NEW

Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Book Review: Sent from Reading

Sent from Reading

Reading’s part in overseas missions 1790-1950

John Dearing

self-published, 2021 (ISBN: 978173993802, 180pp, £10)

The hugely popular 2002 BBC series 100 Greatest Britons featured those leaders known for their statesmanship, charisma, celebrity, and ingenuity. There was however, of the entire list of 100 figures, not a single British overseas missionary. William Tyndale who endured for the sake of the name a Flemish exile in his final years did enter the list at no.26 but this was minimal concession to the religious spirit which has drawn so many thousands of Britons to intentional foreign mission over the centuries. Despite their storied history, the greatest glory of the home nations has never been their political, military, or scientific leaders, but the gospel. The real ‘greatest Britons’ therefore have been the foot-soldiers of that spiritual army whose lives were so transformed by the living Christ that they lay all before His feet upon the altar of sacrifice.

John Dearing performs a marvellous service in this book, memorialising a handful of those soldiers. The common theme is the links of those surveyed with the Berkshire town of Reading (where the author resides). Some of the links are remote, others profound, but most substantive. The consideration of the interrelation of missionary commission with the evolving ecclesiastical life of the town represents a very important example of firmly contextualised history in which the local impacts crucially on the global. Dearing’s knowledgeable familiarity with all manner of mission societies, congregations, foreign fields, and ministers and missionaries themselves is put to good service, with a well-judged volume of footnotes furnishing extra colour throughout. Would that many equivalent iterations of such a work emerge from other British towns and cities. 

Even in our modern age of advanced healthcare and of instant online global communications, where a video call to family and friends may be made almost as easily and cheaply from the far side of the world as from the neighbouring house, service in a foreign field is a hardship. How much more so when the average life-expectancy of a new missionary could be measured in weeks and the best hope of ongoing contact was a short telegram every six months. Yet take up this hardship did such young people as James Redman, who in October 1891 was sent by Castle Street Chapel and sailed under the CMS for Mombasa. By the following February Redman was dead, having caught a fever en route to his first stationing, at Mamboia. Although his only direct positive contribution to the CMS work in East Africa seems to be have been briefly nursing a fellow missionary, Redman’s experience did not deter further volunteers from Reading, but rather encouraged them all the more. The dozens who followed from Reading in Redman’s path, whether to Africa, China, India, or even Australia, are chronicled. Dearing admits that the history is ‘episodic’ but none-the-less important for it and deserves a wide reading among residents of Berkshire, missiologists, potential missionaries, and indeed anyone wishing to be reminded of true ‘greatness’.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

Previous

Next