Touching Cloth: Confessions and communions of a young priest (Hardback)
  • Touching Cloth: Confessions and communions of a young priest (Hardback)
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Touching Cloth: Confessions and communions of a young priest (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 208 Pages
Published: 23/03/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Both a wonderfully witty record of the everyday tribulations of the clerical life and a love letter to the Church of England at its best, this sinfully entertaining memoir from the fresh-faced clergyman and author of Priests de la Resistance! truly is a revelation.

A laugh-out-loud memoir of becoming a 21st-century priest, Touching Cloth is also a love letter to the Prayer Book, Liverpool, funerals, cake tins, lager and, above all, to what the Church of England can be at its best.

The very word 'reverend' inspires solemnity. To be a priest is to dedicate one's life to quiet prayer and spiritual contemplation. Isn't it?

Fergus Butler-Gallie reveals what it's like to become a priest in the twenty-first century. Find out why black really is slimming, how to keep a straight face when someone is inadvertently hot-boxing a funeral, and which royal-themed biscuit tin can best contain a very loud personal alarm that no one knows how to switch off. Spot a sweet old lady trying to pay for a taxi with coinage from fascist Spain?

Congratulations, shepherd, she's your problem now. Behind the daily scrapes is an all-too-human love letter to the Church of England, and the amazing variety of people who manage to keep it going, providing a listening ear, company and community at a time when so many people desperately need it, as well as a reflection on what it means to follow a spiritual path amid the chaos of the modern world.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781787635753
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 319 g
Dimensions: 224 x 140 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A witty and adept guide to the foibles of the well-intentioned and all too human figures who follow holy orders... Touching Cloth can be compared to Adam Kay's This Is Going to Hurt and the writings of the Secret Barrister... there is a warmth and wit here that recalls everyone from Wodehouse to that other godly humorist GK Chesterton. - Alexander Larman, Observer

I may be a non-believer, but I laughed my way through this warm and witty book, which made me admire the irreverent reverend Fergus Butler-Gaillie even more than I already did. It is so engagingly written, and could sit deservingly in the tradition of Monica Dickens's tales of muddling amusingly through in unusual jobs where one might not be considered "a natural" (very high praise!). It's funny, fascinating, and gorgeously humane. - Marina Hyde, columnist and author of What Just Happened?

Funny and touching in equal measure, the diary of a priest that ranges from slapstick to the hauntingly profound. - Tom Holland, author of Dominion

Touching Cloth is a delight - a masterclass in the way pleasure, laughter and even God can be found in the most mundane moments of daily life. - Edward Stourton, author of Confessions

A warm-hearted and frequently hilarious insight into the daily life of the clergy that won over this inveterate atheist. - Nick Pettigrew, author of Anti-Social

Irreverent and hilarious... The pitfalls of human physicality form the essence of the book's comedy... What he wants to remind us, I think, is how far from being perfect all who might aspire to being saints are. - The Times

If Butler-Gallie's entertaining book is anything to go by, [clerical life is summed up by] moments of great solemnity very often punctuated by uproarious mirth. - Daily Mail

A rich store of anecdotes, both sacred and profane... Whatever his failure to progress up the hierarchy of the Church, he has an established place as one of its most acute and amusing chroniclers. - Spectator

Searingly honest.. Butler-Gallie is the priest you want in your parish. - i newspaper

Butler-Gallie loves the Church of England, even with its foibles, loves being a priest, and especially loves the ordinary people there. It is a book of humour, but also of deep humanity.... Great clowns give us amusement, but also have a quality of sadness and great depth. This book has that great duality. - Church Times

Butler-Gallie's tales are narrated with a voice and self-deprecatory humour somewhere between Viz and PG Wodehouse. The stories are all gloriously funny, but, like all good clerical effusions, they have a serious point. - Literary Review

The best literature is often about finding laughter in the darkest places. But, set against the backdrop of a year working in the Church of England, this vein of comic writing has even greater resonance, forming a searching examination of the function of faith in modern Britain... it would be hard to find a more personable and humane guide. - Nicholas Harris, Mail on Sunday

Brilliantly funny, as well as being a rich meditation on ordinary life - TLS

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