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On Priesthood

On sale

2nd April 2020

Price: £12.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529360981

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Messenger, sentinel, steward … these three words have been used to describe the work of a priest in the Church of England since Cranmer wrote the original ordination rite in 1550. Two more, servant and shepherd, were added in 1980. Taken together, these five metaphors provide a rich and resonant set of ideas through which to explore the nature of Christian ministry.

In this short, lyrical book, Bishop Stephen Cottrell explores each one; based on actual addresses given to ordinands on the night before their ordination, it is refreshing, challenging and accessible.

Anyone considering ordination or already in ministry will want to read this book for the fascinating exploration of the five metaphors he considers.


This book is a helpful reminder to all of us - ordained, commissioned or neither - to allow God to do what God needs to do through us.
The Rt Revd Graham James, former Bishop of Norwich, Church Times
[Stephen Cottrell] inhabits pastures rich in scripture, peopled by the greatest and wisest minds of the Church down the centuries, and grounded in more than thirty years of ministerial experience. His hinterland embraces the fields of poetry and music and much else besides. This is catholic writing in every sense.