Essays and Reviews

Our vicar, Ian Tattum, is a regular contributor to several print and online media, including Church Times, The Land Lines Project, and The Pilgrim. 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.


‘Nature Deficit’
Self-portrait of the nature lover as a young boy.

And look! there’s Ismena Collective’s Mayda Narvey writing in The Pilgrim too. Get the whole issue 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.

‘Christmas Companion’
Church Times, 17 December 2021
Celebrating the calling-bird of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

Ian’s Church Times articles, ‘It might soon be just two turtle doves’ (20 December 2019) and ‘Feathered friend or opportunistic predator?’ (21 December 2017), were selected for inclusion in this year’s Church Times Christmas Collection.

‘Wisdom in the wilderness’
Church Times, 24 September 2021
In Creationtide, Ian celebrates the work of Barry Lopez, who died last year.

‘BB as a Writer of Children’s Fiction’
BB versus Kenneth Grahame: which author tells the truth about nature?

‘Two Sisters’
Reflecting on the life-changing experience of loving and losing two foster-sisters from Nigeria.

Issue 9 of The Pilgrim is available for purchase 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.

‘Consider the Birds; Consider them Afresh!’
Ian’s companion essay to 40 Days with God’s Creatures, the Sarx Lenten course for 2021.

‘Walking with Covid-19’
April 2020
A guest entry on the Land Lines Project blog.

‘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.

‘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’
June 2018
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’.

‘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’.

Hall Bookings

Our halls are open for hire.

We are delighted to be welcoming back regular group activities, both for children and for adults.

As of April 23, 2022, we will have limited availability for party hire.  For the time being, we are prioritizing users who live in the parish of St Barnabas or are church members, as we want to support our local community as we come out of Covid restrictions.  Click here for details.

We run the halls as part of our commitment to the community.  Although they raise revenue for us, they are not profit making, so we ask all hirers to respect them and look after them so that they can be enjoyed by local residents for many years to come.

NB: all hall names are merely working titles, and all prices are open to revision!

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