Reading for All

The accessible Christian reading and resources magazine from the Torch Trust.

2015 Issue 2

Reading for All is published by The Torch Trust for people with sight loss with an interest in accessible Christian reading resources.

Produced by Torch Trust
Torch House, Torch Way
Market Harborough
Leicestershire
LE16 9HL UK
torchtrust.org

© Torch Trust May 2015 Reg. Charity number 1095904

Views expressed in the features are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Reading for All is also available in the following formats: Email, Audio CD, braille, and large print (17, 20, 25 and 30 point). Plus it can also be viewed on the Torch website.

Contact Numbers

Client Services

For all general enquiries: 01858 438260

Library

For library borrowers: 01858 438266

Torch Holidays

For all holiday enquiries: 01273 832282

Reflections Radio Show

For responses to our radio broadcasts: 0333 123 1255

Contents

In the Beginning ...

We don’t need a detective to tell us what the most popular book in the world is - we all know that it’s the Bible. Torch readers are no exception. The Bible is by far the most read and requested of all our titles. We are therefore delighted to be able to offer you, on DAISY, the NIV as read by David Suchet - but not with Poirot’s Belgian accent!

A lot of books have Left Impressions on Jill Davies not least because her minister recommends them at church. But we hear from Steve Barnett that vicars and minsters are not promoting books from the pulpit - perhaps they need a bit of encouragement from us?

Do you know people who are asking questions about the Christian faith? Perhaps Alpha isn’t for them? Well there’s a brand new exploration-style course just published called Pilgrim. The first two booklets are now available in braille and giant print.

Following the hugely successful extension and refurbishment of our Holiday and Retreat Centre last year, the second phase of redevelopment is now well underway. Planned holidays are still going ahead and completion is expected by the summer so now is the time to book your autumn break!

Happy Reading! Lydia Tebbutt, Editor

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Loss of sight doesn’t mean loss of good Christian reading! Just look at what’s available in accessible media from the Torch Trust: Free lending library; Bible reading notes; Bibles and Magazines; Books to own & Book Groups

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New Resources:

NIV read by David Suchet Now available on DAISY from Torch

Source: Premier Christianity Aug14

Since he finished playing that famous Belgian detective, David Suchet has had time for some interesting projects, including spending more than 200 hours recording an audiobook of the entire Bible. Premier Youthwork’s Jamie Cutteridge found out what prompted this act of devotion.

JC: Why did you want to do this project?

DS: I wanted to do what it says in the Bible, which is that everybody should hear the word of the Lord. A lot of the Old Testament was written in order to be heard, not to be read.

The Bible is globally probably the biggest selling yet most unread book in the world. I know many people who own a Bible that have never even opened it. I don’t believe that many people have read it from cover to cover.

This is a chance for ordinary people to listen to this library of exciting books - because that’s what it is - it’s full of drama, poetry, songs, books of wisdom. People spend fortunes on self-help books, but in the Bible there’s the wisdom of Solomon, you don’t need any more than that - it’s all there.

This has always been an aim of mine, because I love reading out loud and because I think this is the most wonderful library of literature ever compiled.

JC: How much of your desire to do it relates to the impact of the Bible on you personally?

DS: A huge amount. My conversion experience was through reading the letter of Paul to the Romans. I remember reading it in my hotel room in 1986. I was very sceptical about everything to do with faith, but I read the book of Romans as if someone had written it to me. That’s the way I read Shakespeare plays, as if it’s just come through my letter box and it’s addressed to me. So when I read the introduction to the letter of Romans for the first time, I read it “as a letter to David”, and I read it out loud. And when I’d finished reading it, I’d found a worldview that I’d been looking for all my life.

I didn’t read [the audio Bible] to be evangelical and get it out there. This is a book for everybody who would like to listen to it. It’s not aimed just at Christians, it’s aimed at the world.

JC: What were your favourite passages to read?

