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Hello Everyone - Alexander - alexander - 25-01-2007

Just joined the Fellowship, and for those who do not know me, a little introduction.

I am acting as deacon at St Mark & St Hubert's, Cusworth. I have been a member of the Church since college days, when I first met a certain William Newman-Norton through a shared interest in the Monarchist cause! Fr. Sergius baptised me in a little chapel in a terraced house in Exeter around 40 years ago.

One of my other interests is the Great War, and I am in the final stages of seeing my second book through publication (Pen & Sword expect to publish it in the summer).

When I retire (in a couple of years time) I would like to start work on a bibliography of Coptic publications in the English language, and see this as something the Fellowship and other could help in via t'internet.

Welcome - John Charmley - 25-01-2007

Dear Alexander,

Good to have your fellowship here; always splendid to have another historian about - what is the book on?

The idea of a book on Coptic publications in English sounds an interesting idea. I have been building up a small collection of booklets and pamphlets, mainly from Coptic sources in the USA, as well as some scholarly studies, and would like your advice, if you would, on what you think might most useful for newcomers to the Orthodox Church to read in this area.

Incidentally, how good it is to know that our Metropolitan has always had such sound views - not, of course, a surprise, just nice confirmation!

In Christ,


- alexander - 26-01-2007

Dear John.

Thank you for your kind welcome.

The book is an edited diary of Alexander Johnston, Worcestershire Regt., who was brigade signals officer in 1914 and became a Brigadier General in 1917, only to be seriously wounded within a few days of assuming command of his brigade. He went on to become Commandant of the Duke of York's School, Dover, and Director of Army education in India. As a young man he was a noted cricketer and came close to playing for England. I already have a small book on the Wiltshire Regt. in the Great war, published by their Regimental Museum.

Regarding a Coptic Bibliography I would see this as a long term project, and we would have to define what we meant by 'Coptic'. I think we could set out some general principles as to what an entry should contain, and its layout, and then invite people to contribute - each contribution being attributed to its author. Thus it would grow over a period of time until we achieved a reasonable covereage.

As far as recommending books for newcomers - this is always a tricky one, since so much depends upon where they are coming from (in terms of theological knowledge) and what their interests are (historical, liturgical etc.) I always find Bp. Kallistos' book 'The Orthodox Way' appeals to people with little or no knowledge of Church matters as well as those with a good Church background. I've not read it for several years, and I am going on a train journey tomorrow - writing this suggests I could do worse than re-read it!

Yours in Christ

Coptic bibliography - John Charmley - 26-01-2007

Dear Alexander,

Many thanks for the response; it sounds as though it is an interesting diary, and he must have seen a great deal of the war. Does it confirm the view that has become so popular of that war? Many years ago I wrote a book on a politician who had been a soldier in the Great War, and was struck by his evident enjoyment of the camaraderie, and his acceptance of what he and his men were experiencing.

I do is like the idea of the Coptic bibliography. One of the things that has struck me is the quality of the thought in Pope Shenouda's work, which, although not always well translated, is always rewarding.

I agree with what you say about +Kallistos' work. It is a shame there is so little on the Oriental Orthodox tradition - although I must say that the writings of Peter and Abba Seraphim are great comforts to me; I wonder if, in addition to Our Daily Life something about the OO tradition would be useful?

The Oriental Orthodox Library is a tremendous resource, and as I read my way through its volumes, I am grateful to Peter and to the Church for producing and sponsoring it.

In Christ,