Invisible Divides

Invisible Divides

Author Natalie Williams
& Paul Brown
Publisher SPCK £9.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780281085200

Subtitled ‘Class, culture and barriers to belonging in the Church’, and written by authors who came to Christ from working-class backgrounds, this timely work challenges a longstanding issue – the largely ‘middle-class’ culture of the UK Church across all denominations. I was reminded of John 3:16: ‘…that whosoever believeth…(AV)’, and recalled a cringeworthy incident in a church I was once visiting where, over coffee, I heard ‘We don’t want people like that here…’ indicating a young couple from a traveller community who wanted their baby baptised. ‘Whosoever’ is an archaic word, yet its all-embracing meaning is so contemporary. And ‘whosoever’ should challenge us all to ask whether our churches represent the full breadth of the communities in which they are situated – and if not, why not? An honest and active response to 2 Chronicles 7:14 is in order. The last sentence of this profoundly insightful and necessary book states: ‘…let’s play our part in crossing invisible divides and seeing people from all classes and walks of life come to know him, worship him and serve him together…’ A must buy.

Reviewed by ANDREW CARR

Ministry, Social inclusion


Finding Abundance in Scarcity

Finding Abundance
in Scarcity

Author Samuel Wells (Ed,)
Publisher Canterbury Press £14.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781786223692

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a busy church with an international reputation, a large team of paid staff and volunteers and a wide-ranging ministry. Sam Wells is vicar there. Reading the back cover of this book, you might think this is the story of how a large and successful central London church has coped with the pandemic, and that it isn’t a book for you if you are in a smaller church. If you read as far as paragraph two on page one, you will see that this isn’t the case – far from it! Drawing contributions from leaders of a range of expressions of St Martin’s work, the book shows how the church responded to the changing world that the pandemic brought to us and, importantly, how they sought to see God at work – sometimes in the most unexpected areas. Alongside the narrative, there is an abundance of theological reflection offering pastoral insights and practical advice based on experience. I found this book stimulating and, in many ways, reassuring as we continue to be the Church for a different world.




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