DS: I loved reading the Psalms. I read them not in a dispassionate way, as we often hear them being chanted ... I read them as I believe they were intended to be read: as genuine, emotional pieces of writing to God.

JC: Were there passages that were more challenging to read?

DS: Anybody who even attempts to read Chronicles ought to sit there with a big jug of ice-cold water - and that’s not for drinking, that’s for pouring over your head.

JC: What is it about the Bible that you find so fascinating?

DS: Why is it necessary for me? It’s because on every page I meet God, and in meeting God I meet Jesus. Everything I read - Old Testament or New Testament, Psalms, wherever - I’m reading about a way of life and I am looking through the lens that gives me my worldview.

Available on DAISY CD or USB to borrow from the Torch Library and for sale on DAISY CD only for £15.99

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New Resources

Introducing Pilgrim - a course for the Christian Journey

Source: Mar/Apr Together Magazine by the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, Excerpt

There are a number of “exploration courses” available for churches nowadays - the most high-profile one being Alpha. In October 2013 the Church of England launched Pilgrim a new discipleship course designed as a resource that might be more suited to some churches than the very successful HTB programme.

The course was written by three bishops and a theologian. Here, one of the authors, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, explains a bit more about Pilgrim.

Starting at the Shallow end

Some people say that the best way to learn how to swim is to jump in at the deep end. I’ve never seen anyone learn this way, though I have known one or two people drown quite successfully.

Most of us start at the shallow end. With arm-bands. And an instructor.

It takes time to learn to swim. You have to learn to trust the water. Floating doesn’t look possible. Sinking does. Faith, determination, basic instruction, experience and the support of others, these are the things you need and they are rarely given all at once.

Pilgrim is a kind of shallow end for those beginning to explore the Christian faith. [It is] published in two stages, the Follow Stage for those very new to faith, and the Grow Stage for those who want to go further.

There is overwhelming evidence to show that churches that put on a nurture course like Pilgrim, and provide an opportunity for those who are not yet Christians to find out about the Christian faith, experience growth. There are so many people who just want to find out more. They are not yet ready to come to church. They’re not sure what they believe.

They long for the deep waters of faith. But they need a shallow end and an instructor in order to get started. Pilgrim is a beginning; a course for those thinking about the Christian journey or for those just beginning to follow the way.

Hundreds of churches in the UK are now using Pilgrim to support their work of evangelism ...

Torch has transcribed the first two booklets in the Pilgrim series and the leaders guide i.e. Pilgrim: Turning To Christ (Book 1 Follow Stage), Pilgrim: The Lord’s Prayer (Book 2 Follow Stage) and Pilgrim: Leaders Guide, into braille and giant print. Price £5.99 each.

Advert

Torch has an ever-growing range of courses available in accessible media. From Alpha to Christianity Explored; from Lifebuilders to Cover to Cover & Freedom in Christ to York Courses. Call Client Services for more details on 01858 438260

Praise for Torch Resource Praise Him!

Mrs T of Hartlepool writes:

“Please find enclosed a donation from the Lent Course held in Hartlepool ... We have appreciated the availability of the course material in braille and giant print.”

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Torch Resource News

Torch Book Groups

Do you like discussing what you’ve read with friends, over your favourite cuppa and piece of cake?

Reading groups are very popular but what if you are blind or partially sighted? 

The Torch Trust believes that loss of sight doesn’t have to mean loss of reading or fellowship.

In brief, a Torch Book Group will have between 4-12 people, at least half of whom will be blind or partially sighted. Each participant reads the same audio book from the Torch audio library. Then the Group meets together monthly to discuss the book and enjoy fellowship.

Could you facilitate or host a Torch Book Group?

It’s as easy as ABC ...

A: A Facilitator, An Assistant, A host/hostess, A venue

Could you or someone you know facilitate the book discussions, or perhaps keep track of the books? Torch Book Groups can meet in someone’s home, could it be yours?

