21 March 2017
New book highlights the joys and challenges of evangelical unity
The path to true unity never did run smooth. But as an increasingly fragmented world marks 500 years since the Reformation, one man's commitment to breaking down walls stands as a testament to what can happen when people come together.
In his new debut book, One: Unity in Diversity – a personal journey, Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, explores the challenges of unity as outworked both in his day-to-day marriage and home life, and the local, national and global Church. This deeply personal warts-and-all account gives a unique insight into the challenges that must be overcome to achieve unity – a unity that crosses generations, denominations, gender and ethnicity.
Interwoven with stories of Steve's church leadership over four decades are accounts of the moments that most shaped his life, including at the age of five losing his father – a young vicar in inner-city Bradford – in a motor accident by a drunk lorry driver. The book includes painful reflections on when unity fails and relationships are challenged.
Steve Clifford has been general director of the Evangelical Alliance since April 2009. He is chair of HOPE Together and has previously been international chair of March for Jesus and chair of the leadership team for Soul Survivor. Steve continues to give advice and support to churches and has worked in a variety of church roles, and continues to advise church, networks and organisations.
Started in 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the UK's largest and oldest umbrella body, bringing together Christian organisations and churches, for unity, advocacy and mission.
Praise for 'One: Unity in Diversity – a personal journey'
"Steve Clifford's passion for Christian unity is evident on every page of this lucid and moving book. The autobiographical sections are winsome and inspiring. The theological reflections are rich and perceptive. Steve's exemplary leadership of the UK Evangelical Alliance is informed by a deep appreciation of the Alliance's history, and he draws illuminating lessons from that history as he charts future priorities for a church called to be one, that the world might believe." Rev Dr David Hilborn, Principal, St John's School of Mission, Nottingham
"This is an absolutely captivating reflection of one man's persistent, and at times painful, pursuit of Christ-like unity in every area of his life. Instead of telling us how rubbish we often are in the Church at living out our one-ness, Steve reminds us of who we already are; God's people called to one hope. And this revelation has the power to transform how we talk, disagree, forgive, pray and live together. I hope this book encourages you, as it has me, to ensure our world knows we belong to Jesus, not by our ability to fight, but our eagerness to really love each other." Rachel Gardner, Relationships Lead, Youthscape
"Good family conversations have far-reaching potentials. Steve Clifford does well in inviting evangelicals to reflect on our experience and what the world looks like from our perspective. One significant conclusion is that relationships matter. Drawing on his own experience of family life and churchmanship he illustrates examples of how to engage effectively with one another and the significance of unity in our mission and witness. There is much to be gained from this contribution to Christian publications." Bishop Donald Bolt, National Administrative Bishop, New Testament Church Of God England and Wales and Superintendent for the United Kingdom
One can be ordered online here.
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK's two million evangelical Christians. For more than 170 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We're here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it's celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across more than 80 denominations, nearly 4,000 churches, 600 organisations and thousands of individual members and supporters. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org/join