After three long years, Relatable: Exploring God, Love and Connection in the Age of Choice (to give it it’s full name) arrived in May. Somehow it’s already been out in the world for a month! It all started with a survey – the Real Life Love survey, eventually completed by nearly 1500 people – and turned into a journey of discovery. About the history of marriage, the ‘science’ that may or may not tell us about women and men, the numbers gap in church, how technology is affecting relationships and human interaction in general, how dating is changing and lots more. I’ve been genuinely delighted and honoured at the lovely people who’ve given endorsements for the book. Here are just a couple:
“Relatable is a brilliant, encouraging, revealing, informative and fascinating look at the history up to current times of relationships between men and women in church. I love Vicky’s humour, which brings a lightness to what can be a very intense subject… Very excited to see this book out there and cannot recommend it strongly enough!” – Katharine Welby-Roberts, speaker and author of I Thought There Would be Cake
“Through wit, candour, and fresh research, Vicky Walker gives us not another how-to-get-hitched book, but a snapshot of varied opinions on modern day love, partnering and matrimony. The results are enlightening, sometimes concerning, and always educational, providing a necessary critique of much relationship advice and the distortions they can carry…a helpful resource.” – Sheridan Voysey, writer, speaker, broadcaster, and author of The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned
“Of all of the confusing things I experienced growing up “on fire for Jesus,” the way faith leaders talked about love and relationships was among the blurriest. Sexual purity seemed to be oddly conjoined with “real” faith, and this led, for me, to all kinds of shame and fear and unkindness. Relatable offers a way through all of the mis-information and slanted theology about love, sex, and marriage present in Christian culture. Drawing from a deep well of resources, including church history, cultural constructs, and a broad range of interviews, Vicky Walker helps readers think through the complexities of relationships in a way that leads to wholeness.” – Addie Zierman, writer and author of ‘When We Were On Fire’
I would love to know what you think of it all – and for you to join in the conversation and share your thoughts. If you’re a tweeter, there’s a Relatable account, and a #RelatableBook hashtag. You can follow on Instagram too for reviews, events, media and much more. It’s very exciting to see pictures of the book making it’s way across the world – Austria and Australia have been represented, among other places. Looking forward to seeing where’s next!
You can buy the book directly from me – and get a free bookmark! – on my website. Or you can order from Amazon (UK), Amazon (US) Waterstones, Wordery, Eden and other lovely book-selling places. Please do leave a review on Amazon (which you can do no matter where you bought the book), as this helps to spread the word! I’ll post lots of the media coverage of Relatable soon. It’s prompted some very interesting conversations…
A sneaky little reminder popped up today letting me know this blog is six years old today! My posts have become almost an annual event, thanks to being busy with other things but here’s a little update on what I have been spending time on…
Mostly the Real Life Love project! Yes, it turns out opening a window into the world of how Christians talk about men and women and love and God is a large and complex subject. Who knew? Thanks to almost 1500 lovely people sharing their experiences and opinions, and a lot of research into history, sociology, faith around the world, sex, marriage, living patterns and much more the book is taking shape. I’m planning for it to make. its way into the world early next year. I would love to let you know more as the book develops and plans unfold, so for occasional updates you can sign up here and I won’t bother you too often. If you’d like to add a comment to the project, you can do so here.
Last week I presented the Daily Service on Radio 4, and it’s available to listen to for a few weeks here (don’t click the picture; that’s just for fun). I talked about Acts of Generosity, as part of the Lent programming and there’s some nice choral singing too (it’s not me, don’t worry). I have other bits of talking (this time with moving pictures!) on my website, if you decide you want to hear / watch more. Click here if you want to see me interview author Michael Morpurgo – now a Sir – or watch a talk I gave about – can you guess – Christians and marriage and dating and singleness or listen to a few other talks, including a panel discussion about online dating. No wonder I ended up writing a book about it all…
In other news, a long term project to help women’s voices be heard finally went live on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Project 3:28, a collective working towards gender balance in the church, has launched a database for women to sign up to so event organisers and media outlets can contact them and invite them to speak at conferences, festivals, churches, on radio and TV, and anywhere else women’s varied and brilliant contributions should be represented, but often aren’t. It has taken several years to get to this stage, and we – the small team behind it – are delighted it finally exists. If you are a UK-based woman interested in signing up, or a producer or event organiser working in this area, please do visit the site! You can FIND THE DATABASE HERE. Yes, all caps. It’s that good. We have nearly 200 women already signed up, with specialisms including theology, mission, youth work, the arts, leadership, charity, business, entrepreneurship and lots, lots more. Please do encourage women you know to sign up too – we’d love to reflect the breadth of knowledge, skills and experience we know women have to offer.
OK, time to celebrate the blog-birthday with the traditional cake and cheer 😀 Catch you again soon
It’s been a busy couple of months so here are a few links to things I’ve been doing, on the off-chance you’re interested. It’s rare that I’d describe anything I do as Important-with-a-capital-I but I believe this first thing is. If you missed it, I wrote last month about the death of my lovely friend Linah for The Independent. Linah’s former partner, a man I also knew, killed her in front of their young daughter in July last year. Domestic violence is shockingly common and yet still seems distant and hard to imagine unless it affects us directly. As a society we seem to be unwilling or unable to act to change what we believe to be private matters. So many things went wrong in Linah’s situation and sadly many people are experiencing very similar situations today. If you want to read about my friendship with Linah, the Independent piece is here, and there are a number of links at the bottom of it that provide further information. If you want to do something, charity Refuge are campaigning for a public enquiry into responses to domestic violence and you can read more and join here.
In more trivial matters, I also dispensed a few opinions on the romance front for Christian Connection. Inspired by the question “What does it take to be a good man?” I shared a few thoughts here. As usual, I don’t think whether you’re a man or woman is a determining factor in whether you treat others well but tell me what you think (though do play nicely – that’s kind of the point).
For Threads, I wrote about the light-hearted topics of power and dissent in a piece called ‘Shouting over the music’ and how easy it is to shut out valid challenge or even criticism because the source isn’t friendly or regarded as an ally.
And if it’s not enough for you to read my priceless pearls of wisdom – or you need help dropping off – there are a couple of unexpected opportunities to hear me ramble and see my actual face talking. At last year’s Greenbelt festival I did an unexpectedly sarcastic-sounding talk as part of the ‘By the time I’m 40 I don’t want to be…’ series on defying social expectations. My topic was ‘not being defined by marital status’ and you can watch it here (particularly recommended if there are ten minutes of your life you urgently need to fill with an eye-rolling woman sounding caustic about Christian marriage culture).
And finally for Premier Radio, a whole half hour of me talking (note: this can not be taken as proof there isn’t a God) on ‘The Leadership File’ interviewed by the very nice Andy Peck. You can listen here if you’re falling short of your required levels of exposure to mild and unintentional heresy today (only from me; Andy’s spiritual credentials are im-peck-able).
And that’s all. Over and out.
Another event, another all or mostly male line up. Some notice, many don’t. Those who do, ask questions. Those who hadn’t noticed often push back. For many there is no problem, no discussion. The organisers invited; no women – none – were free. Order is restored and the response is straightforward, logical.
Maybe gender doesn’t matter:
I just want to hear from the best
Or understanding, placating:
At least you tried
What a shame they were busy Continue reading