Beyond the Children’s Corner: Creating a culture of welcome for all ages by M. Pritchard Houston (CHP, £16.99 (£15.29); 978-1-78140-164-4).
“Beyond the Children’s Corner is a practical handbook to help churches become more welcoming to children and families in worship. It encourages PCCs and ministry teams to reflect on the spiritual needs of children, the pastoral needs of families, and how to remove barriers and manage change effectively. Based on multiple training sessions and extensive casework, informed by research by the Church of England’s Life Events team and the Methodist Church, it explores: the changing needs of modern families; what tells you it’s time for change; ‘quick wins’ to make the worship space more welcoming and spiritually imaginative; engaging children in spiritually nourishing worship; children and contemplative worship - what to do about noise; building and sustaining relationships with families and children. Many books on All-Age Worship focus the service itself. Beyond the Children’s Corner explores how children and adults can be truly integrated as the church community, covering parents’ perspectives, the church building and the challenge of change as well as what happens in worship.”
Nourishing Connections: Collected poems by Graham Kings (Canterbury Press, £10.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £8.79); 978-1-78622-277-0).
“Beloved theologian and bishop Graham Kings has been writing poetry for thirty-five years, with many of his poems used in retreats and preaching throughout the Anglican Communion. This collection brings together Graham’s poems on a range of devotional subjects, looking on the world with the eyes of faith and observing the sacred in the ordinary. With this perspective, all things are capable of pointing beyond themselves to the truth and beauty of God. Graham’s poetry celebrates the people, places, art, past and present, the practice of prayer, the stories that shape our lives, the rhythms of the spiritual year that have been for him doorways to the divine.”
Listen to Graham Kings talking about his poems on the Church Times podcast.
Ecclesianarchy: Adaptive ministry for a post-church society by John Williams (SCM Press, £25 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £20); 978-0-334-05980-6).
“Strategic thinking about ministry and mission has tended to focus on the challenges of communication and presentation. Less attention has been paid to the effects that this thinking has on ministry. There is an unacknowledged dilemma for churches insofar as they are caught between the challenge to re-shape ministry in response to cultural change and the belief that there are certain God-given, immutable foundations for ministerial order that must be retained. Arguing that what is needed is a provisional approach to ministry which recognises that all forms of ministry are, and always have been a response to social and cultural context, this book brings theological and practical insight to bear on the question of ministry’s provisionality. In the end, it asks, is the only way through this dilemma a kind of Ecclesianarchy?”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.