Norfolk Christian author launches first book
2011: A Norfolk Christian author is launching her book Interlopers With Lipstick this month, which comprises articles, memoirs and poems on faith and the hostility faced by women in the priesthood.
Penelope Dent was ordained at Norwich Cathedral and was a curate in North Walsham from 2004 until she moved to a team in the Midlands in January 2008. She returned to Norwich for her retirement.
Penelope's book Interlopers With Lipstick is the compilation of a selection of published articles that she had written over the years. Proceeds from the sale of the book will raise funds for St George's Tombland, Norwich.
Penelope writes mostly on social and spiritual issues. She also worked in historical aviation research and has given talks on women in aviation. She says there are sound links to be made between the sky and faith. "The title Interlopers With Lipstick came from the title of an article that I wrote for an aviation magazine, describing the hostility faced by women trying to become pilots in the early years of aviation."
This is a fascinating collection of essays, which have grown out of Penelope’s rich and varied life...There is a valuable reflection on the Incarnation, and some interesting thoughts about religious communities. She shares with us some insights about young people at the bottom of the pile in education, and concludes with some of her poems – which are thought-provoking. Many Christians would benefit by reading this book.
Bishop Malcolm Menin
Interlopers with lipstick caused difficulties for some men in aviation circles in the 1920s and 30s, just as educated and independently-mind novices could and did upset Reverent Mothers of the same and later eras. Penelope Dent, with knowledge of both circles, speaks clearly and sharply of the value and contribution to the church of those with a ‘fractured vocation’, of the despair of the impoverished, sick, and lonely aged, of the frustrations of the able but unqualified, isolated, unemployed woman. The hurts of faith are transparent in these short essays and poems, tinged with a certain sardonic humour; but toughness is there: ‘poverty may decimate my life-style but it is not going to damage my self-respect.’
Professor John Bartlett, Canon of Christ Church, Dublin
I have known Pen for many years since meeting at the family social work agency in 1975, where she worked for a year and I for rather longer. Her writings totally disprove the idea that a rolling stone gathers no moss. The world of drama and acting is used to effect in exploring religious meaning. The chance volunteer placement in the Royal Aircraft Museum, Hendon, led to her exploration of the world of early women aviators and interviews on Woman's Hour, as well as the articles produced here. Much is imbued with Pen's characteristic sense of humour and I love the title! In spite of this, I feel that the writing really takes off and soars in her poems of grief and loss.
Margaret Lowe, Senior Social Worker
Interlopers with Lipstick is available to buy for £7 from the Norwich Christian Resource Centre