Inside Fatherhood

Today's fathers tell their stories

David Atkinson with reflections by Mark Chester

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What does fatherhood look like in our complex world?
How clued in is the church to fathers today?

As Father's Day turns 80 in 2018, it's a good time for fathers to ask these questions; to reflect on their beliefs and values; to reconsider their understanding of this important role; and for the church to revisit its missional dialogue with men.

Highlighting the human-interest dispatches from the front line of modern fatherhood through case-study interviews and biblical reflection, this unique book is essential reading for fathers, mothers, the church and everyone interested in this vital topic.


  • Stepdad- Dom
  • Turnaround dad - Scott
  • Midlife dad - Darren
  • Reunited dad - Chris
  • Absent dad - Steve
  • Widowed dad - Neil
  • Adoptive dad - Graham
  • Losing-it dad - Paul
  • Stay-at-home dad - Dave
  • Searching dad - Richard
  • 80 dad tips
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Author info

David Atkinson is a freelance writer with 20 years' experience. He first started writing about fatherhood a few years ago when he found himself co-parenting two little girls and attending his local Who Let The Dads Out? in Chester. Mark Chester is the founder of Who Let The Dads Out?


Presbyterian Herald, June 2018. Review by Phil Alcorn

As a fairly new father (my son is now 15 months old), I feel like I have now struck a balance. I have been through the combination of mad panic, intense love, and utter confusion that, for my wife and I, has been the first year of parenting. That said, I have no doubts whatsoever that the rest of my life as a father will still be filled with those emotions - and that's why I'm grateful for books such as Inside Fatherhood.

David Atkinson has compiled what is, on the surface, quite a simple book - a collection of 10 interviews, conducted with 10 very different men, all talking about their experiences of fatherhood. To write this book off as unimportant, however, would be a grave mistake. With chapters titled 'Stepdad', 'Mid-life dad', 'Absent dad', 'Widowed dad', and 'Adoptive dad' (among others), there are experiences here that will speak to every kind of father.

Each interview is honest and hard-hitting. Mark Chester has also written a biblical reflection following each chapter, calling us to reflect on the love and fatherhood of God, and how our experiences as dads can reveal God's actions in our lives.

To see these men open up about the joys and the challenges they have faced was refreshing and incredibly encouraging. To hear how they have changed, how they have grown and, at times, fallen, gives me hope that whatever challenges fatherhood holds for me in the future, I am not alone. For, as David himself writes, 'We're all just doing our best.'

Phil Alcorn

Norwich Diocese Magazine, May 2018. Review by Steve Foyster

As Father's Day turns 80 this year, freelance writer David Atkinson reflects on what fatherhood entails in this complex world and whether the church fully recognises the twentieth-century role that fathers play.

If it does not, how can it begin to engage with relevant missional dialogue?

Highlighting ten real-life case studies of different aspects of fatherhood, including stepdad, midlife dad, absent dad, adoptive dad, losing dad and widowed dad, linked to biblical reflections by Mark Chester, Inside Fatherhood offers essential reading for fathers, mothers and members of the church.

The book also includes 80 'tips for dads'.

Steve Foyster

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465696
  • Published: 23 March 2018
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 128
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