Introducing Our New Daylight Editor

Introducing Our New Daylight Editor

Three of our Bible reading notes have new editors and in this series of blogs they introduce themselves and their plans, and share their hopes for their readers.

Rev'd Canon Dr Gordon Giles 

Gordon studied Music at Lancaster University, and Philosophy, then theology at Magdalene College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge before being ordained in 1995.  He served his curacy at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Cambridge, and then served as Succentor of St Paul’s Cathedral between 1998-2003 before becoming Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s, Enfield (London).  Between 2008-2019 he was also Director of Post-Ordination Training in the Edmonton Area of London Diocese. Gordon’s doctorate is in hymnology and he is an Editor of Ancient and Modern (2013) and a Director of the English Hymnal Company. Gordon arrived in Rochester in June 2020 to take on the role of Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral. 

Gordon has written several Lent and Advent books for BRF and we are delighted now to introduce him as Editor of our New Daylight Bible reading notes.

It is a great joy and privilege to take on the editorship of New Daylight, following Sally Welch and Naomi Starkey among others in recent years. The large readership is a testimony to the popularity of the series and the high esteem in which it is held, and the ability it has to nourish so many folk in their daily reading and journey of faith. Some of those readers have been faithful followers for decades, so my main hope at the outset is to maintain a sense of continuity: to pick up a baton and run with a well-established format and structure. There are no plans to change that! Basically this format is to have different authors writing for two weeks at a time on a set of chapters from a biblical book. The year doesn’t divide quite so perfectly of course, and as each edition commences on the first day of January, May and September (three editions of four months each), sometimes there are sets of reflections that are not exactly seven or fourteen days.

Having divided up the year, the next stage is to select Bible readings – the sets of consecutive scripture, or perhaps a thematic set, for writers to be invited to reflect on. You may be surprised – but also pleased – to know that we keep a close eye on which bible passages have been included when, going back decades, so the changes are rung fairly and squarely! Authors are then sent the programme for the year and invited to say which sets of reflections they would like to write about, would be willing to write about, or would rather not, thank you very much! This is a new approach on my part, but it seems to work so far. Although not all authors get their first choice!

I have been a reader of, and contributor to New Daylight for over twenty years, and was a regular writer in the early years of the twenty-first century. I also wrote several books, for Lent and Advent mostly, but it is now a delight to return to write for, and now edit New Daylight. While it is not a particularly ‘academic’ set of Bible notes – deliberately so – it is very much my hope that our writers are informed scholars as well as pastorally experienced ministers, whether ordained or not. I am very committed to the range of experience, context, churchmanship and perspective that New Daylight has a unique ability to draw upon in a multi-denominational way. It is good for non-conformists to hear from Anglicans and clergy to hear from laity and so on. What unites us all is a love of scripture and a desire to read, mark and inwardly digest it so that our lives – and of those around us - may be affected, inspired, even changed by regular encounter with God’s word. The thought that this can and does happen amid the pages of New Daylight is humbling indeed, and I am sure that any of us who have put finger to keyboard would say the same. It is always lovely to hear from readers, whatever they have to say. Sometimes contributors even write things that provoke a slightly negative response. No offense is ever meant, naturally, even though it is sometimes good to be challenged. The ability to disagree, respond with grace and seek to understand how things may be received is part of a journey, under God on which we are all travelling.

For ultimately, that is what New Daylight is all about and what it is for; comfort, inspiration, thought-provocation, prayer-pointing: food for the journey. For on the highs and lows of our pilgrimage through life, we are raised up and brought low; we change but God does not, rather God sustains us with the food we need, day in day out. Many will know this already, having walked a long way with us already. If you haven’t yet, do come and join us as we open scripture and ask God for new light to illuminate our daily path.



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