B: Book a “Pack” and pick a Book

The TBG Information Pack will show you a typical programme and then you can ask us for the TBG Starter Pack and choose your first book.

C: Circle a date and circulate your first book

When you have a group of people who enjoy reading and fellowshipping make a date to meet and give them their first book.

Now is the time to book your autumn break!

Your holiday will be full board and fully inclusive; that means any activities for your holiday programme that we arrange, within or away from the Torch Centre will be free of charge to you! (with the exception of personal purchases)

To help you choose the right holiday and get the best experience of what we can offer you to fully participate in, we provide a simple mobility grading scheme for all our holidays.

G1 - Low level of activity, gentle walks up to 500 metres.

G2 - Mid level of activity, walking up to two miles, ten pin bowling, theatre trips etc.

G3 - Higher level of activity, walking up to five miles, sightseeing, cycling, swimming etc.

G4 - Active weeks, walking up to 10 miles, swimming, running, extreme sports, cycling, horse-riding, theme parks etc.

Autumn holidays at our newly refurbished and enlarged Torch Centre

9-16 September is our Five Senses break. Smell, Sight & Sound, Taste & Touch - each day enhancing your senses. £540 G2

21-25 September is our mid week Harvest break Replenish. Thanksgiving to God; a time to sow, a time to reap. £320 G2

28 September - 3 October Come and walk the Downs with us on our Footsteps holiday. £400 G4

12-16 October Come and experience a symphony of music at our Fresh Sounds break. £340 G2

19-23 October The Great Torch Bake Off! Come and cook up a storm with us. £340 G2

2-6 November Bring your books alive on our Fact and Fiction break. £300 G2

To find out more or to book, please contact us on 01273 832282 or email holidays@torchtrust.org

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Author Interview: Pam Rhodes

Source: Together Magazine Sept/Oct 2014

Clem Jackson talks to Songs of Praise host Pam Rhodes about her book If You Follow Me and discovers her favourite hymn.

Pam Rhodes is probably best known for her role as presenter of BBC’s Songs of Praise (SoP). And the programme is clearly very dear to her too as she references it in almost every sentence of our conversation, readily telling me that she first presented the programme 27 years ago.

But there’s more to the lady than fronting one of Britain’s longest running television programmes. She began her broadcasting career in news journalism, working on Thames Television’s This Week programme, then as the anchor for Anglia Television’s live daily evening news programme for 7 years. She’s featured on a very wide range of television and radio programmes ever since and still has her own weekly programme on Premier Radio. Pam is also a successful author having written a number of books for Hodder & Stoughton, Macmillan and Lion Hudson.

I met with her recently to talk about her latest fiction series The Dunbridge Chronicles, ahead of the publication of the third book in the trilogy If You Follow Me. But I began by asking her which of all her many public roles - journalist, presenter, broadcaster, author and speaker, she enjoys most?

PR: I don’t think I could pick one - they’re all part of the same thing really. I guess the general term for all of those is presenter. The professional skills are the same; my job is as an enabler, I think that is a good way to describe the job I do.

Like most interviewers I really am interested in the people I meet and more interested in the answers I get than the questions. Probably the most important quality a presenter needs is to listen to people, not talk at people.

CJ: You have interviewed many people from all walks of life but which has been your most memorable interview?

PR: I don’t think I could pick out one as the most memorable. There have been significant ones, like interviewing the Pope, but the ones I really enjoy are those with the people I interview through SoP. These are not professional speakers, just ordinary people relating their stories and their feelings. The themes they talk about often include death for example, or illness. They talk about hope, fear, pride, doubting - and I think that’s very important in helping others to look at these issues too. They talk about faith, how faith has helped them through times when they’ve felt distant from God, about being aware of his loving hand - usually through other people. That’s what makes them memorable.

