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In Search of the Lost

The Modern Martyrs of Melanesia

In Search of the Lost

The Modern Martyrs of Melanesia

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Publisher: Canterbury Press Norwich
ISBN: 9781853117800
Published: 28/11/2006
In 2003, a story shook the Anglican world in general and Anglican monastic life in particular. On August 8th, seven members of The Melanesian Brotherhood, an Anglican order of Christian brothers living a simple and prayerful life and known for their peace work throughout the South Pacific and beyond, were brutally murdered as a result of ethnic conflict in the Solomon Islands. They had been taken hostage five months earlier. The Melanesian Brotherhood is the largest Anglican religious community in the world with over 300 brothers and more than 300 novices and has received a United Nations award for its peace work. From 1990-2005, Richard Carter, a British priest, was tutor, chaplain to the Melanesian Brotherhood, eventually becoming a brother himself. This extraordinary, powerful and moving book is based on his diaries from that agonizing time for the Community. It tells the harrowing story of the loss of seven good, young and holy lives and the aftermath of those deaths. It tells the story of individuals and a community trying to make sense of faith in the face of fierce conflict and tragedy. It recounts the challenge of living out the Christian faith when confronted by great fear and loss. It is thus a story for everyman. Rowan Williams writes a preface.

Richard Carter

RICHARD CARTER was until 2005 Chaplain to the Melanesian Brotherhood. He is now a priest at St Martin in the Fields, London.

'This is a brave and intimate account of war, tragedy and redemption in the South Pacific. With In Search of the Lost, Richard Carter bears witness to a nation's descent into chaos and violence, but he also charts its salvation through the sacrifices of a heroic community of Christian monks. Carter documents the colliding violence and beauty of his island world with disarming honesty and grace. Infused with prayer and rich with detail, this occasionally devastating story is a testament to the power of faith to lead individuals and nations back to the light.'  Charles Montgomery, author of The Shark God Fourth Estate, Harper Collins, London 2006

'This wonderful book brings to life the vision of the Melanesian Brotherhood, the struggle to make sense of the sacrifice and trauma of these last years, trauma for the Brothers and for the whole community of the Solomons, the overflowing joy of their witness and their freedom to communicate across cultures with confidence and vigour.' Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

'Richard Carter’s account of the martyrdom of the seven members of the Melanesian Brotherhood is deeply moving. His account of how the brothers lived through and beyond this tragedy is profoundly honest, never flinching in his description of the pain and the moments of uncertainty. It is the story of the triumph of hope over despair and of God’s creative grace over destruction. This creativity is evident in the marvellous way in which the parables of Jesus come alive, re-enacted by the Brothers as part of their preaching. We are also carried through the darkness and beyond by poetry and song. This book will make you weep and laugh, and strengthen your faith.' Timothy Radcliffe OP

'This moving and powerful account documents the challenge of how to make sense of and live out the Christian faith when there is conflict, fear, trauma and tragic loss and sacrifice - a journey which in some form every Christian has to make' Fairacres Chronical, Summer 2007

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