Ian Adams, chaplain, poet, writer on spirituality and author of 'Cave Refectory Road', 'Running Over Rocks' and 'Unfurling'
In Using Christian Contemplative Practice with Children, Sonia Mainstone-Cotton opens up the possibility of enabling children to discover what is actually most natural to them - a contemplative way of being, rooted in the love of God. In this vital quest to open up the gifts of stillness and meditation she places children's insights, experience and wellbeing at the heart of her work, and emphasises the natural world as their preferred place of learning. Drawing on a rich mixture of historical context, practitioner interviews and personal experience this book is both practical and inspiring. It might just transform your work with children and young people, and on the way, you may find yourself coming home.
Jo Dolby, Hub Leader at Oasis Hub Bath and a former lecturer for the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission
I'm so excited about this book! Sonia has done a fantastic job of weaving together a historical and theological view of contemplative practice with the real-world experiences of many respected practitioners and thinkers from the world of church youth and children's work, including her own. This book will be essential reading for anyone wanting to integrate contemplative practices into their work with children, particularly those who need some practical examples and suggestions of what this could look like. There isn't anything like this out there - it's a timely and important publication and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Mary Hawes, National Children & Youth Adviser, Going For Growth
What a fantastic book! Sonia breathes fresh air into a world of noise and action as she makes a compelling and deeply practical case for cultivating quiet and stillness in work with and among children. Christian contemplative practice as a spiritual discipline with and among children will help leaders create new spaces in which children can come close to God.
Jonny Baker, Director for Mission Education, Church Mission Society
I found myself saying 'of course' because Sonia makes such a compelling case for developing a spiritual approach to working with children rather than one based on entertainment or craft. But actually what she has written is innovative and insightful and far from obvious. It is a lovely mix of theory and practical examples.