St John the Baptist Parish Church

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Book Club

Book Club held on 15th February

On the 15th February the book club met to discuss “Bread not Stones” by Una Kroll published by Christian Alternative Books in 2014.  The book is Una’s auto biography. She was a medical doctor, missionary nun, a pioneer of gender equality, an Anglican priest and then a contemplative Catholic. In the book Una says this is “an account of my journey from orthodox faith, through profound darkness and into a new way of living in the present moment”

It was quite a dense book for an autobiography. Like her life, the book changes direction abruptly, and towards the end of the book it is more about pastoral care and a call to action than an autobiography. Una was born in 1925 and died on the 6th January this year. Excerpts from two obituaries written in the national press were read out. Some people felt that you got to know more about her from them than from her book.

Una impressed us with her honesty in the book, including her doubts about church. We felt she was a person with very strong views and may have been difficult to get on with. However, she was obviously very sympathetic to people going through difficult times.

Una was involved in advocating for women priests and shouted in one meeting of the synod “we asked for bread and you have given us a stone”. This same slogan “bread not stones” was on a protest banner outside the very recent Church of England synod meeting.

Una reflects on a “mysterious force” and “unconditional creative love” which has she says she has experienced and which has changed her life. Towards the end of the book she says how she became able to love people with totally opposing views to her own.

Through the evening we enjoyed a lively and interesting discussion about the book and its author. If you would like to read the book for yourself there will be copy in the library.

The next meeting will be 27th June on a book yet to be decided.

Anne Pelham