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Christ in the Wilderness

Reflections on the Paintings

Author(s): Stephen Cottrell

ISBN13: 9780281062089

ISBN10: 0281062080

Publisher: Society for Promoting Christian

Extent: 96 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 17.8 x 13.5 x 0.8 cm

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  • The remarkable English painter Stanley Spencer produced a series of works entitled Christ in the Wilderness (1939–54), portraying the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness. These beautiful and compelling images give us a startling insight into Jesus’ vocation and his own understanding of his ministry. They show his great love for nature and affinity with all creation.

    In this attractive illustrated book, Stephen Cottrell reflects on five of the Christ in the Wilderness paintings, and reveals them to be a rich source of spiritual wisdom and nourishment. He invites us to slow down and enter into the stillness of Stanley Spencer’s vision. By dwelling in the wilderness of these evocative portraits, Stephen Cottrell encourages us to refine our own discipleship and learn again what it means to follow Christ.

  • Stephen Cottrell


    Stephen Cottrell is the Bishop of Chelmsford and was formerly the Bishop of Reading. He has worked in parishes in London and Chichester, as Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral, as Missioner in the Wakefield diocese and as part of Springboard, the Archbishop’s evangelism team.


    He has written widely about evangelism, spirituality and discipleship. Among his recent books are From the Abundance of the Heart: catholic evangelism for all Christians (DLT 2006); Do Nothing to Change your Life; discovering what happens when you stop (CHP 2007); Hit the Ground Kneeling; seeing leadership differently (CHP 2008) and for SPCK a book of Lent and Holy Week meditations The Things He Carried (SPCK 2008) and a follow up of reflections for Easter Day, The Things He Said (SPCK 2009). His most recent Lent book for SPCK is The Nail (2011). He is also one of the authors of the widely used Emmaus programme for evangelism, nurture and discipleship.


    He is married to Rebecca, who is a potter, and they have three boys. When he is not bishoping or writing Stephen enjoys reading, painting, printing and cooking and struggles to bang out a tune on his ukulele banjo.

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Christ in the Wilderness

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