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Book review: Grandparenting for Faith by Becky Sedgwick

28 March 2024

Dennis Richards looks at grandparenting

IT MAY once have been thought that grandparents had something of a “cushy” role. Not for them the daily grind of disciplining noisy children, who, more often than not, metamorphosed into grumpy adolescents. Have fun with the grandchildren, spoil them a bit, break a few parental rules, and then hand them back.

Not any more. The prevalence of divorce and the cost of childcare have made the part played by grandparents crucial to survival for many families. The opposite is also true. Some grandparents may find themselves sidelined, as their children move to increasingly distant places, in search of career opportunities or a different way of life. In such families, the grandchildren don’t even live on the same continent as their grandparents.

This newly published volume, while unmistakably Evangelical in outlook, is also insightful and accessible in a way that would not alienate the general reader. Don’t forget, the author tells us, that children today will be picking up their ideas of God and Christianity from a variety of sources. School RE lessons and exams will come into play, as will films and television. Given the extensive “small group notes” section, there is every reason to recommend the volume to church or house-group leaders.

The tough questions are not avoided. What is the appropriate reaction if your new son- or daughter-in-law specifically asks the grandparents to avoid talking about God or religious belief altogether? or when the children are being brought by parents of different faiths? The chapter heading reads: “No one said it would be easy.” You can say that again.

Dennis Richards is a former head of St Aidan’s C of E High School, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Grandparenting for Faith
Becky Sedgwick
BRF £9.99
Church Times Bookshop £8.99

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