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88 of 88 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, homely guide to priesthood today, 21 Jan 2008
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
This little book is full of wisdom about the life and work of a priest, (essentially one in the Church of England) in all sorts of areas. It has short, lucid chapters on a range of areas, including preaching, personal organisation, attentive listening, theological reflection, prayer etc..
What it doesn't do is come up with a 'silver bullet' answer, finding the core around which people can define priesthood.
Rather, what Pritchard does is balance an essentially ontological understanding of priesthood (i.e. a priest is something a person is, rather than a job that a person does) with a high view of all the functional things vicars in particular are asked to do.
For example, the paperwork on your desk is not mindless 'red tape' to be scorned: rather, it should be seen as "pastoral work", as invariably each bit of paper is a request/ a need from a particular person: "what you do to the least of these bits of paper, you do to me".
The consequence is that he never privileges one aspect of ministry over another on the basis that one of the two is actually far more important.
Priests should be able to read the signs of the times AND make the worship they lead accessible to newcomers AND go on retreat once a year AND be pastoral ministers who listen "not just to the bassline of the conversation but also the melody" AND collaborate ecumenically AND look for joined up projects with government AND work together with the laity AND keep up with theological developments AND prioritise their family life AND allow outside interests to flourish AND limit themselves to a 50 hour week.
Even just listing those necessary attributes can make a priest feel a bit overwhelmed. There is a weakness to the lack of prioritisation: the task remains endless.
And yet...
this book doesn't feel overwhelming when you read it. There is a generosity at its heart, and a homeliness to his expressions (even when there's a depth of theology behind them) that makes it highly readable, and supportive.
It's made me reconsider my ministry, and it's the book I would now recommend for reading first, by anyone considering ordination as a priest in the Church of England (ahead of say, Michael Ramsey's "The Christian Priest Today" or Steve Croft's "Ministry in Three Dimensions").
It's realistic, but also wise. Above all, it rings true.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life and Work of a Priest, 18 Oct 2009
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Mrs. C. E. Richards (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Excellent book well written in small bits so that one can put it down and easily return to it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amen!, 2 Oct 2008
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Tracey Guthrie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Amen to what the last reviewer said! In a nutshell - this is an easy to read and relate to book, sharing the inside life of an Anglican vicar. If you are contemplating the calling on your life into ministry, then this is a most excellent starting point!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would be ordinand, 22 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Very practical realistic advise and food for thought for anyone considering ordination or indeed anyone already ordained. Forward looking focus and accessible reading style. Lovely prayers at the end of each section to keep you focused and homed in on what its really all about. Would thoroughly recommend.The Life and Work of a Priest
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear voice in the confusion of my mind, 6 July 2011
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A. M. Mullett - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Many people looking at this book will be in the early stages of working out if the nagging, persistent voice in their head is the calling of God into ordained ministry of some kind. John clearly lays out in this book the priests duty to God, the World and the Church.

He goes from describing his efforts in putting the bins out on a wet November evening to being concerned about the state of the church (that is the people who are the church) and their abilities to be in a constant evangelical state and have the knowledge and ability to defend and commend the faith through word and deed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Calm reflection, 6 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
This is an excellent, thoughtful book. Very well written. The structure is considered. The author sticks to each topic, keeping the reader engaged throughout with succinct prose.
Unlike other some more academically targeted publications, this book avoids the theological hyperbole and presents the practical considerations and genuine daily issues facing any ordained minister in the 21st century. There's a genuine sense of warmth in the narrative that clearly stems from experienced understanding of the issues and the needs of the reader. It raises challenging questions rather than theoretical panaceas and will aid most candidates exploring ordination.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" read for any priest in training, 27 Jun 2014
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a great book full of down to earth practical wisdom. suitable for people in training or discerning priesthood. a superb read
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5.0 out of 5 stars A useful formation book, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Pritchard's book is worth having on the reading list for students in ordination formation programs, or fro lay people wanting to gain an insight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So its not just sundays??????, 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
If you are not a minister , but considering becoming one, or just wonder what they do it all week, get this book. It really is not just a few hours on a sunday!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most useful book I've read in a while, 13 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Life and Work of a Priest (Paperback)
Great book, well written and easy to understand, gets to the heart of the subject, well written and accessible, I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about the priesthood.
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The Life and Work of a Priest
The Life and Work of a Priest by John Pritchard (Paperback - 22 Jun 2007)
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