Recent Reviews of Sacristy Press Titles

Added about 5 years ago by Sacristy Press

Our books have been going down a treat with reviewers recently. Not sure which of our titles to pick up next? Have a read of what the experts think…

Cuthbert of Farne

The first historical novel about Cuthbert, much-loved saint of the North, a one-time warrior whose destiny it was to reconcile the warring parties in the early English Church.

Whether you are looking for an exciting historical novel or are interested in the northern saints, this is the book for you. … What I particularly enjoyed about this book is that it is fast-moving but that, when the author uses her imagination to bring to life parts of the story which do not come from historical sources, she has taken no liberties with the characters or the situations in which they found themselves. She makes clear the political background to the Synod of Whitby: we meet the young Wilfred and understand more about his conflict with the Irish Church; we also meet Eata, Boisil, Hild and also the political leaders of the time, and they all behave in the manner which Bede leads us to expect. I have recommended this book to all the guides in Durham Cathedral, but it is worthy of a much wider audience. I couldn’t put it down. —Lilian Groves, Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral

The strength of Cuthbert of Farne is in evoking the period and the setting. I’m not a historian, but as a general reader it feels vivid and real. —Kate Vane (@k8vane)

Love in Thin Places

A beautiful collection of poems inspired by Durham Cathedral and its saints, visitors and pilgrims.

[The book] is inspired by the particular and local glory of Durham Cathedral. However, the reader does not need to be as familiar as David Grieve with this remarkable house of God in the North-East, for these poems lead us along the inner journey into ‘thin places’ in our hearts as well as into Gothic architectures. These 54 ‘confessions’, as the author describes them, have been crafted and hammered out in the furnace of his own suffering, struggles and pain. … The form of these miniatures is most clearly discerned in the sounding out of the cadences and sentences – so here is a pocket-book crying out to be read aloud. There is nothing of easy-rhyming doggerel – there is plenty of that elsewhere. Here the two main resonances are the living stones of Durham and the phrases linked to familiar biblical images. But we need to listen carefully and hear with attentiveness – they are such ‘thin places’. —The Revd Harvey Richardson, The Methodist Recorder

For those of us familiar with Durham Cathedral this collection of poems is like visiting an old friend. For those who haven’t yet discovered that building, there is still much in this book that will speak to you. We get a glimpse of both special and ordinary moments in the Christian year. There are personal reflections on issues of the day as well as memories from the past. This is an enjoyable book that can help you to connect with God, a reminder that ‘God is, all of the time. God just is.’ —The Revd Elizabeth Clark, Country Way

The Geese Flew Over My Heart

A collection of profoundly moving prayers that invite to a deeper relationship with God.

These poems are short, each one mostly contained on a single page; but the brevity is of a profound and concentrated kind. No word is wasted. It is a reminder of the pared down richness of many minimalistic art-works, not unlike the music of Anton Webern or Arvo Part. As we ponder each line, we become aware of someone searching for God in the pain and vulnerability of life, also in the joy and sacredness of close human relationships, as well as in the pathos of loss and grief. … Here is a rich seam of spiritual depth and mystery which reaches beyond the rationalising pragmatism of so much contemporary religious thought. —The Revd Harvey Richardson, The Methodist Recorder

This short book of poems is profoundly moving as the author shares her experiences of life and of God. Lyn does not shy away from the difficulties of faith: the times when it can be hard to see or experience God in the events unfolding in our lives; the times when God seems absent and we feel as if we walk through the wilderness alone. And yet when she has reached ‘the end, the hard place’, Lyn can eventually say, ‘Truly God is my rock and my strength’. This is a book for quiet reflective reading, taking time to savour the language as we move into prayer. A book to return to both when we need solace and when we want to celebrate God in our lives. —The Revd Elizabeth Clark, Country Way

From Cosmos to Canaan

An exploration of the first six books of the Bible through poetry, conversation and commentary. This unusual book offers a way in to the Bible and poetry which has probably never been attempted before.

[The book] covers Genesis to Joshua, which contain many of the most significant themes (creation, covenant) and events (Exodus, Conquest) of the Bible and key characters such as Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam. Stein’s book brings them all to life. His poems are often very touching, as are also the dialogues between the two friends. This is an original approach to ancient texts, and, in its appeal to modern concerns, and great world events, as well as to culture and common human experience, it speaks to a wide audience—to those interested in poetry *and* in theology. —Katharine Dell, The Church Times

Jock Stein is one of the great figures of the late twentieth-century Scottish Kirk, a renaissance man of theology, music, art, and literature, and a much-loved pastor to many. His new book, From Cosmos to Canaan, is a remarkable volume which deserves to be in the hands of ministers and parishioners everywhere. … In a time when acres of print attempts to tackle the subject of training for ministry, this relatively slim volume gets to the heart of the matter in ways that are wise, deeply focused on God, yet open to revelation in our own times. Highly recommended. —Martin Richie, Theology in Scotland

Suffering and Glory

The story of the growth of the early Christian community. A rapid, detailed and accurate narrative, full of picturesque scenes drawn directly from contemporary witnesses to the rise of Christianity in the Roman world.

Utterly readable, even if you have no knowledge of the subject matter, yet also thoroughly researched and historically accurate. —Alan Wakely, The Reader

This trilogy constitutes a lucid and masterly overview of the patristic period in terms of its theology and historical context. … These are books that can be read and re-read with profit and also enjoyment. —Douglas Dales, Fairacres Chronicle

Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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