A major new book on the Anglican Communion by the Diocesan Director of Ministry and Mission, the Revd Canon Andrew Norman, has received its official launch at Church House in Leeds.
‘A Church Observed: being Anglican as times change’, is described by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, as “a very significant book indeed.” It was launched at the Diocese of Leeds offices, with around forty local clergy and lay leaders as well as the publishing team from Gilead Books, and some of those who had helped Andrew in the writing of the book.
In the book, Andrew uses his own experiences and the story of his family and their involvement in the Anglican church from World War 1 to the present day to tell the story of the development of the Anglican Communion worldwide as well as the Church of England.
Amongst those at the launch was Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, who said that the autobiographical vantage point made the book very accessible. “It’s a really good read – it’s very well written and it takes you through the story of Andrew’s life and his family so you are reading about the development of the Anglican Communion against that autobiography. I got through it in three goes – it was great and I do commend it.”
Much of the ‘A Church Observed’ has been written from Andrew’s own experience. Before becoming Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge, he was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Communion secretary. “I got to see Anglicans all over the place”, he told the launch. “If an Archbishop of Canterbury does a provincial visit, you have to go on a reconnaissance trip and put together a programme to help him to get a feel for the life of the Province, speak into the situation, and encourage the church there. So you had to do your homework and your research and meet lots of people. It was a wonderful way to see what God was doing in other parts of the world”.
“I hope ‘A Church Observed’ will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the unfolding story of this unique family of churches,” he added. “It is designed for a spectrum of readers, from those with only a sketchy knowledge of Anglican identity, to those reimagining ministry and seeking a deeper understanding of our common heritage.”
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, describes the new work as “..a timely encouragement to all Anglicans to appreciate afresh what we share in common and continue working at the gift of being a Communion.”
Copies cost £9.95 and can be ordered online on www.GileadBooksPublishing.com