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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Rowan Williams – Being Christian

It seems like a long time since I read this book now, I’ve been really busy with work and not had time to come on here and update my blog.

Since January, I have been attending classes at the vicarage to prepare to be Confirmed at Church, and this was a book that I read in the run-up to my confirmation just before Easter (Palm Sunday on 20th March).

Despite being written by a previous Archbishop of Canterbury, the book was written in a very straightforward way, easy to understand for those of us still getting to grips with our faith. The subtitle of the book is ‘Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer’, and throughout the book, Williams teaches us what each of these four things means as a Christian and how they relate to our faith.

Each chapter was written in a very concise way (the book was only 84 pages in total), so it’s not too daunting for a newbie, and for those of us a bit further along the journey, it was a great help along the way.

Being written by someone as knowledgeable as Rowan Williams, the book was filled with bits that made me stop and think, and places where I had to go back and re-read because a phrase resonated with me so much.

I especially appreciated the Eucharist chapter in the run-up to my Confirmation and my first Communion in the Church of England, and in fact some of my favourite quotes came from this chapter.

It’s hard to pick a favourite quote from such a good book, but this really stuck with me:

“One of the most transformingly surprising things about Holy Communion is that it obliges you to see the person next to you as wanted by God. God wants that person’s company as well as mine. How much simpler if God only wanted my company and that of those I had decided to invite. But God does not play that particular game. And the transforming effect of looking at other Christians as people whose company God wants, is – by the look of things – still sinking in for a lot of Christians, and taking rather a long time…”

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