CJ: The third book in your Dunbridge Chronicles trilogy, If You Follow Me, has just been published. For those who don’t know can you tell us a little about Revd Neil Fisher’s journey to date and what is in store for readers in the latest book?

PR: When we fest meet Neil Fisher in book one he is a very “green” new curate who trips over his shoelaces quite often in terms of learning his trade in the ministry. Through the books we follow his progress and see him learning and growing in all sorts of ways - both in his work and in his personal life. He’s not had a lot of experience with women and his love life is complicated to say the least. There are lots of cliff-hangers, will he won’t he, but by book three it’s beginning to settle down.

As all ministers do he has that experience every day of the phone ringing and suddenly being part of the very poignant moment, perhaps in a hospice or organising a funeral, or a very complicated wedding or a joyful christening; being part of people’s lives at important moments. So there are lots of ups-and-downs in the story.

Every minister I have ever met has made it very clear that having a sense of humour in ministry is very important. Over the years I’ve collected a lot of real-life funny stories, many of which find their way into the books. Wherever I go I ask ministers for their “entertaining” stories and they readily share them so I have a good source of material.

My hope is that these are all books which will make readers laugh out loud one minute and then pull you into something very moving in the next; tears and laughter all the way through. In book three that continues and ties up a few of the loose ends, as Neil gets married and moves into his first parish as a vicar.

The series has proved to be so popular that book one was nominated for the Speaking Volumes Christian Fiction Book of the Year award at CRE, although I think book two is better. It looks as though we might be extending the trilogy but I don’t want to give away any secrets at this stage.

CJ: The characters in your books and the situations they face are probably very recognisable to many involved in church life. How many of them are taken from real life and real people?

PR: As I said, most of the stories in the books are taken from real life and so therefore involve real people, with real problems and issues whether that be to do with birth, death, illness, work issues, money worries or whatever. What actually turns me off books is if the characters are so two-dimensional that the reader doesn’t get to care about them. I do try to make my characters as real as possible, people that, as the story develops through the series, you become interested in and want to know more about in terms of their story.

CJ: What do you think non-churchgoers reading your books would make of the church (the people) they read about?

PR: Because I set books within church life within a community I think there’s something for everyone. People have told me that if they’d known it was a “Christian” book they wouldn’t have picked it up but were then surprised to find they enjoyed reading it.

I remember when I first started writing books based in Christian communities I had criticism from people who said I ought to be writing books about Christians behaving well; but I don’t actually know any perfect Christians - we’re all just fallible people trying our best. So I hope non-Christians would see this in the characters they meet in the books.

CJ: Finally, you are well known for your love of hymns but what is your favourite hymn?

PR: Because I have recently been knee deep in the D-Day commemorations, and because I am from a Naval family anyway, currently it is Eternal Father Strong to Save. It was my school hymn and had real meaning for those of us whose fathers were away for months at a time, as my father was on submarines. It still resonates with me today.

Songs of Praise regularly have polls to find out viewer’s favourite hymn and in the last poll (October 2013) it was announced that the nation’s favourite hymn was still How Great Thou Art which has been top of the poll for nearly all the years the programme has been running. However in second place was Stuart Townend’s In Christ Alone so the newer ones are making an impact.

Books by Pam Rhodes

available for loan or for purchase (not USB) from Torch

The Dunbridge Chronicles (all three titles) on DAISY & USB 22:52 hours. Price: £24.00

Hear My Song in 2 braille vols; 2 giant print vols; DAISY & USB 3:04 hours. Price £9.99

With Hearts And Hands And Voices on DAISY & USB 15:24 hours. Price £8.99

You may also like:

Songs of Praise - The Nation’s Favourite by Andrew Barr in 2 braille vols; 2 giant print vols; on DAISY & USB 4:41 hours. Price £6.00

Famous Hymns and Their Stories by Christopher Idle in 1 braille vol; 1 giant print vol; on DAISY & USB 1:53 hours. Price £3.00

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Advert

Sight Village Birmingham

Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and we welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

See more at: www.qac.ac.uk

Come and visit the Torch Stand for our latest resources and free samples!

