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Sharing the Christmas Story: From reading to living the gospel by Sally Welch

28 October 2022

Peter McGeary reviews a journey from Advent to the Epiphany

THE author of this kind of book faces a difficult set of tasks. Advent is a wonderful time of the Church’s year, filled with themes of history, judgement, and expectation. The trouble is that it is all too short, and takes place in a world that thinks that “Christmas” is a time of commercial frenzy that for many people begins weeks before 1 December. How does an author instil a sense of prayerfulness and reflection into this season?

Sally Welch is a director of the Centre for Christian Pilgrimage, in the diocese of Oxford, and her book is an attempt to do just that: to get us to slow down and think and pray. She takes us on a journey of exploration of the themes of the season. Sharing the Christmas Story is designed for individual or group use, and is a very good attempt to get the reader to carve out a short daily time for a scripture reading, a reflection, questions, and, finally, prayer. The material covers six weeks from the beginning of Advent until the feast of the Epiphany, and each week has an overarching theme to link the Bible passages.

The great quality here is simplicity and brevity, although material can be easily expanded for group use (there are helpful suggestions at the beginning about how this might be done). The BRF has produced another fine volume that tells the Story with simplicity and clarity.

The Revd Peter McGeary is the Vicar of St Mary’s, Cable Street, in east London, and a Priest-Vicar of Westminster Abbey.


Sharing the Christmas Story: From reading to living the gospel
Sally Welch
BRF £8.99
Church Times Bookshop £8.09

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