The Life and Work of a Priest, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Having managed during his eventful time as a vicar to become a footnote in ecclesiastical history(!), John Pritchard's current role as a 'jobbing bishop' ensures he is in contact with many parish priests every week.

In this lively and hopeful volume, he realistically maps out the life and work of those called to serve God in the pastoral ministry, looking in turn at the only three things he believes need be of concern: the glory of God, the pain of the world, and the renewal of the Church.

From those flow the priest's many roles, such as spiritual explorer, multi-lingual interpreter, wounded companion, friendly irritant, creative leader and mature risk-taker.


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The is a useful little book of 17 short chapters aranged in three sections - "The Glory of God", "The Pain of the World", "The Renewal of the Church". Pritchard is bishop of Oxford and draws fairly candidly on his own experience. Some of it is explicitly Anglican, but the majority of it is relevant to anyone in Christian ministry. I myself am a RC piest involved in formation and would be happy to recommend it to my students.I only have a couple of criticisms. At times the chapters are a bit too short, finishing almost before they have got going, and so it does not always reach the depths it could. Secondly, Pritchard's bad run in with a choir and the press some years ago is aluded to in such a way that makes one think "I wonder what happened". Either tell us or leave the allusions out!