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Taking the Long View – a bishop’s-eye view of General Synod

“Polemical, swashbuckling, strongly committed and thoroughly good fun - Colin Buchanan's account of life in General Synod reads just like its author," says the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden.

Colin Buchanan, on retiring as Bishop of Woolwich in 2004, also left the General Synod he had served since its inception in 1970. In Taking the Long View, he records his personal experience of three and a half decades of cut and thrust in the Synod and kindred Church bodies “as I have seen it, experienced it, and on occasion handed it out myself.”

In that time, Bishop Buchanan experienced debates on everything from the ordination of women to relations with other Churches, from the creation of the Alternative Service Book to its replacement by Common Worship and from Church/State relations to the Single Transferable Vote.

“It is not autobiography,” says Colin Buchanan, “but an attempt (as in my other writings) at accurate journalism…and remember I am not telling it the way it was. No one on earth can do that. I am telling it the way I found it.”

As Dr Christina Baxter, Principal of St John's College, Nottingham, says: “Colin Buchanan's passion for liturgy, ecumenism and ministerial training frequently took him to the heart of General Synod debates, where his contributions were renowned for probing assumptions, challenging conventions and holding the Gospel before the Church. Stenographers could rarely keep up with his whistle stop speeches, and this book has that same sense of urgency as Colin tells all...!”

Taking the Long View, priced £22.50, is available from Christian bookshops including Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020-7898 1300,

e-mail bookshop@c-of-e.org.uk, or on the web at: www.chbookshop.co.uk (mail order available).