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Review: A Curate’s Guide

The Curate's Guide

I have just finished reading The Curate’s Guide, edited by John Witcombe and published by Church House Publishing. While the quality of the writing varied depending on which of the authors had been allocated a particular subject, in general it has been a very good read and a book I’m very glad I picked up. Although titled for Curates (in a two part series with a book for Vicars), the book actually starts right at the start with the process of discernment and selection which is where I am at right now and thus primarily why I did read it.

Although Witcombe, Dean of St John’s Nottingham, was obviously the key player I found his material in the book the least helpful. It was when he allowed his co-authors to take the lead that the book really hit home.

While there was plenty to think about in the material and in the ‘spiritual’ aspects that need to be considered, it was the practical points and little asides that I appreciated most and really helped me to think about this selection business and whether I really want to go for ordination or not.

From pointing out that your home will be more familiar to your congregation than it will be to you when you first arrive (and thus potential feelings of the invasion of personal space) to how extended family can react to seeing you ‘in uniform’, the book was full of useful stuff and to be perfectly honest, I think it will be a book I continually refer to over the next few years (or however long this process lasts).

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