Damien from Caulbearers has recently teamed up with Azariah France-Williams to record some audio excerpts from Azariah’s new book, Ghost Ship, which came out this summer.
Published almost ten years to the day after Azariah was ordained as a priest in the Church Of England, the book lays bare the church’s systemic racism and calls for transformation, recounting the author’s and others’ experiences as black and minority clergy.
“It has the potential to be a bit of a wrecking ball, to make a crack in the wall of racism that surrounds us,” said Azariah in this interview with The Guardian Newspaper.
Ghost Ship recounts the Church’s complicity, as a beneficiary, in the transatlantic enslavement of black people and subsequent colonial plantation culture.
The book takes a unique approach, switching narrative styles and examining it’s subject through multi-layered lenses including poetry, fairytale, humour, the social sciences, biblical interpretation, anecdote, and popular culture.
Azariah has recently moved from London up to Manchester and is now working in an urban parish in Hulme, an area that Damien lived and worked in for many years and where Caulbearers were originally formed.
The pair met during lockdown when a group of neighbours came together to transform communal spaces where they live in the Old Trafford area.
Damien – “The originality of Azariah’s varied narrative style is so evocative and for me, creates such an audible, musical world that it really lends itself to being heard as well as being read.
“We’d love to create an audiobook version which could explore some of the sound worlds that these different stories conjure up and to reach more people with this really important work.”
You can hear Azariah reading some excerpts of his book on this podcast.
Follow Azariah on Twitter: @AzariahAnglican
Click the button below to buy the book (also available in all good book shops)…