Recent additions to the library!

Over the last few months we have had a few very interesting additions to the library stall.  All books can be borrowed for free (by filling in the signing out form held at the back of church).  We hope to be able to post a full library catalogue on the website soon.

Patron Saint of Prostitutes: Josephine Butler and a Victorian Scandal Helen Mathers

The ‘steel rape’ of women is a scandal that is almost forgotten today. In Victorian England, police forces were granted powers to force any woman they suspected of being a ‘common prostitute’ to undergo compulsory and invasive medical examinations, while women who refused to submit willingly – some as young as 13 – could be arrested and incarcerated. This scandal was exposed by Josephine Butler, a beautiful Evangelical campaigner, who did not rest until she had ended the violation and helped that governed it. She went on to campaign against child prostitution, the trafficking of frightened girls from Britain to Europe, and government-sponsored brothels in India. In addition, Josephine was instrumental in raising the age of consent from 13 to 16. This is the poignant tale of a nineteenth-century woman who challenged taboos and conventions in order to campaign for the rights of her gender, no matter what walk of life. Her story is compelling – and unforgettable.

Convictions: A Manifesto for Progressive Christianity    Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg is one of the world’s bestselling popular theologians whose books have sold over a million copies in England alone.  Here he sets out his deepest convictions about God, Jesus and the Bible, and reveals how a series of mystical experiences helped to make him a world champion of progressive, inclusive and politically engaged Christianity.

Every chapter in this powerful book is shot through with moving stories of his intellectual and spiritual journey – from the poverty of his fundamentalist childhood, when his family lived in a trailer park, through the doubts and uncertainties of his teenage years and on to the dramatic and unexpected religious experiences of his later life, as he pursued his career as a biblical scholar of increasing international distinction.


Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End  Atul Gawande

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility.  It didn’t matter whether you were five or fifty – every day was a roll of the dice.  But now, as medical advances push the boundaries fo survival each year,  we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal.

So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this ad how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong.  With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.

Never before has ageing been such an important topic.  The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing: but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn’t have to be this way.  The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the end.


Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind  Daniel C Dennett and Linda Lascola

What is it like to be a preacher who can no longer believe the creed?

In confidential interviews, clergy reveal how their lives of service are overshadowed by hypocrisy, as they contemplate taking a leap from their faith.  As religious leaders struggle to adapt to a new transparency of the information age, the phenomenon of non-believing clergy portends surprising developments in the future of religious belief.


The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World   Iain McGilchrist

Why is the brain divided?  In this groundbreaking book, based on a vast body of recent experimental research, Iain McGilchrist argues that the left and right hemispheres have differing insights, values and priorities. Each has a distinct ‘take’ on the world – most strikingly, the right hemisphere sees itself as connected to the world, whereas the left hemisphere stands aloof from it.  This affects our understanding not just of language and reason, music and time, but of all living things: our bodies, ourselves and the world in which we live.

We need both hemispheres; but, Iain McGilchrist argues, the left hemisphere has become so far dominant that we’re in danger of forgetting everything that makes us human.  Taking the reader on an extraordinary journey through Western history and culture, he traces how the left hemisphere has grabbed more than its fair share of power, resulting in a society where a rigid and bureaucratic obsession with structure, narrow self-interest ad a mechanistic view of the world hold sway, at an enormous  cost to human happiness and the world around us.

Christ in the City: The Dynamics of Christ in Urban Theological Practice  John J Vincent pub 2013

In ‘Christ in the City’ John Vincent brings together a rich compendium of critical insights and practical pointers for ‘theologising’ , interpreting the Bible and building Gospel communities in contemporary urban environments.  He ably demonstrates how intellectual pursuits not grounded in contextual and cultural realities of ‘real’ city life are bound to fall shot of true liberation.  Dr Louise Lawrence, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Exeter


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