Sheltering Saints: living with the homeless

Sheltering Saints:
living with the homeless

Author Roger Quick
Publisher DLT £9.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781913657680

This is an entertaining, amusing and challenging collection of brief anecdotes of Quick’s encounters with those who, through their homelessness, need the resources offered by St George’s crypt, Leeds. In his introduction, Quick recounts his own perilous descent through drink-related issues, into the underworld of the homeless. Decades later he returned as their Chaplain. This fast-paced, readable and moving account of his experiences with the folk who frequented the crypt during the pandemic is a wake-up call to for us all to consider our individual response to the ongoing problem of the homeless. The unseen presence of God’s guiding hand is evident in the way in which the author engages with those he meets on a daily basis – the ability to redirect their request for some tangible comfort to include something of eternal significance. The illustrations of the environment and clientele are a bonus to the narrative. A book to enjoy – and to make you rethink your attitude and response to rough sleepers. All royalties go to St George’s crypt.


Pastoral care


Comfort in uncertain times

Comfort in
uncertain times

Author Rachel Turner 
Publisher BRF £8.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780857466280

Subtitled ‘Helping children draw close to God through Biblical stories of anxiety, loss and transition’, never has a book been more needed in a post-Covid world where lockdown caused massive rises in mental health issues among young and old alike. The author rightly says it is the job of parents to help their children deal with the problems of change and bereavement. Her approach is to re-tell key biblical stories by putting the emphasis on our involvement in the narrative. There are sections on how to connect with God by prayer and by spiritual practices. As with many things designed to help children, this will also be a rich resource for churches tackling these issues with older members of the congregation. This is a book that enables us to see that being human will involve feelings of uncertainty and that although we have an unchangeable God, He is not immune to the pain and the confusion of His children. A valuable resource.

Reviewed by CAVAN WOOD

Biblical analysis, pastoral care


A Pastoral Theology of Childlessness

A Pastoral Theology
of Childlessness

Author Emma Nash
Publisher SCM £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334060512

The Bible, except for Ecclesiastes, portrays childlessness as a curse. How, then, can we support people who are unable to have children? In this searingly honest account of her own experience, Emma Nash reveals the painful history of her attempts to conceive and carry a child through pregnancy. Is childlessness a disability? She reports the often wounding comments others have made in unfortunate attempts to provide pastoral support. She confronts the many difficult biblical passages and endeavours to make sense of them in the light of her own experience. Holy Saturday is a day where she finds space to contain her grief but where does the Resurrection fit? In the conclusion, we read, ‘I no longer believe God is in control. I am wounded.’ This is not a memoir but the account of deep theological research and reflection emerging from personal trauma. We are taken from such telling insights as ‘People do not talk in fertility clinics’ to ideas for helping involuntarily childless people feel included in services. Reading this book was rightly uncomfortable, yet it provides such helpful advice for all who lead worship or provide pastoral care.

Reviewed by RONA ORME

Theology, pastoral care


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