The Revd Canon Robert Cotton, rector of Guildford's Holy Trinity and St Mary's churches, urges churchgoers to love their local community and recognise a calling to help others in his new book published by SPCK this month.
Reimagining discipleship: loving the local community focuses on various aspects of strengthening community life: valuing volunteers, exercising inclusive leadership, and rejoicing in responsibility as opportunity rather than burden.
Robert, who wrote this book after SPCK, looking for a â€˜new voiceâ€™, liked his blog on the parish website, uses many observations from his minstry in Guildford to make points that are valid everywhere.
Perhaps his most radical question is: does it matter if not many people go to church? He suggests that maybe it doesnâ€™t, as long as those who do go to church â€“ the disciples - remain faithful and provide an example of Christianity, and believe on behalf of other people.
Churchwarden Mary Alexander said: "Robert encourages the disciples to be active, living their faith, and being an example to others. He knows from his work in Guildford that non-churchgoers appreciate the disciples being there, but donâ€™t necessarily want to join in.
"For him, people are hugely important, and I believe there are insights for everyone in the book. Christians will find inspiration in it, and non-Christians will find a wise and humane description of Christian behaviour and belief: loving the local community."
Everyone is invited to an informal evening of light refreshments to mark the book's launch on Tuesday 23 October, St Maryâ€™s Church, Quarry Street 1730 â€“ 1900h. The event is part of the Guildford Book Festival and copies of the book will be available for a discounted Â£10 (usual price Â£12.99).
For a review of the book visit www.holytrinityguildford.org.uk
Reimagining discipleship: loving the local community is published by SPCK, 2012. ISBN 978-0-281-06719-0. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org Parish Office, 5, Trinity Churchyard, Guildford, GU1 3RR, 01483 567716.