Prayer and prophesy: two new books from Churches Together

 LONDON - 3 July 2002 - 490 words

Prayer and prophesy: two new books from Churches Together

Anne van Staveren

The words of a prayer should take us on from the place where we are to where God wants us to be, says the editor of Seasons with the Spirit, an anthology of prayers and meditations, one of two books published this week by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).

The editor, Ruth Harvey has compiled a treasure store of prayers, meditations, sketches and hymns, selected from the popular quarterly publication All Year Round. It reflects the Christian year and contains fresh and innovative material from around the world for worshippers of all ages.

"An image of prayer could be like a scuba diver," she said. "You just have to dip your head under the water and beneath the surface you can see a whole new world."

Ruth spent her childhood on the Scottish island of Iona, has long been a member of the Iona Community and now edits their magazine, Coracle. Until recently she was director of CTBI's Living Spirituality Network.

To create Seasons with the Spirit she canvassed the opinions of All Year Round subscribers asking them to submit their favourite pieces. In addition she "unashamedly admitted making her own personal highly subjective selection".

According to Fr Gerry Hughes SJ, Catholic priest and well-known spiritual writer, the result is an anthology of prayers which "convey a sense of awe and wonder at the mystery of God present in each of us and in all creation".

The gathering to launch the book yesterday at Inter Church House in London also marked the retirement as editor of All Year Round of the Rev Edmund Banyard.

The other CTBI publication, Poet, priest and prophet: Bishop John V. Taylor by Rev Dr David Wood, will be launched on Saturdayat the General Synod of the Church of England meeting in the University of York. Bishop Bill Ind will speak. The Most Rev Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, has written a Foreword.

Bishop John Taylor was one of the twentieth century's leading Anglican missionary statesmen. An ecumenist, Africanist and theologian of international repute, he served as a General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society at a crucial stage in its development and later became Bishop of Winchester.

Fr Larry Nemer, Director of the Mill Hill Missionary Institute in London described the book as a "major contribution to mission thinking in the modern era. In giving an authoritative account of John V. Taylor's life it tackles key contemporary issues about Christian engagement in an inter faith world and the significance of Jesus Christ in a plural era."

Dr David Wood, a scholar and Anglican priest from Australia, will be touring Britain and Ireland in July to promote this book and speak about Bishop Taylor.

Seasons with the Spirit (ISBN 0 85169 267 2) and Poet, priest and prophet: Bishop John V. Taylor (ISBN 0 85169 272 9) should be available in religious bookshops.

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