Church Matters

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), June 3, 2006 | Go to article overview

Church Matters


Byline: By Francis Wood

Four ways ( one goal

Life is often seen as a journey and David Goodacre, now retired as Vicar of Ovingham, has made it the subject of his new book, Four Ways One Goal (Leighton Counselling pounds 11.99). It took David a lifetime to write and it takes time to read as there's a great deal there. He draws on his experience as a Christian counsellor to guide the reader on a spiritual journey in the company of four Christians of the last century. These are Julia de Beausobre, Dag Hammarskjold, Martin Luther King and Angelo Roncalli (Pope John XXIII). Don't worry. We come to know them well, as Julia, Dag, Martin and Angelo.

Julia found her spiritual strength at the time of the collapse of Tsarist Russia. Dag, former Secretary General of the United Nations, never quite embraced the Christian faith. Martin, son of a dominant father became a passionate preacher and the highly intelligent Angelo always knew he would be a priest but he did it his own way.

The author recognises the stations or stopping places on these four journeys and relates them to those of the Lord himself. These are his baptism, his meeting at Caesarea Philippi, the Way of the Cross and the final stages of his journey. David finds parallels in the way the River Tyne makes its way to the sea and as we read we discover our own spiritual route.

This is an absorbing book with a rich fund of stories to illustrate. I found these the best part but we can all benefit from sharing the whole experience. It is available in bookshops and will be launched at St Nicholas' Cathedral on Sunday June 18, after the morning Eucharist at 9.30am.

USE THEM OR LOSE THEM

THE steady erosion of Church Festivals continues. Tomorrow was once Whitsunday, a time for white dresses, confirmations and Sunday School processions. 40 years ago Spring Bank Holiday took over. Advent as a preparation for Christmas has long disappeared. Some cities now keep Winterval, a mass booze-up when nobody knows what they are celebrating. …

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