National Estate Churches Network

Book Review – Jesus and Jellied Eels

Jesus and Jellied Eels: Making sense of my life by Bishop Laurie Green

Jesus and Jellied Eels

In Jesus and Jellied Eels, Bishop Laurie Green tells the story of his life including how he and a group of urban practitioners founded the National Estate Churches Network in the late 90s.

My Christmas read did not disappoint. Having known and worked with Bishop Laurie for nearly 20 years (that’s a shock to put on paper), I knew this book would delight and challenge. Laurie writes with deep humility, honesty and grace about the down to earth realities of growing up in the East End and continuing to grow through his insatiable desire to learn from every person and experience he encounters.

Humility because while this is an autobiography, it is less about the author and more about the encounters which shape who he is. The result is a book that invites the reader to share too in an amazing life of discovery.

Honesty because Laurie in characteristic style speaks up and out for those who are often made voiceless. His desire for liberation from division and powerlessness is a heart song heard throughout the book. He speaks openly about his frustrations with institutionalised Anglicanism at the same time expressing deep gratitude for the Church of England. He tells of his own struggle with the nature of faith and the often limiting concepts of God which are handed to us and he shares fresh insights of hope.

Grace because despite the frustrations and limitations of socio-political practice God’s continuing presence in Laurie’s life and the lives of those he encounters on the way shines through.

This is not a staid story of one individual. It is the story of many communities grappling with what it means to be human together, to be Christian together, to be loved and to love through all the trials and celebrations of life.

Bishop Laurie Green is for many a genuine household name, and these people will find their loveable Laurie in the pages of the book. For those who do not know him I thoroughly recommend this introduction. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy the read and more so the encounter with one of the most radical, kind and generous bishops of our time.
Rev’d Canon Jane Winter

Find more books on our reading list