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In Your Quiet Time

Our look at accessible Daily Bible Reading Notes

Every Day with Jesus from CWR

The May/June edition is entitled Our True Home.

Heaven is our true home and, as such, we have an inbuilt longing to be there with God. In this issue, Selwyn Hughes tackles the elusive nature of heaven and looks at why nothing on earth can truly satisfy our homesickness ... our eyes and hearts should be looking heavenward towards Him and our true home.

Available on DAISY CD or USB

Scripture Union's Daily Bread

The May/June edition is subtitled Right Place, Right Time and looks at a couple of people for whom that certainly applied - John who received his revelations of the end times on the island of Patmos, and Ezekiel who received God's prophecies by the Kebar river in exile. It also looks particularly at the book of 2 Kings, a time when God was forgotten, when self-interest ruled, a time of murky political intrigue - maybe these stories can speak to us today?!

Available on DAISY CD or USB or in Braille

For Large Print Readers - The Upper Room from BRF

This is a unique publication which has a worldwide readership of some three million. Each daily meditation includes a Bible reading, reflection and prayer. Each week there are also questions for small group study.

Available in 17, 20, 25 & 30 point size.

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Leaving an Impression: Jill Davies

Jill Davies is a retired telephonist who worked for Barclays Bank. Jill takes an active part in her church, Ravenscourt Baptist Church, Hammersmith where she is a Deacon and often plays the piano! She is an avid reader who prefers braille but also reads DAISY.

R4A: Jill, did you enjoy reading as a child?

Jill: Oh yes, I remember reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe book under the bedclothes at boarding school and getting caught! I love the Narnia stories although my least favourite is the Last Battle. I still read Patricia St. John’s books. They’re easy reading but with a moral ethos. In Treasures of the Snow, I love the way the children come to God.

R4A: What was the first book you had from the Torch Library?

Jill: Well it was Ben Hur but I sent it straight back! I remember it well, it was 1968! But I like a real cross section of titles so there were plenty more for me to choose from!

RT Kendall is a prolific author and I really like the way he explains things. John Ortberg too is a great read and he writes almost a book a year! I love the idea of us “being on God’s Screen Saver” from God’s Closer than You Think - even though I can’t see the screen! And I recently re-read Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them!

R4A: Is there a biography that has left a lasting impression?

Jill: I was inspired by Corrie Ten Boon’s The Hiding Place. She had such a strong faith in the most adverse of circumstances. I particularly remember the story about the fleas!

I enjoyed Archbishop Justin Welby so much that I passed it onto a friend who read within 24 hours. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the way the author kept referring to him as “Welby”! A modern way of writing I suppose.

R4A: Do you like Christian Fiction?

I really like Jeanette Oke and Karen Kingsbury - they hook you from page one - I can read them while listening to music or even the TV! Francine Rivers is another favourite author.

R4A: What makes you want to buy a book rather than just borrow it?

Jill: A good bargain, something I might want to re-read but mostly a book I might want to pass on to someone else. We have a nice church book scheme and a Pastor who actively encourages Christian reading. He will periodically recommend several titles which have blessed him and occasionally a local bookstore will bring a selection. I like to have several titles in hand to choose from.

Below are a selection of Jill’s other favourites

Jill chose several titles which James Brookman had also chosen in our previous issue of Reading for All so if you’ve not read these perennial favourites call the Librarians to have them added to your bookshelf!.

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John in 3 braille vols; 3 giant print vols; DAISY & USB 5:36 hours. Price £5.00

There are 8 titles by RT Kendall and 4 titles by John Ortberg

Archbishop Justin Welby by Andrew Atherstone on DAISY & USB 6:39 hours. For sale on DAISY Price £6.69. (Braille & giant print available from RNIB)

There 40 titles by Janette Oke; 23 titles by Karen Kinsbury and 2 titles by Francine Rivers - so lots for you to choose from and even have some “in-hand” like Jill!

