Seven Sacred Spaces: Portals to deeper community life in Christ by George Lings (BRF, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-085746-934-2).
“Too often people’s understanding of and engagement with ‘church’ is reduced to corporate worship, when it is so much more. George Lings identifies seven characteristic elements in Christian communities through the ages, which when held in balance enable a richer expression of discipleship, mission and community. In the monastic tradition these elements have distinctive locations: cell (being alone with God), chapel (corporate public worship), chapter (making decisions), cloister (planned and surprising meetings), garden (the place of work), refectory (food and hospitality) and scriptorium (study and passing on knowledge). Through this lens George Lings explores how these seven elements relate to our individual and communal walk with God, hold good for church and family life, and appear in wider society.”
Austin Farrer for Today: A prophetic agenda edited by Richard Harries and Stephen Platten (SCM Press, £30 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £24); 978-0-334-05944-8).
“Austin Farrer is often called the one genius the Church of England produced in the 20th century. His innovative ideas crossed a host of theological disciplines.
“Assessing his continuing importance and introducing him to a new generation of readers, Austin Farrer for Today brings together a stellar collection of writers to reflect on Farrer’s contribution to biblical theology, philosophy, language, doctrine, prayer and preaching.”
Three Vicars Talking by Rev Richard Coles, Rev Kate Bottley and Rev Giles Fraser (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.69); 978-0-281-08468-5).
“When Christine Morgan got Richard Coles, Kate Bottley and Giles Fraser together in a studio, all she had to do was plug them in and let them go. The dynamic between the three meant there were moments of real connection and poignancy alongside the laughter: ‘I’m exaggerating for comic effect,’ Kate announced after one particularly outrageous anecdote, ‘It's one of the reasons we’re here.’ Each realized in the course of conversation that they favoured one of the three rites of passage: Giles: Baptism because you enter into the body of Christ; Richard: Funerals because they take you into the mystery of God; Kate: Weddings because you get to wear nice shoes Engagingly introduced by Christine Morgan, the book ends with the profoundly moving episode (recorded remotely in the three vicars’ homes) that was broadcast on Easter Day 2020, to a world in crisis.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.