Seeing in the Dark:

Pastoral perspectives on suffering

from the Christian spiritual tradition.

Christopher Chapman,

Canterbury Press, 2013

ISBN 978 1 84825 259 2

Life is joyful, beautiful and a rich blessing, but also difficult, painful and mysterious. Sorrows and Springs draws on imagery from the Christian spiritual tradition to explore the part suffering plays within human growth and our experience of God. 


With Julian of Norwich we gaze at the servant Christ falling down into the depths of our difficulty. We look at ‘night’ helped by the testimony of one who knew its terror and gift: John of the Cross. We meet the poets George Herbert and Gerard Manley Hopkins who, like Jacob, wrestled with God. With the medieval poet Hadewijch we mark the rhythm of seasons and life changes. Through the philosopher and spiritual seeker, Simone Weil, we recall love known in meeting and separation. We walk through a desolate and trackless wasteland in the company of pilgrims across time and gain glimpses of a hidden Promised Land.  Through these different windows we will find ourselves encouraged not to cling to suffering, nor to flee from its threat, but to discover within it the work of a resourceful, creative, and compassionate God.



Earthed in God:

Four movements of spiritual growth

Christopher Chapman

Canterbury Press

 April 2018

 Jesus, the teller of parables, looked at the natural world and wondered. How can the small brown speck of a seed hold within it root, shoot, leaf, flower and seedhead? He invites us to hold the mystery of creation in mind and heart, like seed in the hand of a sower. ‘Look’, he says. ‘See what happens if you are grounded in God’s good soil. Behold the wonder of who you are and what you might become.’

Earthed in God explores four recurring movements of our life in God:

  • Becoming rooted and grounded in God
  • Emerging into being in response to God’s invitation 
  • Struggling towards abundance through resistance
  • Bearing fruit and being willing to fall

These four are movements, not stages.

They are seasons that meet us afresh within a lifetime of growing, stirring us once more into abundant life.