Being Interrupted

Reimagining the Church's Mission from the Outside, In

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Al Barrett, Ruth Harley
  • Norwich, UK: 
    Hymns Ancient and Modern
    , November
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Beginning with a ‘Street Nativity Play’ that didn’t end as planned, and finishing with an open-ended conversation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Being Interrupted locates an institutionally-anxious Church of England within the wider contexts of divisions of race and class in ‘the ruins of empire’, alongside ongoing gender inequalities, the marginalization of children, and catastrophic ecological breakdown.

In the midst of this bleak picture, Al Barrett and Ruth Harley open a door to a creative disruption of the status quo, ‘from the outside, in’: the in breaking of the wild reality of the ‘Kin-dom’ of God. Through careful and unsettling readings in Mark’s gospel, alongside stories from a multicultural outer estate in east Birmingham, they paint a vivid picture of an ‘alternative economy’ for the Church’s life and mission, which begins with transformative encounters with neighbours and strangers at the edges of our churches, our neighbourhoods and our imaginations, and offers new possibilities for repentance and resurrection.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Al Barrett is rector of Hodge Hill Church in the Diocese of Birmingham. He is an honorary research fellow at the Queen's Foundation.

Ruth Harley is an ordinand in the Church of England. Prior to that, she was the children’s and families’ minister at a town-centre parish church.




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