Richard Pennystan book Oct 2015

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undefinedA new book has been published which aims to help people move on from ‘hollow religion' and instead experience the adventure of encountering God in heavenly relationship. The book is called ‘Awakening' and is by the Revd Richard Pennystan, Vicar of St Chad's, Romiley, Stockport.

“Many people have a negative reaction to ‘religion’ but a hunger to know God,” says Richard.  “Many people regularly worship in church but see a huge gap between the stories we hear in the gospels and the reality of church today .

“In the Bible God invites us to turn from hollow religion and encounter Him in heavenly relationship.  In my experience of ministry I have met a number of people who have heard that invitation and this book attempts to give a Biblical understanding of the adventure our hearts have already begun.”

The book explores many of the scriptures, contrasting the concept of ‘hollow religion’ with the kingdom of God. In John 15 Jesus told his followers to remain connected to him in order to be fruitful, placing relationship with him as core to the Christian life.  In Colossians 3v16 Paul talks of the danger of being judged by those who have lost that connection. 

In 2007, Richard and the then leadership team of Christ Church Fulham, where he as curate, felt God call them to ‘get religion out of the church’.  He said: “God turned my life and ministry around as a curate, when I woke up to the reality that I had become ‘religious’. I chose to throw off ‘hollow religion’ and make my relationship with God central to everything again. As I did so, more and more scriptures came alive, this book was born when I sensed God call me to share that with others.”

Richard Pennystan grew up in Suffolk and read English Literature at Newcastle University.  Before ordination he worked for the the Stewards’ Trust for two years and then spent a year in Uzbekistan. In 2011, God called Richard and his family to St  Chad’s, Romiley.

The Rt Revd Graham Dow, one of our honorary assistant bishops, said about Richard’s book: “The alternative to religion is Jesus. This is a compelling account of a personal journey in which a distant God and hollow religion are discarded, and worship embraced that is centred in relationship with God. Whatever our style of worship, Richard Pennystan explores what it means for churches to wake up from the deadness of religion and enjoy the heart worship of him who loves us as his children and is always there for us.”

Awakening by Richard Pennystan is published by River Publishing and Media at £8.99 (RRP).  It can be bought through Christian bookshops, at Romiley Life Centre, or direct from the author, by emailing awakeningfromhr@icloud.com with postal address, and Richard will send payment details.

Below, author Richard Pennystan