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The Art of Tentmaking: Making Space for Worship
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‘The persistent voice of Richard Giles, author of Repitching the Tent and Creating Uncommon Worship amongst other things, has been almost unique in the Anglican tradition in this generation in insisting that it is how you do church – how the liturgy is celebrated and how this is expressed in the way the community gathers in and moves through the building – that challenges and changes the people of God, and offers them the chance of actually becoming the body of Christ in a particular place.
Sometimes this voice must have felt like one crying in the wilderness, and it was to Philadelphia in the USA that Richard was eventually called as Dean rather than to an English cathedral. But his writing and speaking as well as what this former town-planner turned priest achieved in the buildings he re-ordered have witnessed to his single-minded determination to share his vision for what might be. This volume marks his considerable achievement with a mixture of reminiscence, reflection and re-envisioning from some of his distinguished colleagues and fellow-practitioners.
As Bishop Stephen Cottrell says: ‘Richard’s vision … was never just about reordering buildings; it was about reordering Christian communities …’, and the breadth and range of contributions indicate the variety of ways in which he continues to re-imagine, stimulate and encourage the task of making the Body of Christ a reality in a world that takes refuge in words. This book is a real antidote.’
David Stancliffe, former Chair of the Liturgical Commission and former Bishop of Portsmouth
The Art of Tentmaking honours Richard Giles as a liturgical pioneer. It will appeal to all who practice presidency in Christian worship and have responsibilities for shaping Christian assembly: architects, artists, musicians, as well as clergy and others with focal roles. The international range of contributors come from Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Uniting Church traditions: Rosalind Brown, Stephen Burns, Stephen Cottrell, Steven Croft, Carol Doran, Rick Fabian, Dirk Lange, Gerard Moore, Rod Pattenden, Martyn Percy, Melinda Quivik, Richard Vosko and Ian Zass-Ogilvie, and they tackle themes like interpreting space,engaging the arts, shaping ceremonial scences, being hospitable, making for ritual transformation, and liturgical celebration in the service of mission.
STEPHEN BURNS is Research Fellow in Public and Contextual Theology in United Theological College, Sydney.