Bethlehem Bound

It is amazing how fast this month is going. I can’t quite believe that we are already at Advent 3 – though the way the calendar has fallen this year, with Christmas Day on a Sunday (always the best option for parish priests and others in ministry) – Advent is the longest it can possibly be, four whole weeks! Nevertheless, there hardly seems any time to get ready for Christmas. I have already been to lots of carol services and concerts and this coming week holds even more joy for me.

It also means that my recently published book for Advent and Christmas, ‘Bethlehem Bound’, is about to come into its own, and this blog is simply to remind you of that. Next Saturday is ‘O Sapientia’, the 17th December, when the Great O Antiphons begin to be sung. That is where the book begins. It then takes us on a journey to Bethlehem, through Christmas and to the Epiphany. In order to help you in reading it there will be Tweets every day, directing you to the right pages, and when it is relevant, the right times. So I hope you will join me in that.

You may also have seen that I was invited to post a weekly blog on the St Paul’s Cathedral learning pages. They develop some of the Advent themes and help get people ready for Bethlehem Bound. If you haven’t seen those you can find them here.

So by next Sunday the journey will have begun and we will be en route. Enjoy the journey; I look forward to travelling with you.

Lord of the journey,
with Mary and Joseph,
with shepherds and Wise Men,
I am Bethlehem Bound.
Bring me with them
to worship before Jesus
baby, brother, Lord and Saviour
and so make every journey
a walk with you.


The clock is ticking

I can’t quite believe that we are half way through Lent and that next week will be Mothering Sunday, after which our attention begins to turn very much towards Passiontide and Holy Week. The enforced isolation – or rather the isolation I chose now that we don’t legally have to isolate when we are positive – meant that I had the time to get on with some tasks that took some time that I don’t always have.

When I was having the various book launches of my book for Passiontide and holy Week, ‘The Hour Is Come’, one of the people at the talks asked whether I might put out Tweets to remind people that it was time to read a chapter of the book. It sounded like an excellent idea, but at the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘I don’t quite know how to do that and will I have time?’ Well, in the ten days at home I learnt how to do it and I did have time. So there are now a whole series of Tweets scheduled to go out to help people engage with the book and more importantly with the events of Holy Week.

The reason for mentioning this today is that the book actually begins on Lent 4, Mothering Sunday, next Sunday, and so I just wanted to take this opportunity to warn you and to encourage you to buy the book if you have not yet done so. You can get a copy of the book by visiting here – although I know there are many other booksellers!

Hopefully it will be a way in which together we can accompany Jesus as the clock ticks and time moves towards the events of Good Friday and all that lies beyond.

In addition to the book and the Tweets there are three sessions to be held at Southwark Cathedral to develop the theme of the book. You can find details of all of these here and if you can’t get to the Cathedral it will all be live-streamed so that you can participate from wherever you are.

In the midst of a busy world,
we wait, Lord,
with you
and for you.

The Hour is Come

I have to admit that this is something of an exciting week for me. No, I’m not talking about another General Synod, although that will hold excitement I am sure and I will be sharing some of that on my blog! For me the real excitement is being able to attend various events around the book I have written which has recently been published – ‘The Hour is Come’.

I am grateful to the encouragement of people at the Cathedral to get stuff published and to Canterbury Press for taking the book on. The process was fascinating. As readers of the blog will know I love quoting passages from a number of sources. That isn’t possible in a book that will be sold, well, not without paying huge royalties. So that all needed some working around. Getting the title right, the images, checking for typos and sense – all of that takes so much time. But when the books finally arrived it was suddenly all worthwhile.

Those who have regularly followed my blogs may well recognise the basis of the book as being an online retreat I led a number of years ago. I decided the time was right to update it, dust it off and get it out to people in a different format, and for some in a much more accessible way.

Last week I had the joy of going to Church House Bookshop to sign lots of copies of the book in preparation for General Synod. There was something thrilling about walking past the shop later on and seeing ‘Signed Copies’ in the window. It really was one of those ‘Pinch me’ moments.

So this rather unusual blog is more of an advert. If you would like a copy of the book which is designed to take you through Passiontide to Easter and beyond, they are available from the Cathedral Shop and online shop here. It is also available from other good booksellers. There are events in the Cathedral and online when we can have the opportunity to talk about the passion and the approach I take to the events and how scripture speaks of them. You can find more details about them here.

So, thank you for your support. Thanks to Paula Gooder for her endorsement and for all those who have encouraged me to get into print. I just hope it is helpful as together we enter with Jesus into the reality of Holy Week. This is the first prayer I wrote for the book – it seems appropriate for such a new venture!

some paths are familiar to me,
I have travelled them many times before.
Other paths are new
and the terrain is unfamiliar.
Wherever I go,
give me the confidence that it is with you that I travel.

Holy Land

A pilgrimage for returning pilgrims

My Lent Diary

A journey from ashes to a garden

In the Steps of Martin Luther

A Southwark Cathedral Pilgrimage 2017

Canda, Jerusalem, Mucknall

Southwark Diocesan Pilgrimage 2016

Hearts on Fire - Pilgrims in the Holy Land

A good city for all

A good city for all

In the Steps of St Paul

Southwark Cathedral Pilgrimage June 2015


Reflections from the Dean of Southwark

Andrew Nunn's reflections from General Synod

the personal views of the Dean of Southwark