Dereham readers encourage popular Christian author 

Christian author Dorothy M Stewart spent yesterday (Wednesday) at Green Pastures bookshop in Dereham meeting readers, talking about her experiences caring for her husband with dementia and being encouraged to write a sequel to her second novel.  Jenny Seal reports.

On Wednesday, January 25 Dorothy M. Stewart, the popular Christian author who has written and edited many books, spent the day in residence at Green Pastures bookshop in Dereham giving talks and signing her books. 

At the end of the day Dorothy reflected on the experience saying: “What I have enjoyed is meeting the really lovely people who listened and were so interested in the books.

“So many people had experience with dementia and many had very specific questions. So it was good to be able to offer some ideas about how to move forwards. Opportunities to help almost make going through the horrible experience of dementia somehow worth it.”

Dorothy lives in Suffolk where she is a lay preacher.  Two of her books, ‘One Day at a Time: A Meditation for Carers’ and ‘Still Caring: Christian Meditation and Prayers’ were written in response to Dorothy’s husband, John, being diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia in 2007 and her experiences coping with his illness.

She has also written novels including ‘The Mitzpah Ring’ and ‘When the Boats Come Home’.
Dorothy said: “People were lovely about the novels.  Some people had read the first of the trilogy and really wanted me to write another.  They were very encouraging and it has made me want to work on the sequel.”

The author wrote ‘The Mitzpah Ring’ always intending it to be the first of a trilogy, but after spending time researching it in detail and writing the manuscript, she changed her mind and decided to shelve the novel.  But the visit to Green Pastures and the encouragement of her readers has now motivated her to begin work on the sequel once again.

Dorothy spoke glowingly of the Dereham bookshop.  She said: “Green Pastures is the friendliest, most welcoming Christian shop I’ve ever been in.  The stock is amazing; they always have the latest books.  You read about a book in the media and you come in here and they have it, plus they have great cards, gifts and children’s resources. “

With it’s large shop front, its spacious premises, well chosen stock and friendly staff, Green Pastures is a wonderful resource on Dereham’s High Street.  Like many Christian bookshops on the high street it wouldn’t be able to support itself through sales but thanks to a donation scheme, 'Friends of Green Pastures', it has achieved a sustainable financial model.

Green Pastures Manager Richard Shand explained: “We see that the primary purpose of Green Pastures’ ministry is to be a Christian outreach on the High Street.  It gives people the opportunity to come in.  And they do.  We are constantly amazed.  People come in to buy a card and end up chatting. 

"Whenever I have the thought to ask someone whether they would like to pray their answer has always been yes.  Always yes.  They come into a shop and are happy to talk and accept prayer, but they wouldn’t have gone into a church.  Church is no longer in many people’s world view but it is easy to come into a shop.”

Green Pastures Bookshop, 20 High Street, East Dereham, NR19 1DR

Green Pastures Bookshop stocks the following Dorothy M Stewart books:

WhenBoatsComeHomeWhen the Boats Come Home
Dorothy’s first fictional novel published in 2014 follows a family drama set against the background of the Great Yarmouth Fishermen’s Revival of 1921.

The Mizpah RingStillCaringBook
Dorothy’s second novel published in 2015 is a tale of three generations which moves from Wick in Scotland to the Klondike gold rush of 1897, to Edinburgh, Canada, San Francisco and Buenos Aires.

One Day at a Time: Mediations for Carers
Published in 2010 this book of brief Bible readings, meditations, prayers and self-help suggestions was written especially for those who have very little time for themselves.  Dorothy wrote the book as a response to being a full-time carer of her husband, who suffers from dementia as a result of MS. 

Still Caring: Christian Meditations and Prayers
Published in 2013 this book was written to help carers through the emotional and spiritual wrestling involved in moving a loved one to residential care.  Each mediation ends with a revitalizing self-care suggestion and the book as a whole aims to support, encourage, comfort and strengthen you, whatever stage of the journey you and your loved one are at.

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