Desert Island Books

Desert Island Books

You have the Bible and Shakespeare: what other book would you take and why?

The Rev’d Canon Mark Oakley

Sunday 10 October 2021

Preacher: The Rev’d Canon Mark Oakley
                 Dean, St John's College



Black Dogs by Ian McEwanIan McEwan’s ‘Black Dogs’. Written in 1982, this concerns the aftermath of the Nazi era in Europe, and how the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s affected those who once saw Communism as a way forward for society. The main characters travel to France, where they encounter disturbing residues of Nazism still at large in the French countryside. The review in The Times Literary Supplement commented that the book is ‘compassionate without resorting to sentimentality, clever without losing its honesty, an undisguised novel of ideas which is also Ian McEwan's most human work’. Zadie Smith likewise commented that it is a ‘brilliant, flinty little novel, bursting with big ideas’.



The Rev'd Canon Mark Oakley

The Rev'd Dr Hannah Cleugh

Sunday 17 October 2021

Preacher: The Rev'd Dr Hannah Cleugh
                 Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely

Brideshead RevisitedHannah will be speaking about, Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’.

Hannah Cleugh is just about to finish in her current role as Senior Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely, to move to be Vicar of the parish of Monkseaton St Peter in the Diocese of Newcastle.  Prior to coming to Ely, she was Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham, and a member of the Department of Theology and Religion. 

Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder was published in 1945, and televised 40 years ago.  Described as a “love letter to a vanishing world”, it explores themes of memory, nostalgia, and growing in faith, themes I might want to reflect upon on my desert island.



The Rev'd Dr Hannah Cleugh

The Rev’d Dr Paul Dominiak

Sunday 31 October 2021

Preacher: The Rev’d Dr Paul Dominiak
                 Vice-Principal, Westcott House


PoorPaul will be speaking on, Caleb Femi’s ‘Poor’.

Paul Dominiak is currently Vice Principal at Westcott House and Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity. He has previously served as Dean of Chapel at Jesus College and Chaplain at Trinity College. His research focuses on the reception of philosophical concepts in medieval and early modern theology.

In Poor, Caleb Femi combines poetry and original photography to explore the trials, tribulations, dreams and joys of young Black boys in twenty-first century Peckham..



The Rev’d Dr Paul Dominiak

The Rev’d Dr Robert Mackley

Sunday 14 November 2021

Preacher: The Rev’d Dr Robert Mackley
                 Vicar, Little St Mary’s


God of SurprisesRob will be speaking on, Gerard Hughes SJ’s ‘God of Surprises’. 

God of Surprises was published in 1985 and by the second edition in 1996 had been reprinted 29 times.  Jesus said ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field’.  It is a book of spiritual direction which seeks to guide people on the inner journey in which we are all engaged, suggesting ways to find that treasure in the unlikely field that is ourselves. It is profoundly humane, gentle and uses the tradition of imaginative contemplation established by the founder of the Jesuit Order, St Ignatius Loyola.

The Rev'd Dr Robert Mackley has been Vicar of Little St Mary's, Cambridge, since 2012.  Born and brought up near Nottingham, Fr Robert read history at Christ's College and then theology at Emmanuel College while training for the priesthood at Westcott House. Ordained in 2003, he worked in city centre parishes in London and Liverpool before returning to Cambridge in 2009 to be Assistant Chaplain and a research student at Emmanuel, completing his PhD on the episcopate in the reign of George II.  He has written for the Bible Reading Fellowship, lectured aboard cruises, and been a columnist and reviewer for the Church Times. To relax, Fr Robert reads politics, theology and biography, eats out too much and watches Nottingham Forest fail to make any progress in the Championship.

The Rev’d Dr Robert Mackley

The Rev’d Andrew Hammond

Sunday 21 November 2021

Preacher: The Rev’d Andrew Hammond
                 Chaplain, St John's College


Philip PullmanAndrew will be speaking about Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’.  Made up of three parts—‘Northern Lights’, ‘The Subtle Knife’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass’—this is one of the greatest works of fantasy ever written in the English language. It belongs in the same class as ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the Narnia series.


The Rev'd Andrew Hammond

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