Scrolling through my twitter feed earlier this week I discovered that Sarum Bookshop in Salisbury had made me their ‘author of the week’. This was very welcome, hugely encouraging, completely surprising and deeply flattering news. And worth a blog perhaps. Though before I say more about it let me report on the early morning runner I mentioned yesterday. I had a brief word with him yesterday evening. Apparently it was a very beautiful pre-dawn and his run was refreshing. ‘Wasn’t it a bit cold?’ I asked. ‘No,’ he replied it was only about -25. That’s fine But I do draw the line at -30.’ I am still thinking about that.
Anyway regarding A of the W. I have no idea why this has happened, unless it is because while two of my books were published as Lent books, two others have been adopted as Lent books, which does rather connect me up with this pre- and post-pancake time of year.
The two Barefoot books – ‘Barefoot Disciple’ and ‘Barefoot Prayers’ – were both commissioned for Lent, though ‘Barefoot Disciple’ is really more about adult christian living based on the strange but central virtue of humility than travelling through Lent.
‘Barefoot Prayers’ is published for this year and offers a brief poem-prayer / meditation for each day of the season. I am reading some of these to Canadian clergy for whom I am leading a silent retreat at St Albert, Edmonton at the moment and getting appreciative murmurs as they come to an end (you know that sound you sometimes get at poetry readings when people see something fresh in a poem or resonate with the experience it narrates). It’s quite a personal collection so very reassuring that the soul-speak I have tried to offer in the poem-prayers connects with these hardy and friendly people.
‘Healing Agony – Reimagining Forgiveness’ has been adopted by the Bishop of Coventry as his Lent Book this year, so is being read by all the clergy and readers of Coventry diocese.
I was delighted to attend a study day there in January and discuss forgiveness and reconciliation with Canon David Porter. As he said afterwards, the only problem with the discussion was that we agreed on so much. That does not mean it wasn’t lively. The truth is that even with the similar understanding of forgiveness that we offer – it’s both much more difficult and much more important than people usually recognise, and every situation is different (or in David’s words – ‘context is all’) – there is a huge amount to say, do and work on.
And the two ‘Beyond Busyness’ books are at the core of the ‘Give Up Busyness for Lent’ campaign that I ran with Sacristy Press last year and which, if your busyness has become toxic, you can always try this year. Check out the website here. www.notbusy.co.uk
Anyway, I am delighted to express my thanks to Sarum Bookshop for this unlikely honour and to invite you, if you are thinking of ordering any of my books online, to use the links below to get them from this excellent, entrepreneurial and independent bookshop.
For Barefoot Prayers: http://www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=11011&bc=no
For Beyond Busyness: http://www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=10852&bc=no
For Healing Agony: http://www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=10851&bc=no
Or if, unlike me, you are in Wiltshire, you can always pop in.