The Michael Ranken Memorial Library for Christians in Secular Ministry
Following the death of Michael Ranken (founder Moderator of CHRISM) in May 2003, his family offered CHRISM a selection of his books related to MSE and its theology. The committee were also considering the most effective way to create a memorial to Michael, and the two strands came together in the project for a library for MSE.
A key part of the project was to find a suitable home for the Library, and we were very pleased to enter into an arrangement with The Royal Foundation of St Katharine in Limehouse, London. It provides a secure home in an established library, in a place which is open to developing new forms of ministry, whilst providing a space for study and reflection.
Michael had also created a personal and selective list of books which he had found useful, stimulating and informative. This has formed another strand in the project, as we have used this as a starting point to expand and include other books from different perspectives - titles that we have found helpful, and those published more recently. The booklist serves as a powerful resource to augment the books currently available in the library. But we hope that the library should eventually contain all the books on this list and continue to grow!
So we invite you to contribute other books you may have, and other important titles to add to the list. Please contact Margaret Joachim.
The master catalogue is in two parts: one full alphabetical by author, and one sorted by category. There is a hard copy at St Katharine’s, but it is also available by clicking here.
The resources in the Library are open and available for use in the Woodard Room, so access isn’t limited to times when the main library is in use. However, it is sensible to phone or email first to let them know when you are intending to visit. You can contact their reception on 020 7702 7603 or 0845 409 0130. For more information, please visit their website.
The books are just a beginning. We conceived of this as a project to build an archive of all materials related to the development of MSE in the UK. We have visited to look at other projects to compile similar archives, and have recognised that this is a task which requires much systematic planning and organisation and time.
However, we believe that it is important that personal information and historical detail are not lost to the researches of future generations of MSE, and will continue to take this forward. The important message is to ask you to please ensure that you retain your personal materials for handing on eventually to CHRISM.
Michael was the lynch-pin for the Network of Ministers in Work which grew out of the 1984 conference which he convened in Nottingham University. He was a Food Technologist who firmly believed, and told anyone who would listen, that this work was his ministry as a Church of England priest. He was instrumental in the creation of CHRISM as an organisation embracing the former looser network, and became an Honorary Moderator. He published numerous papers (included in the Library list) and set out his philosophy and theology in his book “How God Looks - if you don’t start in Church”.