Who will be the next Bishop of Lindchester? That’s what everyone’s been asking since Bishop Paul Henderson resigned in haste and a whiff of scandal. Unseen Things Above rejoins our friends in the diocese as they address themselves to the labyrinthine process of appointing his replacement. When they aren’t arguing about love and marriage, that is. Should Jane renounce her feminist orthodoxy and wed the manly archdeacon? Could Father Ed defy the House of Bishops and marry Neil? And how many hearts will start a-trembling when the gorgeous but volatile Freddie May returns to the Cathedral Close? Come, dear reader, and clamber once again onto the liturgical rollercoaster. Travel from Easter to Advent with bishops, archbishops, and all the company of Lindchester. Hang on to your hat as you’re whirled through ups and downs and twists of plot. There are unseen things above, all right. But if you manage to open your eyes, the view from the top is glorious.
The Bishop of Lindchester is happily married with four daughters. But does he have a secret? Archdeacon Matt is inclined to think not. That said, it's obvious to him that Bishop Paul's got a pretty big bee in his mitre about the brilliant but troubled Freddie May . . . Welcome to the fictional Diocese of Lindchester, where you will be taken (dear reader) on a yearlong romp in the company of bishops, priests and lay people. Prepare yourself for a bumpy and hilarious ride from the rarefied heights of the Cathedral Close down to the coalface of ordinary urban and rural parishes. Acts and Omissions reveals the Church of England in all its mess and glory. It is a world shot through with grace, but one where even the best intentioned err and stray. And occasionally do those things which they ought not to have done . . .
Parson's daughter Mara Johns arrives as a postgraduate student at a great northern cathedral city. Antagonistic to the church and fiercely independent, she repels all friendly overtures and seeks spiritual answers in her theological research. But when her past involvement in an extreme sect resurfaces, she finds her quest won't stay academic. Nor can she hold out against her persistent would-be friends. Gradually she unbends and laughs with Maddy and May; locks horns with the insufferable 'polecat'—and finds herself torn between the attentions of two suitors. But they are both ordinands, and she's vowed she'll never marry a vicar.
Annie Brown, wrestling with doubts about her faith and a biological clock the size of Big Ben, escapes the stifling kindness of her fellow ordinands and the stifled yelps of her sexuality by writing a raunchy novel. Yet Annie can no more control her characters than she could a congregation. Outrageous Isabella and butter-wouldn’t-melt Barney hurtle unbidden into difficult situations that lead Annie inexorably back to her own repressed upbringing and present predicament. Some of their liberation rubs off on her too, and when she meets brusque outsider Will, Annie plunges into passion as uninhibitedly as Isabella. But Annie’s vocation, like her libido, won’t lie down, and she despairs of finding a happy ending to either of her stories . . .
Isobel Knox is happy and confident in her new job and likes her single life, free as it is from confusing and complicating entanglements. Supressing her emotions and burying painful memories has become second nature to her, but it seems to work; after all, why should letting it all out necessarily be good for you? But there are two men who could shatter her calm, brittle world: Davy, a young policeman, who, despite Isobel's distance, falls in love with her, and Johnny Whitaker, a charismatic priest with a troubled marriage. As Isobel's feelings for Johnny become stronger and deeper, her facade begins to crack, and the memories and emotions of years before come back, overpowering her with feelings she had thought long past and dealt with.
Five years from now, the Church of England is on its knees. Yet one woman is making a difference, and when she is appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, anything could happen. Vicky Burnham-Woods is a master of diplomacy, and deeply committed to bringing the church back into the heart of community and cultural life - but not everyone wants a woman at the top, and behind the scenes dark forces are moving. Can the first ever female Archbishop of Canterbury last long enough to achieve her mission?
Arriving back in the region of her birth – Winchester in Hampshire – Faith Morgan, newly ordained priest in the Church of England, witnesses the dramatic death of a fellow priest during a communion service at a church in Little Worthy. He has been poisoned with a pesticide mixed with the communion wine. One of the police officers who turns up at the scene is Ben Shorter, Faith’s ex long-term boyfriend. They trained as police officers together, until Faith’s vocation took a different turn. Her relationship with Ben changed too at this point as she became uneasy with his drive for convictions, seemingly at any cost – even that of the truth. Most reluctantly Faith is drawn to dust down her detective skills, even as she picks her way through the delicate relationships of a church and village reeling from the death of a well-loved minister. Just what was the deceased's relationship with an attractive widow ...?
Author: Catherine Fox
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2011-02-15
Genre: Sports & Recreation
Catherine Fox is not your typical martial artist. Her initiation into the sacred rites of judo began not in a dojo in Tokyo but in the Tunnel Cement Works in Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. And her dedication to the sport has been questionable: a thirty-year sabbatical, two children and a life spent writing books does not necessarily prepare one for enlightenment. Determined not to let these details stand in her way, Catherine has set herself a challenge: before she turns forty-five she will become a black belt. After all, how many other opportunities do vicars' wives get to roll around the floor with sweaty blokes? Fight the Good Fight asks what lessons judo can teach you about life. It's touching surprising, gripping (in every sense) - and the funniest take on spiritual struggle since the last Lions vs. Christians fixture.
Author: Nick Baines
Publisher: St Andrew Press
Release Date: 2013-01
These 42 entertaining, short reflections are not meant to offer the final word on the meaning of God, life, the universe and everything. Instead, they come from observation and ordinary, everyday experience. They offer the reader glimpses of a new perspective on daily life
Author: Marie-Elsa Bragg
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2017-04-06
After many generations, it is now Harold who runs Ard Farm. Out on the fells, he feels his father’s presence, and there is hope that he, his grandmother and his Uncle Joe will be able to take the farm forward and prosper. But their way of life is under threat: farming is undergoing huge change and increasingly harmful intervention. Towards Mellbreak is a hymn both to the landscape of Cumbria and to a disappearing world. Poetic, beautiful and tragic, it exposes the struggle to preserve traditions and beliefs in the face of change, and an assertion of the power to be found in the rituals we pass down through our families.
17 year-old Anabara Nolio is descended from a long line of warriors. From the Gull People on her father's side has the ability to fly, and from her highborn Galen mother she has access to the world of the privileged elite. She is a also a Private Investigator. When tasked with discovering the truth about the University library's lost books she thinks it's a simple case. But the city isle of Laridy is riddled with dark secrets and ancient magic – a legacy from historic dealings with the realm of the fairy - a world where stained-glass angels can leave their windows to fight, where rooftops and underground passages are guarded by armed statues.
Like most successful men in their early thirties, Lazarus has plans that don't involve dying. He is busy organizing his sisters, his business, and his women. Life is mostly good until far away in Galilee, without warning, his childhhod best friend Jesus turns water into wine. Immediatley, Lazarus falls ill. And with each subsequent miracle his health deteriorates: a nasty cough develops into an alarming array of afflictions unresponsive to the usual remedies. His sisters think Jesus can help, but the two men haven't spoken for years. Lazarus is willing to try anything to make himself well, anything, that is, except ask Jesus for help. Lazarus dies. Jesus weeps. Lazarus rises. This part we all know. But Lazarus is about to discover that returning from the dead isn't easy at all. An ingeniously funny and moving novel that disguises itself as biography, Lazarus Is Dead recounts the story of a great friendship lost and regained. Richard Beard's brand of storytelling unabashedly turns convention on its head as he draws on biblical sources, historical detail, art and contemporary literature to throw a spell over his readers that remains unbroken until the final pages of this astonishing story about second chances.