicar (questions about the nature of the job)
  • The Church of England: Past and Present (questions about the history of the C of E, going back to Jesus)
  • The Worship of the Church of England (questions about our services and worship in general)
  • Christian Doctrine (questions about what Christians believe)
  • Ethics (questions about some recent hot-button topics)

Where can I get it?
It’s on sale in the UK (not the USA yet I'm afraid!), available at all good bookshops, and of course through Amazon. Here’s a handy link: