Bible study material
A compact, pocket-sized booklet, to help you understand the common good in the Bible and respond to God’s calling to transform the world.
Six chapters each with scripture, reflections, questions and prayers to prompt discussion and action.
For prayer groups, away-days, church events, conferences, retreats or just for your pocket or handbag and reading on the bus.
For Christians of all traditions.
What people say
Calling People of Goodwill: The Bible and the Common Good
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
"This little book is a wonderful introduction to the Common Good and its importance in Christian thinking. At a time of uncertainty and challenges to our shared values and practices, this is a timely reminder that we are called as the church to seek the common good of all in our communities, whether local, national or global. I am pleased to commend this study guide and hope that the reflections offered will inspire many to commit to being people who strive for the common good."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
“Vivid images; crisp and insightful commentary; sharp pointers for discussion; clear progression of thought and ideas; evocative prayers: "Calling People of Goodwill" is a real treasure! I hope it is widely used and deeply pondered for it can truly help us all to get to grips with faith in action today. My thanks to all who have produced this great resource."
Timothy Radcliffe OP, Former Master of the Order of Preachers
“This beautiful and wise book explores the most important issue of our day, how we may flourish together…I love the expression that ‘God is our common good.”
“At this time God is calling Christians to play an active part in the transformation of their communities; our country needs us to be a church that is open, reaching out to all. Rooted in Scripture, this fabulous little bible study booklet is practical, informal and pitched just right for our culture of prayer - it is exactly what is needed and I strongly recommend it."
The Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
“One of the areas where we see God at work at the moment is in drawing various Christian traditions and networks into creative partnerships. Working together in this way enables us not only to engage in mission within our communities but offer prophetic insight into the life and values of our nations. This is a timely opportunity to be reminded of the core principle of “Common Good” and the Biblical narratives that underpin it. This set of Bible studies will enable individuals and small groups reflect on our theology and our practice as we seek to engage in the public square.”
Billy Kennedy, Leader, Pioneer Network and Co-President, Churches Together England
“In recent years the church has been learning again what it is serve the least, the lowly and the marginalised in our society. The church has ‘left the building’ and is playing its part in the transformation of peoples lives. This resource is timely and will inspire and strengthen the church’s resolve to be all it's called to be. I’m pleased to recommend it.”
Jean Vanier, Founder, L’Arche International
"This book is about peace. Peace is not just in the hands of politicians and the military. It is in the hands of each one of us. We are all called to work for the common good and universal brotherhood and sisterhood and to open our hearts to those who are different and feel excluded. Thus breaking down the barriers of fear around our hearts.'
Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director, Tearfund
“In a me-focused, high-consumer society, the common good is a radical and novel concept: one that could transform our lives and our churches if we were to get hold of it properly and live it out. This little book will help you do just that and I warmly commend it to you.”
"God in his great and generous love wants us to work together with others of goodwill to build the common good. With helpful bible study reflections and questions for discussion, this excellent little pocket book empowers us to direct our prayers and actions to work for the flourishing of all."
Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool
“The God of the Bible is a fountain of sending love - love with the capacity to transform all we are, individually and as a society, my personal good and our common good. This collection of scriptures and reflections will help you to integrate your own journey in holiness and our common journey to true justice and peace. I strongly recommend it!”
Dr Jane Williams, St Mellitus College
"This important and accessible study encourages us to see God’s big picture of the human race, rather than our smaller vision, which often only contains people like ourselves. By reflecting on a number of key Bible passages, this pocket book challenges us to seek the Common Good."
Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches Moderator; Co-President, Churches Together England
"Endeavouring to put the Bible's teaching into practice on a daily basis is not just a matter of personal piety. There are immense benefits that can flow to society when we take the Bible's teaching seriously. 'Calling People of Goodwill' is a powerful reminder that we should be outward looking, and provides an excellent resource for developing such thinking in thoroughly biblical and practical ways."
Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking
"When Jeremiah urges his people to seek the welfare of the city, he offers a vision for how God’s people in all times might relate to society as a whole. This booklet succinctly conveys how Jeremiah’s words resonate not only throughout Scripture but into the shape of our lives as disciples today."
The Revd John Proctor, General Secretary, The United Reformed Church
“This Bible study material is thoughtful, practical and serious without being heavy or wordy. It would work well in many a small group, and will help Christians to contribute confidently to a complex world in testing times.”
Rev Dr Chris Wright International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership
'“What does the Bible say?” Too often, when that question is asked about any social or ethical issue, the answer comes in the form of one or two verses quoted at random. The great merit of this study guide is that it takes the Bible for what it is - the grand overarching story of God’s plan and purpose for creation as a whole and our identity and mission as human beings, created in God’s image and redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ. The careful selection of texts from major sections of the Bible’s story will help any individual or group to have a stronger grasp of the message of the Bible as a whole on how we are to live together in God’s world, and a greater curiosity to dig deeper into the riches of biblical revelation and wisdom elsewhere.'
Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons
"I once heard a Film Director say that he had stopped being a Christian and had become a Buddhist because Buddhism was a way of life, whereas Christianity was just something that you did once per week. I was shocked to the core, and remembered thinking – ‘what poor example of Christianity he must have had to arrive at that conclusion.’ This short bible study is accessible and will enable everyone who is serious about living out their faith to easily engage with it."
Major David Taylor, Spiritual Life Development Secretary, Salvation Army
'"Calling People of Goodwill: The Bible and the Common Good" is a timely and highly accessible study guide, with aptly chosen readings and insightful reflections. It offers an excellent opportunity for group discussion that leads to shared vision and action. It is to be recommended for all churches seeking to live the gospel, serving as a vital antidote to consumer Christianity and indulgent individualism."
The Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield
"This is an opportune reminder, in an increasingly fractured world and an increasingly fractured Britain, of the Christian calling to the common good. Here are accessible reflections on Holy Scripture, with helpfully intriguing questions and imaginative invitations to prayer. The call to invest in the wellbeing of our neighbours and our neighbourhoods, our nation and our planet is integral to authentic Christian discipleship, as every user of this brief but substantial guide will appreciate."
Calling People of Goodwill: the Bible and the Common Good was created by Together for the Common Good in partnership with Bible Society, in association with Jesuits in Britain and Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics.
The book is the fruit of an ecumenical working group convened by Jenny Sinclair, director of Together for the Common Good and led by biblical scholars Dr Jonathan Rowe and Nicholas King SJ. The resource was commissioned by Matthew van Duyvenbode and facilitated by Fleur Dorrell at Bible Society. The group is grateful to over sixty volunteer readers of different Christian traditions across the country who piloted an early draft.