Bishop of Norwich's new book reveals his sacred places
A Place for God, is Bishop Graham James’ latest book of 40 short reflections about sacred spaces where he has encountered God. Review by Keith Morris.
Launched at Revelation in Norwich on December 14, the Bishop of Norwich candidly admitted that he was tempted to call it “Location, Location, Vocation”.
It comprises 40 places where Bishop Graham has encountered the divine and been brought closer to God.
Eight of the places are in Norfolk, including Norwich Cathedral, St Benet’s Abbey, Beeston Priory and the Holy House in Walsingham.
But most are not places of worship. The house in Soweto to which Nelson Madela returned after 30 years in prison, a chance encounter at Holborn Tube Station, the Jorvik Viking Museum in York, the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas (from where JFK was shot dead), Devil’s Island and Victoria Falls all have personal spiritual tale to tell for the Bishop.
His native Cornwall and the Holy Land also feature heavily.
Bishop Graham writes: “Many of the settings for an encounter with the divine are not conventionally religious and the experience was not always immediate. Neither was every encounter pleasurable, peaceful or joyful.
“Places and experiences linger in the memory. A perspective subtly changes; a conviction is reshaped; a sense of calling is confirmed; a glimpse of divine joy comes unbeckoned; a sorrow is redeemed.”
Written in 40 short chapters, the book can be used during Lent but is, in reality, suitable for reading any time of year. And for those, like myself, with a short literary attention span is ideal for picking up as and when a moment can be found.
A Place for God – The Mowbray Lent Book 2018, is published by Bloomsbury at £9.99 and can be ordered online from Revelation by clicking here.
Pictured above is Bishop Graham James at the book launch at Revelation in Norwich.