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General Literary News

Jean Vanier awarded Templeton Prize

by Tim Wyatt (Source Church Times 13/03/15)

The Canadian philosopher Jean Vanier, who founded a network of communities for people with developmental disabilities, has been awarded the Templeton Prize.

Mr Vanier established the world-wide L’Arche movement of homes, where people with and without disabilities live together. On Wednesday, it was announced that he had won the 2015 Templeton Prize, valued at £1.1 million, for his contribution to “affirming life’s spiritual dimension”. The prize will be awarded on 18 May at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Mr Vanier, aged 86, is a Roman Catholic. He briefly served in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy before abandoning a military life in favour of academic philosophy in Paris and then Toronto. He is the author of more than 30 books.

It was in 1964, in France, during visits to psychiatric hospitals and institutions, that the idea for L’Arche was born. Mr Vanier invited two men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave their institutions and share their lives with him in a household in Trosly-Breuil, France. He named their home L’Arche”.

Gradually, other communities spread across the world: there are now 146, including 11 in Britain.

The Templeton Prize was established in 1972 by Sir John Templeton, to reward those who pursue the “big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality”. The value of the prize is set continually to exceed that of the Nobel prizes, emphasising Sir John’s view that spiritual discoveries were more valuable than scientific ones.

Mr Vanier said that the secret of L’Arche was that it transformed the lives of those without disabilities as much as those with them. “People who came to do good discover that the people with disabilities are doing them good: they are becoming more human.

“And so, when those who are moving up to the top through education meet those who are at the bottom of society ... There’s a spark, and both groups change.”

Archbishop Welby described L’Arche communities as turning “Society’s assumptions about the strong and the weak upside down.

“Those the world considers “weak”, through their disabilities are those who bring hope and strength ... Those who are “strong” discover they need the “weak”. This is nothing less than the Kingdom of Heaven come to earth, as Jesus prayed it would.”

You may like to read:

Befriending the Stranger by Jean Vanier is available on DAISY & USB to borrow and to buy on DAISY £8.22

Living L’Arche by Kevin Reimer is available on DAISY & USB to borrow and to buy on DAISY £16.99

The Restoration of Edification

Source: Mar/Apr Together Magazine Excerpt

Steve Barnett shares his concerns about the decline in reading for edification and issues a challenge to us all.

[R4A comment: The audience which Steve is addressing are book retailers, however, the challenge is for all of us to read more for “edification” and to get our church ministers to recommend more reading.]

Why do we do what we do? If you work in a Christian Bookshop then there is a strong likelihood that your calling is to see lives changed through the written word.

I am sure we all have stories of people who have read a book bought from our shops that has been instrumental in someone giving their life to Jesus.

However, the majority of books we sell are written for Christian edification which is an on-going process to enable us to grow in our enlightenment to understanding so that we not only know what we believe - but why.

Over the last year I have discovered some interesting facts that I find disturbing, inspiring and challenging, but also highlight the alarming fall in the reading of books for the vital process of edification for Christians.

Church leaders seem surprised when I share this information with them but when I ask them “when was the last time you recommended a book to your church?” there is often an awkward silence! So why does it matter?

If the church is not reading Christian books it is missing out on a rich vein of spiritual knowledge and information to help us understand what we believe and why.

In discussions with the former Bishop of Oxford, The Right Revd. John Pritchard stated that many Christians are now “religiously illiterate”!

How did this happen? I think by mistake.

Church leaders have stopped recommending the books because they think “everyone” is already aware of what to read and are downloading what they should be reading ...

A challenge for all

The challenge ahead ... is to help the church to rediscover the value of Christian books. It is not lost, just misplaced for the moment.

I have started my one man campaign! The Restoration of Edification. Please feel free to join with me.

