Succeeding Ronald Blythe's Word From Wormingford, one of the most beloved columns in contemporary journalism, was always going to be a formidable challenge for any writer. Yet the new occupier of the back page slot of the Church Times, the priest-poet Malcolm Guite, immediately gained the affections and loyalty of a discerning audience accustomed to literary excellence.
His lucid, perceptive and imaginative musings follow a similar pattern to the sonnets for which he is so renowned. In his own words, he treats these 500 word essays 'a little in the spirit of the sonnet, with a sense of development, of a 'turn' or volta part way through, and a sense that the end revisits and re-reads the opening'.
These draw together everyday events and encounters, landscape, journeys, poetry, stories, memory and a sense of the sacred, and fuses them to create richly satisfying portraits of the familiar that at the same time opens a doorway in to a new and enchanted world.