What do footballer Peter Crouch, best-selling author Joanna Cannon, investigative journalist Jon Ronson, actor Mark Rylance, and former Archbishop Rowan Williams have in common?
The answer is that they all appear in a new book “God Calls Everyone”, written by Derek Walmsley, our Director of Vocations and Ordinands.
Asked about the book, Derek explained: “There are lots of Christian books about vocation and I have read most of them, but although many of them are great, they tend to focus on ME and what to do with MY life. I realised that there might be a better way of looking at this, so I wrote this book.”
“I’ve tried to see things from God’s angle. The book tells the whole Bible story from Genesis to Revelation, looking at what God has done – his great plan for the world – and then asks how we fit in with that.”
But who is the book for? “Everyone! The clue is in the title,” says Derek. “I’ve made it easy to read, avoiding too much theological jargon, although the main target audience would be Christians who are wondering what to do with their life. I work for the Church of England, but I wanted to make this suitable for anyone from any Christian background.”
“I’ve also tried to avoid making it all about ‘special’ vocations – a friend who wrote a similar book thirty years ago calls them ‘ministers, monks and missionaries.'
"This book asks the question: what does vocation look like for everyone, whatever their job, if they have one or not?”
Paul Harcourt, national leader for the New Wine network said: “This book is so useful in helping us see how to find our story – our true and best life – within God’s big story.”
The former Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard, pictured left with Derek, has written the forward: “It’s a gift to the whole church, one which we receive with gratitude," he said.
And what about the four people mentioned above? What have they got to do with vocation?
Derek is a little coy about that: “You need to buy the book to find out!”, but he adds: “I have come into contact with all of them in the last couple of years, and what they said helped me to illustrate the things I was trying to say.”