England Needs a Revival
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Jack Burton is a Methodist minister who has been driving buses in Norwich for twenty-eight years. In 1976 he wrote a simple, yet kaleidoscopic book about his experiences as a worker priest and about God, the church and the world, trying to describe both the glorious catholicity of human life 'from railway engines and high mass to literature and good ale'.
Now, after twenty years, he has written a kind of sequel. The style, the readability, the glorious imagery and the passion are still there, but the tone is much bleaker. England is a beautiful country, and its people have a goodly heritage. But England is sick - and the church doesn't understand why, or what to do about it.
Jack Burton goes on to spell out vividly what many people must be feeling. He writes about the good values which are still there and the dark shadows which seem to be spreading further; he writes about the potential of Christian belief and the wonder of creation which is still there for all to see - if we do not destroy them; and he calls for a revival. The revival he envisages cannot be based on fundamentalist attitudes of any kind, but must have a catholic spirit and a social dimension.
And England - what about the rest of the British Isles, indeed the rest of the world? Jack Burton is an unabashed patriot. England's story, he says, is his story and its shames and glories his own. He longs for England to be known throughout the world for its compassion and integrity. And if he cannot love his country which he has seen, how can he love a distant country which he has not seen?
Here is a vision which challenges by its rugged individuality and its transparent integrity.
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