Our vicar, Ian Tattum, is a regular contributor to several print and online media, including Church Times, The Pilgrim, Spelt and The Land Lines Project. His writings address a wide variety of topics, such as nature and nature writing, the history of science, Christian conservationism, and science fiction. He has also begun to publish poetry.
Here you can find his latest essays and book reviews, as well as links to publications in which his writings have appeared.
Do you know where you live? Take a walk along the Wandle with Ian and find out.
‘Canticle for the Creatures‘
Meet the creatures who inhabit Ian’s unique tapestry preaching stole and Bob, the man who made it for him.
‘Sacred birds of a feather here long before turkeys‘
Church Times, 23 December 2022
Find out about the six geese-a-laying in this year’s continuation of Ian’s guide to the birds of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
‘Tidings of a new creation’
Church Times, 26 August 2022
A recent book inspired Ian to explore the relationship between faith and nature writers.
The latest issue of Spelt includes a piece of creative non-fiction from Ian. You can purchase a copy here.
Ian’s review of Birds and Us: A 12,000-Year History, from Cave Art to Conservation by Tim Birkhead was posted to The Pilgrim website on August 3, 2022. Link to it from here.
Ian’s review of Rhythms of Nature: Wildlife and Wild Places Between the Moors by Ian Carter was posted to The Pilgrim website on June 27, 2022. Link to it from here.
Ian’s review of Modern British Nature Writing, 1789-2020 by Will Abberley, Christina Alt, et al. was posted to The Pilgrim website on May 30, 2022. Link to it from here.
Ian’s review of The Past is a Dangerous Driver, a collection of poems by Neal Mason, was posted to The Pilgrim website on May 23, 2022. Link to it here.
Ian’s review of A River Runs Through Me: A Life of Salmon Fishing in Scotland by Andrew Douglas-Home was posted to The Pilgrim website on April 20, 2022. Link to it from here.
Ian’s Review of Goshawk Summer: A New Forest Season Unlike Any Other by James Aldred first appeared in The Pilgrim, Issue 10 (Autumn 2021), p. 77. Read it here.
Ian’s review of The White Birch: A Russian Reflection by Tom Jeffreys first appeared in The Pilgrim, Issue 10 (Autumn 2021), p. 74. Read it here.
Ian’s poem ‘Not like other birds’ appears in Issue 4 of Spelt magazine, available for purchase here.
In ‘The Morning Chorus: The Noise of Automata or Choir of Praise?’ Ian challenges traditionally anthropocentric views on worship, asking whether animals have an inner spiritual life and can sing the praises of God.
Church Times, 17 December 2021
Celebrating the calling-bird of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.
‘Wisdom in the wilderness’
Church Times, 24 September 2021
In Creationtide, Ian celebrates the work of Barry Lopez, who died in 2020.
‘BB as a Writer of Children’s Fiction’
BB versus Kenneth Grahame: which author tells the truth about nature?
Ian’s review of The Screaming Sky: In Pursuit of Swifts by Charles Foster first appeared in The Pilgrim, Issue 9 (Summer 2021), p. 62. Read it here.
‘In defence of allotments’
A review with a mission: read Julian Hoffman’s Irreplaceable and be moved to sign the petition to save Southfield’s Granville Road allotments.
‘Climbing mountains with Irn Bru: An accidental pilgrimage’
Hiking from Iona to Lindisfarne via Serendip in 2004.
Read other articles from this issue by purchasing a copy here.
‘Walking with Covid-19’
A guest entry on the Land Lines Project blog.
Ian’s review of The Seafarers: A Journey Among Birds by Stephen Rutt first appeared in The Pilgrim, Issue 7 (Winter 2020), pp. 62-63. Read it here.
‘The Little Grey Men. The adventures of gnomes as a prophetic eco-manifesto’
To buy the rest of this issue click here.
‘Walking over dinosaurs. A forgotten tale of buried treasure’
Growing up on plesiosaur poo: the British coprolite industry from boom to bust.
If you enjoyed this article, you can purchase the whole issue here.
‘It might soon be just two turtle doves’
Church Times , 20 December 2019
Taking a look at the mixed fortunes of the turtle dove.
‘A bigger net than Stanhope’s’,
Church Times, 6 Sept 2019
Recounting the extraordinary life of the Roman Catholic priest, Père David, who discovered the giant panda.
‘Of Little Grey Men and wonder’
Church Times, 1 March 2019
Denys Watkins-Pitchford was a writer alert to the sacred quality of a shared home.
‘And every winged bird according to its kind’
Church Times, 12 May 2017
Celebrating the life and work of John Ray, the parson-naturalist who defined the term ‘species’.
‘Hiding in plain sight’
Church Times, 2 November 2018
Mary Anning’s contribution to palaeontology was much more than a lucky find on a Dorset beach. She was a person of faith.
‘The Wildlife and Garden at St Barnabas Church, Southfields’
A guest entry on the Land Lines Project blog
‘Luring ‘devil birds’ back to church’
Church Times, 25 May 2018
Celebrating the return of the swift with a reflection on habitat.
‘Feathered friend or opportunistic predator?’
Church Times, 21 December 2017
Robins are traditionally associated with Christmas, but they are not what they seem.
‘Airborne over Selborne’
Church Times, 13 October 2017
Celebrating the life of Gilbert White, the ‘archetypal parson-naturalist’.