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The Proof

I read a lot of books and frequently spot little glitches that have slipped through the net, such as wrong spellings or other errors. Over the last couple of weeks I have been putting those skills to more constructive use by proof-reading the manuscript of my friend, Ian Jones’ forthcoming book: The Local Church and Generational Change in Birmingham, 1945-2000 (yes, it is already available on Amazon for pre-ordering!).

In its two hundred pages, I managed to raise about thirty points for discussion. A handful of these were straightforward things that really should have been picked up by a spell-checker and a few more were the more elusive case of right words but not making sense either because of ordering or some key word being missing. Most though were at the level of style (I say evangelical but house-style says Evangelical) or layout issues that may disappear automatically with changes to earlier text (can we break the word archbishop across the line as arch- bishop and not archbish- op?).

I don’t think Ian has any expectations of this pulling in a Booker or Hugo but it is an excellent piece of social history research and was definitely interesting to read, painstaking scanning for detail notwithstanding!


  1. Can you give me more of an idea of what the book is about?

    • In a nutshell, it is a 20th Century social history exploring the question of how the characteristics of different generations have affected church life, using several congregations in Birmingham as examples. As well as the overall study, it was interesting to see pen portraits of several churches and also getting perspectives from interviews with their members as snippets in the various areas covered (such as Sunday Schools and worship styles).

  2. Thanks for your kind endorsement, Wulf!  Saffron on its way to you shortly, and a bottle of a favourite wine next time we see you.