During Adrian Leak’s time as a parish priest, he wrote many monthly ‘letters’ for the local parish magazine. His inspiration was the wide and colourful experience of life as a country parson, and the wish to share his reflections with non-believers as well as believers. Nebuchadnezzar’s Marmalade Pot is comprised of mostly edited versions of those letters, which appeared in The Withyham & Blackham Parish Magazine, as well as a few adapted from sermons.
The book is a collection of 80 short pieces, ranging widely over topics briefly related to church occasions and Christian faith including Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, weddings, funerals, parenthood, prayer, belief, and hope. Their style is anecdotal, humorous and allusive. Though much of the material was written during Adrian’s time as a country parson, it is only occasionally auto-biographical.
Adrian Leak is also a published author of articles on church history and is a regular contributor to the Church Times. He was ordained priest in Coventry Cathedral in 1967. His parochial ministry has included incumbencies in the dioceses of Worcester, Durham and Chichester. He was Archivist and Vicar Choral of York Minster and Canon Precentor of Guildford Cathedral. For eight years he served as an honorary assistant priest at Holy Trinity, Guildford, St Mary’s, Worplesdon and St Alban’s Wood Street. His last post before retirement was that of Priest-in-Charge of Withyham and Blackham. He is now honorary assistant curate at Holy Trinity Church, Bramley.
ADVANCE REVIEW: Brief, sharp, witty and profound – these reflections are in the best pastoral tradition of the Church of England – they make us chuckle, help us think and show us a glimpse of ‘heaven in the ordinary’. [Angela Tilby, Columnist in the Church Times, former Canon of Christ Church, Oxford]
ADVANCE REVIEW: It was George Herbert who noted that the good country parson is ‘a diligent observer and tracker of God’s ways’, setting up ‘as many encouragements to goodness’ as possible. There could not be a better description of Adrian Leak who, in this wise and accessible collection of reflections, holds a compass that guides us through both the Church’s year and the seasons of the heart. Celebrating the richness of the ordinary, he helps us appreciate that, at the end of the day, Christians are called to nurture the human capacity to look and to love. [Mark Oakley, Canon Chancellor of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London]
ADVANCE REVIEW: Adrian Leak’s brilliantly observed reflections make a fascinating read. They will appeal not only to Anglicans, including lapsed ones, but also to the large number of people who, while they have not been blessed with the gift of faith, care deeply for the Church of England. Adrian draws his inspiration initially from apparently superficial incidents and details, but as he gets drawn in he plumbs the depths and writers most movingly about the spiritual life and the problems of pursuing it in a largely indifferent and often hostile world. He claims his reflections are merely random meditations, but in fact they display the workings of a profound and mature intelligence. [Roger Lockyer, Reader Emeritus in History at the University of London]