Author Robert Beaken
Publisher Sacristy Press £12.99
The series of sermons selected here, written from an Anglo-Catholic perspective, are easy to read, if slightly old-fashioned in style. As well as sermons on the Christian year, some deal with special occasions such as Baptism, a funeral, and a marriage. There is some good teaching here, particularly with Beaken’s interesting take on the parable of the pearl of great price, and persuasive arguments on why Mary should be venerated. In his Holy Week sermons he emphasises the importance of living Jesus’ experiences during this time of waiting before Easter, stressing the reasons why we should make the effort to be in our churches in order to feel that ‘we are there, in Jerusalem with Jesus’. There are times when Beaken seems to be endorsing the doctrine of pre-destination: for example in his wedding address he speaks to the couple of ‘a God who has always planned that you will meet and marry’; and the young priest that ‘long before he was born …God had always planned that [he] should be a priest’. Despite some reservations, I think that the reader will find something here that ‘may cheer, strengthen and encourage’.