Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A novel by a friend

My friend Rhidian Jones has written a novel that depicts the trials of one Anglo-Catholic family as they try to reconcile their differing opinions on women in the priesthood. His new book “Cycling On” is published by Lulu, and is available both as a traditional book and an e-book.

After serving as a vicar in the Church in Wales before his reception as a Catholic layman, Rhidian Jones is well placed from both clerical and lay standpoints, as well as being a canon lawyer, to realize the importance of the conversation surrounding women in the clergy. The anecdotal story within “Cycling On” examines this issue through a fictional tale about the Goodchild family.

Each character highlights a new facet of the book’s women-in-priesthood debate – a debate that threatens the family’s unity throughout the course of the plot.

“My book is not only about issues but also about inner journeys of faith,” Jones says. “There are serious issues but there are also amusing anecdotes. Minute observations made and the enigmatic style of the narrative bear a resemblance to Barbara Pym and Iris Murdoch. Hopefully, readers will gain an insight into clerical life.”

An excerpt from “Cycling On”:

“A number of clergy and lay people from the diocese attended Mortimer Goodchild’s lecture on the role of canon law in the life of the Church, at the University law faculty in Freeland … In his lecture, Mortimer stressed the importance of having sound rules in order to ensure the efficient running of the Church and to avoid the possibility of scandal. He explained how the law was developing all the time to assist the Church in its sacred mission.”

“Cycling On”
By Rhidian Jones
Softcover | 5.83 x 8.26 in | 109 pages | ISBN 9781291224214
E-Book | 109 pages | ISBN 9781291650952

About the Author
Rhidian Jones served for several years as an Anglican vicar in Wales. He has a longstanding interest in Anglican and Catholic worship and liturgy and in canon law. His other publications include a spiritual anthology of poems and collections of devotional readings in Welsh.

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