A warmly funny, intensely moving and startlingly personal account of the lives of an urban parish priest and his parishioners. Father Alex Frost was not always a man of the cloth. He found his calling while running an Argos store in his native Burnley, moonlighting as a stand-up comedian and die-hard fan of The Clarets and Depeche Mode.
But having achieved his profession, Fr Alex quickly recognised the 17,000 inhabitants of his new parish were in dire need of help. Burnley is typical of many towns across Britain: a place of run-down council estates, severe poverty litter, crime and drugs, but also a place where the sacred sits alongside the secular in an intimate and personal way. And so it was that he found himself running a food bank from a car park, helping the desperate amid his flock as the pandemic raged.
Fr Alex’s down-to-earth style of ministry struck a chord with people of all faiths, cultures and class at a time when the divide between rich and poor is widening cataclysmically. But amid the tragedy, addiction, appalling loss, illness and neglect, there also lies hope, joy and moments of comedy. Our Daily Bread is as much the story of the rich cast of characters that cross the threshold of any church as it is our vicar’s.
Through them it shows the continued relevance of the church for those in peril: the poor and the marginalised. This heartfelt and moving book seeks to give a voice to the voiceless, charting the tragedy and pain, humour and hope which are ever-present in his community. It is ultimately about modern poverty – and how we all can, and should, espouse Christian virtues of love, kindness, tolerance.