Hodder Faith, in partnership with mini-chain St Andrew’s Bookshop, will launch a national church book club this autumn, to be known as The Big Church Read.
The book club will launch on 21st September with one of Hodder Faith’s leading titles, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, a book encouraging readers "to unplug and slow down in order to follow Jesus and live the life God intends".
Church groups and individuals can join in for free by registering their details on thebigchurchread.co.uk, where, at 7 p.m. each Monday, an author-led video will be released introducing the themes of that week’s chapter so groups can discuss with their friends, prompted by a range of starter questions which are available for free in the resource pack.
Hodder and St Andrew’s—a small independent chain of Christian bookshops, with three stores, located in Great Missenden, Oxford and Witney—are planning to run a Big Church Read two to three times a year, around key periods such as Lent and Easter. This will be rolled out as a trade-wide initiative, with other publishers encouraged to pitch titles for the scheme, and other booksellers encouraged to join in by promoting the scheme to their customers and local churches.
The initiative is supported by Premier Christianity magazine, which is offering Comer's book for free to new subscribers. The book can also be purchased at a large discount direct from the Big Church Read website.
Andy Lyon, publishing director at Hodder Faith, said: “At Hodder Faith we are passionate about helping churches see the value of books to help their people grow as disciples, developing their spirituality and learning about their faith and the teaching of the Church—and doing that alongside others is key to the process. We’re so excited that The Big Church Read will play a big part in this. And it’s so easy to join in, all you need is a copy of the book and a group of friends, and you’re good to go.”
Steve Barnett, managing director of St Andrew’s Bookshop, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the first-ever National Big Church Read. We have been running Big Church Reads in individual churches for a few years now and they have been a resounding success, enhancing community through a shared experience, helping people to grow in their discipleship, and helping to embed the subject being taught.”