John Harries' new book Nov 2014


undefinedOne of our priests has written a book about human suffering and how that relates to God. The Revd Dr John Harries says his book addresses the often-asked question, ‘If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why do innocent people suffer?' – a chief reason why many claim they cannot believe in God.

John, Priest-in-Charge at St John’s church, Higher Walton, near Warrington, is the author of Beyond Suffering, published by Authorhouse, retailing at £12.95 in print and £3.08 as an ebook. It is available via   or

The author, who is also school chaplain of Sir Thomas Boteler C of E High School in Warrington, explained the background to his new book: “Suffering is intensely personal, for it exposes our vulnerability and makes us fearful. It’s the prime motivation for prayer, and when those prayers go unanswered it feels like betrayal.

“I set out to explore the human predicament through the experience of Job, whose struggle to find an explanation for his suffering has been specifically recorded to answer our deepest questions. The revelations Job receives from God form the most complete and profound teaching on suffering ever written. “

John says in his book he also explores the close parallels that exist between Job’s story and the life of Jesus – further showing that Job anticipates Christ and foresees in him our salvation.  John makes the case that through Job, believers encounter Christ in his passion and discover afresh the gospel of redemption. This revelation leads deeper into the loving purposes of God, enabling believers to find hope and joy in Christ even in the midst of the most severe trial.

The author added: “The book of Job provides a pastorally relevant explanation for righteous suffering, which encourages a greater awareness of the presence of God, a greater confidence in sharing our faith and a greater understanding of how to respond biblically to those who question the purposes of a loving God in allowing good people to suffer.”

John Harries trained for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his curacy at St. George’s church, Hyde, during the time of convicted killer Harold Shipman, helping to support parishioners through a time of great distress.

In 2008 John pioneered the Archbishop of York Award, encouraging young people to live out their Christian faith. This has now been introduced in a number of secondary schools throughout the North of England as a ‘Young Leaders Award.’

Prior to being ordained, John was a Senior Scientific Officer working at the Daresbury Research Facility in Cheshire, following a doctorate in Biophysics from Bristol University. He came to faith in Christ at university.

He is pictured above with his book