If you were asked for your list of the best Christian books of all time, which titles would you chose?
Jenny Monds, Manager of the award-winning Sarum College Bookshop in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close faced this difficult task when she was asked to contribute her list, and was part of the judging panel in the exciting project run by the Church Times newspaper to find the best 100 Christian books.
“It was great fun and a privilege to be part of this project,” said Jenny. “But also quite daunting given the academic credentials of the other judges, and what initially seemed to be an impossible task.”
Jenny joined a panel chaired by Martyn Percy, and which included Rupert Shortt, Jane Williams and David Winter, former head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC.
“We were shut in a room for a day and not let out until we had agreed our list!” Jenny explained.
The 100 books were whittled down from an initial long list of 700, based on suggestions from a large number of contributors including The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam.
Jenny found her 12 years of working with theological books in both the library and bookshop at Sarum College invaluable.
“Different judges might well choose different titles,” she said, “but we have come up with a list of influential books which have stood the test of time, or which we think will survive and influence future books, and which includes fiction and poetry. The list is sure to be of interest and provoke debate.”
Interested in the results? Numbers 100 to 51 on the list will be published in the Church Times on the 26th September, 50 to 11 on the 3rd October and 1 to 10 in the 10th October edition.
But don’t try asking Jenny for the results ahead of those dates – she is sworn to secrecy!