The Widening Circle of Us is personal, political and theological. Peter Francis charts his own ‘widening’ from a privileged beginning with an unquestioning naïve faith, to a liberal understanding of faith and society. He now believes that Christianity is best viewed as a completely non-supernatural ethic for life. The memoir weaves his personal story alongside his passion for the humanity of Jesus and writes about the battles for inclusion that have shaped his life and ministry. It is an honest reflection on his life as a priest in England, Scotland and Wales, including nearly 25 years as Warden of Gladstone’s Library, where his ‘widening’ continues with responding to the Gladstone legacy of historic slavery in the wake of Black Lives Matter.
Eminently readable – I know it is a cliché, but I really couldn’t put it down. The subtitle ‘theological memoir’ perfectly describes the genre that Peter Francis has made his own. I wish there were more books like this.
Linda Woodhead MBE, F D Maurice Professor, King’s College London
This memoir is a pleasure, a challenge, very moving, admirably frank and it is often funny in parts too.
Sarah Perry, internationally bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth
Peter Francis, The Widening Circle of Us: A Theological Memoir, 2021, ISBN 978-1-910481-08-0, £15.99.
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