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by
26 March 2021

This week’s selection: unexpected objects in churches and cathedrals, prayers for the environment, and a spiritual biography of Desmond Tutu

Church Curiosities: Strange objects and bizarre legends by David Castleton (Shire Publications, £9.99 (£8.99); 978-1-78442-444-2).

“In churches and cathedrals across Britain, tucked away among ordinary items such as pews, screens and pulpits, sit a plethora of fascinating and unexpected objects. From dragon-slaying spears and the ribs of monstrous cows to pagan altars, reindeer horns and mummified skulls, these curiosities have intrigued generations of visitors. In this captivating history, David Castleton explores this fascinating world of lepers’ squints, pancake bells, virgin garlands and sanctuary knockers, and unravels the tales, legends and folkloric ceremonies that lay behind these charming and often deeply unusual artefacts.”


Praying for the Earth: Remembering the environment in our prayers of intercessions
by Rob Kelsey (Sacristy Press, £8.99 (£8.09); 978-1-78959-135-4).

“Praying for the Earth is a resource for congregations and for individual Christians who believe that environmental concerns should be an integral part of the public and private prayers of all Christian people. The book is intended to be used as a supplement to the prayers of intercession in church on Sunday, and by individuals in their private prayers, so that praying for the earth becomes an ‘ordinary’ part of our spiritual and daily life, rather than something that happens on a special occasion.”

 
Desmond Tutu: A spiritual biography of South Africa’s confessor
by Michael Battle (WJK, £40 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £32); 978-0-664-26727-8).

“The first biography of its kind about Desmond Tutu, this book introduces readers to Tutu's spiritual life and examines how it shaped his commitment to restorative justice and reconciliation.”


Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.

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