Sacristy's First Book Launch

Added about 8 years ago by Sacristy Press

Photograph of our display stand at Carey's book launch

Above: Our display stand at Carey's book launch.

The tiny village of Hurstpierpoint, tucked away in the luscious West Sussex countryside between Brighton and Gatwick Airport, is, at first glance, an unlikely venue for a thriving arts festival lasting half a month. But once you start meeting the inhabitants it becomes immediately apparent that this is a very tightly-knit, sociable, and outgoing community which isn’t scared of taking on the seemingly-impossible. With everything from international music premiers to smoothie making competitions (for the children, more’s the pity!), the festival not only provides something for everyone, but could give many an international arts festival a good run for its money.

Richard introduces Carey

Above: Operations Director Richard Hilton (left) introduces Kevin Carey (right).

It was for the launch of Kevin Carey’s latest book in The Third Testament for the Third Millennium series, Spirit, that Sacristy Press found itself in this rural idyll. Kevin is well known around the village. As a licenced Reader in his parish church and with a shop-front on the high street, this larger-than-life character is a conspicuous presence. But he is also known more widely than Hurstpierpoint. As the Chairman of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), he oversees an organisation with a turnover of more than £100m.

The previous evening had seen the hugely successful premier of Kevin’s choral work Insenses (for which he wrote the words), leaving the book launch with a lot to live up to – especially as it was our first. A sell-out audience poured into the tiny room, perching on anything that wouldn’t immediately collapse, and listened intently as Kevin explained the impetus for the series and the motivation behind Spirit. His monologue was interjected with flourishes of theatre from two local actors, Dave and Ros Thunder, as they read excerpts from the book.

Sections of Spirit narrated by actors

Above: Dave and Ros Thunder (far right) narrate sections of Spirit.

After refreshments had been consumed, questions were fired at the author, each of which elicited a riveting response. The eager audience then lined up to have their freshly-purchased copies of Perpetua and Spirit signed. It was a delightful evening that was enjoyed by all, not least Kevin who had only been informed by his wife that Sacristy Press would be at the launch half-an-hour before it started. The look on his face when he realised we were there was priceless.

Kevin’s thought provoking writing is nothing short of inspirational in both quantity and depth. As our first author, he has a very special place at Sacristy Press, and we look forward to working with him on many more publications.

The first two books in The Third Testament for the Third Millennium, Perpetua and Spirit, are now available to buy from the Sacristy Press website.

Extracts from Kevin’s talk, and an in-depth interview with the man himself, will be published very soon. Sign up to our members’ newsletter now to receive it!

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