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New titles just published

30 April 2021

This week’s selection: a volume of non-canonical gospels, latest thinking and learning from Messy Church, and resources for Messy Vintage

The Apocryphal Gospels, edited by Simon Gathercole (Penguin, £10.99 (£9.89); 978-0-241-34055-4).

“A new translation of the oldest non-canonical Christian gospels. In the early years of Christianity, several groups produced ‘hidden’ or ‘apocryphal’ gospels, alternative versions of the story of Christ. Sometimes these texts complemented the four canonical gospels of the New Testament, sometimes they subverted them and often they were completely different. Here, in the widest selection of non-canonical gospels gathered in one volume — which also includes two modern forgeries — we see the young Jesus making live birds from clay, hear his secret words of wisdom, discover gnostic cosmologies and witness the Harrowing of Hell. Preserved by their readers and attacked by their detractors, these gospels shine a fascinating light on the early Christian Church. Translated with an Introduction by Simon Gathercole.”

Messy Discipleship: Messy Church perspectives on growing faith, edited by Lucy Moore (BRF, £8.99 (£8.09); 978-0-85746-953-3).

“Described as being ‘deeply serious about discipleship’, Messy Church has much to share, as well as much still to learn. As the fastest-growing fresh expression of church in the UK, Messy Church has learnt a thing or two about discipleship since its beginnings in 2004. This collection of perspectives, edited by Messy Church founder Lucy Moore, brings academic analysis and practitioner wisdom to bear on a key question for today's church, capturing the latest thinking and learning from the Messy Church context. Individual chapters examine each of the core Messy Church values and how these work in practice to promote discipleship.”

Messy Vintage: 52 Sessions to share Christ-centred fun and fellowship with the older generation by K. Norman and J. Phipps (BRF, £8.99 (£8.09); 978-0-85746-975-5).

“Being ‘church’ with older people in care homes, congregations and the community Messy Vintage is Christ-centred and creative, full of celebration and hospitality and open to all, aspiring to include people of all ages while specifically reaching out to older people. A typical session involves hands-on creative activities to explore a Bible story, a short celebration with story, song and prayer, and refreshments. Whether you're just getting started with Messy Vintage or looking for new session material, this book offers practical advice and resources to help you reach out to the older people in your community.”

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

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