Beyond the Children’s Corner

Beyond the Children’s Corner

Author Margaret Pritchard Houston
Publisher CHP £16.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781781401644

The author writes about creating a culture of welcome for all ages. Most churches try to welcome people, but few develop the culture. The book examines the changing pastoral needs of modern families and relates them to what it means to belong to a church and worship within it. It offers some ‘quick wins’ such as making a children’s corner truly child-friendly, and addresses deeper challenges with church buildings and leadership. It deals with real issues such as noise, toilets, changing facilities and prams. And there is wise advice regarding consultation, ownership and management of change. It would not be possible to do everything in this book, but there are some strategies which any church could do to improve ministry to children and families. The author writes practically and with empathy for mature church members who remember how things used to be, using case studies and discussion topics. I am lending it to my incumbent and churchwardens so we can pursue what it may mean to my church. I recommend it for yours.

Reviewed by HOWARD ROWE

Pastoral; Worship

 

Face to Face:

Face to Face:

Author Samuel Wells
Publisher Canterbury Press £12.99  2019
Format pbk
ISBN 9781501899010

Subtitled ‘Meeting Christ in friend and stranger’, this is a candid book about ministry written, says the author, as an encouragement to clergy and to all who minister. The introduction is an essay about the development of pastoral skills, and this is followed by 21 encounters, some actual, some fictionalised, which draw out the roles undertaken during pastoral ministry. The reflective writing about these meetings makes the reader notice when the author is being judgemental, beating himself up needlessly or even performing to the gallery! It is an honest read which forces you to think about how you might respond in similar situations. However, the book assumes throughout that it is addressing only those ordained to the priesthood, and this may limit its appeal to Readers. I found it thought-provoking since the stance of being a lay minister would be side by side with the laity rather than face to face. It is therefore valuable in considering the differences in how laity minister to laity.
JOHN GRIFFITHS

Pastoral, Ministry