Inspired by a conversation with a barista who asked him why he became a priest, this is the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell's extended answer to that question - as well as the letter he'd like to write to a divided country that no longer sees the relevance or value of the Christian narrative.
Dear England is the story of how Christian faith can make sense of life, giving a framework for how we deal with our biggest questions and deepest longings; and how its values and ideals can shape the way we live in - and bring change to - the world. Written without resorting to individual experience or religious jargon, Dear England clears the obstacles that can get in the way of faith for those who, like its author, were brought up in a secular world, and haven't had the opportunity to think clearly about the claims of faith.
Archbishop Stephen is a much-admired voice within the church, but in this book he writes for a more general audience, and those who might call themselves spiritual seekers - as well as anyone who is concerned about the life and unity of the UK. A short, beautiful book, this is at once both contemplative and deeply practical, which will speak to both Christians and those on the edges of faith.
Stephen Cottrell is the Archbishop of York and was for almost ten years Bishop of Chelmsford; before that he was Bishop of Reading. He has worked in parishes in London and Chichester, as Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral, as Missioner in the Wakefield diocese and as part of Springboard, the Archbishop of Canterbury's evangelism team.
He has written widely on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship. Among his most recent books are On Priesthood (2020), a series of Lent and Holy Week meditations, The Things He Carried (2008), a follow up of reflections for Easter Day, The Things He Said (2009), The Nail: Being part of the Passion (2011) and Christ in the Wilderness: Reflecting on the paintings of Stanley Spencer (2012). His bestselling I Thirst was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book for 2004.