St Mary’s Book Group: Forthcoming dates and titles

The next books and dates for discussion for the St Mary’s Book Group are now ready for your diaries!

Wednesday 30th May at 7.30pm An Altar in the World by An Altar in the WorldBarbara Brown Taylor

The prize winning writer Barbara Brown Taylor opens this stunningly beautiful book by considering a comment that many people make today, ‘I’m not really religious but I am spiritual.’ While they will often go to extraordinary lengths in search of a ‘spiritual experience’ she shows that the stuff of our everyday lives is a holy ground where we can encounter God at every turn. For her, as for Jacob in the Genesis story that opens this book, even barren, empty deserts can become ‘the house of God and the gate of heaven’ – places where a ladder of angels connects heaven to earth and earth to heaven. Our lives are full of such meeting places. In simple practices such as walking, working, resting and waking, Taylor reveals concrete ways to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see. Our vision of the world and of ourselves is renewed and transformed. This ancient spiritual understanding is found throughout the Bible, in Celtic and other great spiritual traditions. As it is explored afresh for our own times we discover that no physical act is too earthbound or too humble to become a path to the divine.


Wednesday 4th July at 7.30pm Searching for Serenity: Searching for SerenitySpirituality in Later Life by Jim McManus and Stephanie Thornton

Jim McManus and Stephanie Thornton take an honest look at every aspect of old age and show how, far from being a time of loss – loss of health, the vigour of youth, the occupations which have been the basis of our identity, those we love, and possibly even our mental faculties – it is one of God’s most wonderful gifts, a time of real spiritual growth.






Tuesday 2nd October at 7.30pm The Famished Road by BenThe Famished road Okri;

So long as we are alive, so long as we feel, so long as we love, everything in us is an energy we can use.

He is born into a world of poverty, ignorance and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Despite belonging to a spirit world made of enchantment, where there is no suffering, Azaro chooses to stay in the land of the Living: to feel it, endure it, know it and love it. This is his story.




Date TBC Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert PirsigZen and the art

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance caused a sensation when it was first published in 1974.The story of the narrator, his son Chris and their month-long motorcycle odyssey from Minnesota to California profoundly affected an entire generation. Both personal and philosophical, this book is a compelling study of relationships, and values.

Meetings take place at 97 Southend from 7.30 pm until 9 pm.