Reflections for the Unfolding Year

By Alan Wilkinson

A selection of addresses on the life of the Anglican Church, taking inspiration from its liturgical calendar, its people and the issues that it faces today.

ISBN: 9780718894986


Reflections for the Unfolding Year is a collection of addresses given by Alan Wilkinson. Roving over subjects from apartheid to Lent to the ever-evolving image of Mary, he offers a compassionate response to some of the most painful subjects of the last hundred years, as well as a thoughtful reflection on the sacraments of the Church of England, what they have meant to our ancestors and what they mean to us today. Delving into troubling questions about doubt, repentance and what it means when God appears to be silent in times of crisis, he draws on sources from all walks of life in order to express how Anglicans feel about fundamental issues such as grief, hope and grace, as well as, most potently, their longing for God.

Alan Wilkinson relates stories about the Church – its bishops and its believers – with rueful good humour and thoughtfulness, leading the reader through more than half a century of his ministry in Portsmouth and elsewhere. His portrait of the Church of England showcases both the ordinary and the extraordinary; the prosaic and the poetic. Through his fluent pen, we come to understand more of the lives of the people in the Church, such as Desmond Tutu, William Temple and Bill Sargent, who have made it what it is today: catholic, reformed and liberal.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 184

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Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Alan Wilkinson is an Anglican priest and the former Diocesan Theologian for Portsmouth, as well as the former Chaplain of St Catharine’s College Cambridge and Principal of Chichester Theological College. He has taught previously at the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Portsmouth and for the Open University, and now lives in Chichester with his wife, Fenella. He is the author of The Church of England and the First World War (reprinted 2014 by the Lutterworth Press), an in-depth exploration of the ambiguous role played by the Anglican Church in the war and the pastoral issues which arose from its unprecedented horrors.



I. Reflections on the Christian Year
1. Advent: The End and Endings
2. Advent: Judgement
3. Advent: Penitence
4. Advent: Mary the Pilgrim
5. How the Christmas Story Developed
6. Preparing for Christmas
7. Epiphany: The Baptism of Jesus
8. Epiphany: The Wedding at Cana
9. Epiphany: Candlemass
10. A Pattern for Lent
11. Lent: Desert and Ash
12. Lent: Paying Attention
13. Lent: Dying to Live
14. Holy Week: Maundy Thursday
15. Good Friday According to St Mark
16. Good Friday According to St Luke
17. Good Friday According to St Matthew
18. Good Friday According to St John
19. Easter: Seeing and Believing
20. Easter: The Resurrection of the Body
21. Easter: The Community of the Resurrection
22. Easter: Ascension Day
23. Pentecost
24. Trinity Sunday
25. Corpus Christi: Five Titles for the Eucharist
26. The Transfiguration (6 August)
27. Our Lady in Harvest (15 August)
28. All Saints (1 November)
29. Christ the King (Sunday before Advent)

II. Keeping Faith in God
30. Remembrance Day
31. Bishop George Bell of Chichester (1883-1958)
32. Does God Intervene When Disasters Strike?
33. Social Justice
34. Psalms
35. D-Day Commemoration
36. World Faiths
37. Marriage
38. Sabbaths
39. Walls
40. Wrestling Jacob
41. Ordained Fifty Years
42. Sacramental Christianity
43. Increase Our Faith
44. Praying
45. The Silence of God
46. Tradition and Innovation
47. Believing in God
48. Anglican-Roman Catholic Relations
49. Interpreting the Bible
50. Jericho and Tribal Religion


Endorsements and Reviews

I was struck as I read this book from cover to cover that I was being given a very good grounding in Christian faith and practice. But can books of sermons be of a wider interest? This current volume would seem to show that they can be.
Revd Peter McGeary, in Church Times, 8 June 2018

… preaching the good news in the way that Anglican divines do at their best: biblical, liturgical, sacramental, incarnation, worldly, awkward, funny and deeply nourishing. Collections of addresses such as these remind us of what has been, what occasionally still is, and what could yet be again.
Peter Atkinson, in Modern Believing, April 2020