Outlook 17
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Good Read
Good Read Don’t take care, take risks! Faith under Fire: What the Middle East conflict has taught me about God by the Revd Canon Dr Andrew White, Vicar of Baghdad. Available from St Mary’s Church Shop, £8.99 Knowing exactly what you believe and why you believe it is an issue for many Christians, but not Andrew White. The ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, as he is known, has absolute conviction of his calling, a vocation which has taken him from a career as an A&E doctor to his current ministry at St George’s. On the way he has found time to forge a career in local (UK) politics, become a very public advocate for peace in the Middle East, and fought a painful battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Feeling a little inadequate? Well, Andrew White is also a writer and his latest book, Faith under Fire, provides the reader with a blow-by-blow account of his journey. This is a breathless read by any standards. The author puts himself absolutely at the centre of the story. “I assumed I would pursue a career in medicine, but God had other plans,” he notes at the beginning of the book before going on to describe the nature of his faith in terms of goals set and achieved: South London vicar; first President of Cambridge University Jews and Christians; friend of Archbishops, a religious go-between – the list goes on and on. He takes to heart the advice of his early mentor, Archbishop Coggan, “Don’t take care, take risks!” Andrew White sees no reason to hide his light under a bushel, but then why should he? He is on a mission to explain what faith means – and how faith supports – in some of the bleakest circumstances. This is why God has taken him, he believes, to his current ministry at St George’s. “I believe I have been sent here by God,” he writes, “and for that reason I have no desire to leave.” Mixed in with the preaching – and there is plenty of that – the book provides a powerful insight into what it means to be a Christian in Iraq; the bombs and daily kidnappings are just part of the author’s faith under fire. A far cry from Market Hill, Woodbridge? Well, yes, at one level but the human struggles, however they are manifested, are universal. NC