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Walking Backwards to Christmas: An Advent journey from light to darkness Paperback – 21 Aug 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (21 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281071470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281071470
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Cottrell is the Bishop of Chelmsford and was formerly Bishop of Reading. He is the author of several bestselling books for SPCK: The Things He Carried (2008), The Things He Said (2009), The Nail (2011) and Christ in the Wilderness (2012).

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. Worthington on 18 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Walking Backwards to Christmas' is both a clever idea and a story that works to perfection.
It catches the motivations and personalities of the Christmas Story in a most convincing way.
It was totally unputdownable and I read it in an afternoon and it thoroughly held my attention despite the noise of a tv nearby!

I enjoyed the characterisations of Casper (A King), David (A Shepherd) and Elizabeth and Mary particularly as I have been
looking at how these figures are usually represented. However, all the characters are well portrayed and add something special to
the story.

If you want a page-turning and revealing read about the personalities and purposes of the Nativity read this excellent book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Victoria on 21 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Walking Backwards to Christmas is a wonderful read. Stephen Cottrell explores the Advent story through the eyes of some well known characters. As the title suggests, the book walks backwards through the story, beginning with Anna's encounter with Jesus in the temple, and then onwards taking us to meet a grieving mother in Bethlehem, Herod, Wise Man Casper, Shepherd David, Inn keeper Martha, Joseph, Elizabeth, Mary, and finally Isaiah and Moses.

Each story is set in context with an opening extract of scripture and then the first hand account of each story-teller. Stephen Cottrell has an amazing gift for creative writing, his characterisation is detailed and believable. I got lost in each and every story. Some resonated particularly deeply, and I think that everyone would find their own most significant, poignant story, which might change season after season. This time my favourite was Casper (the wise man).

This is a wonderful way to step imaginatively into the Advent Story. I thoroughly enjoy reading the stories one day at a time. And the favourite part for me was then entering the story myself. Throughout the day, amidst chores, work, and family time, I could return to the story and imagine what it would have been like for that character. How did they feel? What happened next? How did this encounter continue to change their life?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bexter on 30 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another example of imaginative writing within orthodox Christian teaching by a humourous and engaging writer
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By REVEREND CANON CARLA I HAMPTON on 5 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An imaginative reflection on the Christmas story where the writer has really considered the characters involved. I have found it very spiritually helpful and will almost certainly read it again during Advent
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Thompson on 26 Nov. 2014
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Interesting to pause and consider the people behind the most famous names in history! It's comforting to know that in many ways they are us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By val on 23 Nov. 2014
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i will never look on the christmas story the same ever again. this book has bought new meaning into the well memorised text
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Allan on 22 Dec. 2014
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Enjoyed this book and will read it again, felt the last 3 chapters were a bit "harder to get" however that may be as a result of where I currently am in my journey with God.
A lot to think about in this book and have already recommended to friends.
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I read post Christmas ... into New Year ... some a little too lengthy & 'detached' ... others excellent ... worth the effort overall. Thank You for sharing this !
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