Weekly Reflection - God Calls Everyone

16 September 2021

Canon Derek

This week I hope you’ll forgive me a little shameless self-promotion, but hopefully well intentioned…

What do Sunday Times best-selling author Joanna Cannon, footballer Peter Crouch, investigative journalist Jon Ronson, actor Sir Mark Rylance, and former Archbishop Rowan Williams have in common? Answer in a moment (just to keep you reading and guessing).

In 2018 I had a three-month sabbatical and during that time, I wrote a book. It was about vocation (the subject of my day job) and much to my surprise the second publisher I approached wanted to do something with it.

After much editing, it was published last year. My deal with the publisher was that they would sell it at the usual outlets and I would get a cut, but also I would buy a few hundred copies at a reduced price and sell them myself. No problem – I frequently speak at churches and events in West Yorkshire and beyond, so hopefully I could shift a few. The book was set for publication on Good Friday 2020 and then… covid-19 happened. I had hoped to do a book launch at the cathedral with special guests, but that couldn’t happen, so I’m hoping that sales can pick up now as lockdown is reduced.

So, what is the book all about (I hear you asking)? There are lots of Christian books about vocation and I have read most of them, but although many of them are great, they tend to focus on ME and what to do with MY life. I realised that there might be a better way of looking at this. I’ve tried to see things from God’s angle. The book tells the whole Bible story from Genesis to Revelation, looking at what God has done – his great plan for the world – and then asks how we fit in with that.

But who is the book for? Everyone! The clue is in the title. I wanted to avoid making it all about ‘special’ vocations. We have to get away from the idea that some jobs are more spiritual. A friend who wrote a similar book thirty years ago calls them ‘ministers, monks and missionaries.’ This book asks the question: what does vocation look like for everyone, whatever their job, if they have one or not?”

The former Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, who is a popular author himself has kindly written the foreword. He says, “It’s a gift to the whole church, one which we receive with gratitude.”

What about the five people mentioned above? Well, I met all of them while writing the book and I’ve recalled what they said/did in the text.

What have they got to do with vocation? You need to buy the book to find out!”

Where can I get it? It’s now on sale in Cathedral Kitchen during the usual opening hours. (Ea has done a nice display!) Why not buy a copy with some coffee and start reading? It might change your life.

Some of the proceeds will go to cathedral funds. But I’m not looking to make any personal profit – I just want it to help people. So if you would really like to read it and are short of cash, just ask me and I’ll give you one for free. For the rest, it’s only £9.99 but as a special deal you can have it for just £10....

Blessings in Christ

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