The campaign seeks to:

Be encouraged! People are hungry to be fed but do not know what to read. When books are recommended, people buy them, read them and lives are changed ... join me! Contact me at: steve@standrewsbookshop.co.uk

Books do change lives!

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On View & On Their Way

Reviews that have inspired us to transcribe

Gatecrashing: The Story of 24-7 Prayer in Ibiza

Source: IDEA (The magazine of the Evangelical Alliance) Nov/Dec 2014

This is the story of Brian and Tracey Heasley, called to pray for an island with more pubs, clubs and bars per square mile than anywhere else in Europe: Ibiza. For Seven years, the couple ministered to thousands of young people caught up in the shocking scenes of excess and violence. The team soon became known as the fourth emergency service. “Some knelt, some put their hands together, some shared deep worries and concern.” This book may inform and challenge, but is sure to inspire. Gatecrashing shows how no person is beyond God’s reach.

Faith on the Streets by Les Isaac

Source: Woman Alive Sept 2014 Excerpt by Amy Boucher Pye

Street Pastors, now over a decade old, exemplify love in action. During the wee hours of the night, they are on patrol in the streets, giving out free flip-flops to protect bare feet, helping out those cast out of nightclubs and pubs for being too wasted and generally being a safe and non-threatening presence. They aren’t there to preach with words, but to share the love of Jesus with their lives ...

The book speaks of the “urban trinity” of the police, local authorities and the church, and how each can work together to the same end. Over the years, Street Pastors have earned the respect of the other two, leading to increased partnerships. For instance, in 2004 the local government newspaper, Lambeth Life, said, “The local authority provides education and social services. The police maintain law and order. The church has a spiritual caring role. Each has a responsibility for the welfare of the community”. What a wonderful way for the church to be seen as caring, relevant and a crucial part of the community.

The best parts of Faith on the Streets are the testimonies - the story of the outcast who was befriended and given a cup of coffee; the bouncer who wondered what was behind the work of these pastors on the street; the man rescued from his pool of urine and taken home to safety. The book is worth picking up, and then perhaps considering whether you could help out (if not on the streets, then maybe as a prayer pastor).

Encompassing God by David Adam

Reviewed by Keith Jones

This is one of the most heart-warming and challenging books that I have had the privilege of reading and recording since I became a transcriber at Torch. Encompassing God is not about what we do but about what God is doing all the time. It seeks to increase our awareness of being held constantly by God. David Adam gently leads us into and through what he describes as “The Prayer of Seven Directions”. In each chapter David explores and expands on the Love of God toward us and uses a rich collection of contemplative new prayers, meditations and experiences from several sources.

Rather than dwelling on how we feel about God this book concentrates and focuses upon Scriptural facts about who God is - His attributes, attitude, and character.

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Gadgets & Gizmos & Apps

Our occasional look at technology

BeMyEyes

Review by Christo Thiardt who is blind.

A fantastic service! BeMyEyes is a service provided via a FaceTime functionality. As a blind user you download the app on to your iPhone, subscribe as a blind user and give your email address.

Now when you are faced with a problem such as what is in the tin, package or bottle; the colour of your jacket or which shirt and trousers will go together, you tap on the BeMyEyes app and within a few seconds someone will connect and say: “How may I help you?”

All you need to do is point your iPhone camera at the object to be described. The sighted person will then discuss with you what is seen and you can note the result and disconnect! The service is free! There are nearly a hundred thousand sighted people all over the world who have volunteered to assist in this service. Isn’t it great? BeMyEyes! What a wonderful way of making use of technology!

Daily Prayer App

This App features Morning, Evening and Night Prayer from Common Worship.

It follows the prayers for each day in accordance with the Anglican lectionary in either traditional or contemporary language and includes the Bible passages in full. You can set the time of day at which it crosses over from Morning to Evening Prayer and then from Evening to Night Prayer. Both font size and audio are accessible.

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