Books and Reports

We have gathered books and reports under various themes below. Click the pink bands to expand the lists. More titles are being added as the project unfolds. Titles by Sheppard and Worlock are also grouped together. If you have a suggestion please write to us at

To start with, the T4CG book Together for the Common Good: towards a national conversation aims to be a conversation opener to inform and inspire a deeper quality of discussion about the common good. Why not read and discuss it together with a group of people across different traditions?  A four page Study Guide for groups or individuals accompanies the book. The Study Guide is free to download, and you will find ideas for promoting a conversation in your area here.

Related books


Catholic Social Thought

Evangelii Gaudium (“The joy of the Gospel”) (Pope Francis, 26 November 2013) An 84-page document, written in his own words, is the first major work since his election. It is known as an apostolic exhortation and amounts to an official platform for this papacy. In it he calls unfettered capitalism "a new tyranny", urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality. He criticises the global economic system, attacking the "idolatry of money" and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare”.

Rerum Novarum: Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labor (1891). 

Laudato si' (Sulla cura della casa comune (Praise Be to You: On the care for our common home). The papal encyclical by Pope Francis on creation and the environment, published on June 18, 2015. This perhaps the most ambitious papal document of the past 100 years, since it is addressed not just to Catholics, or Christians, but to everyone on Earth. The environment, in the Pope’s use of the word, is not something 'out there' - nature as opposed to the human world. Rather, the term describes the relationship between nature and humans, who are inextricably linked and part of each other. 

See our section on Catholic Social Thought for more titles


Friendship and Exchange with People of Other Faiths (Celia Blackden, Grove Books, 2010).  


Business Ethics

The Quakers and Business Group have published a new edition of their excellent Good Business - Ethics at Work. - September 2014. 


If you’re interested in how people can find meaning in work against a backdrop of mass youth unemployment, widespread poverty and growing inequality, we recommend you read Humanising Work by Chris Beales (published October 2014). 

In 2015, ResPublica published In Professions We Trust - fostering virtuous practice and a return to vocation in teaching, law and medicine and the obligation of practitioners to serve the common good.

Faith Communities

The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr. Recommended by Jean Vanier.

Church for the Poor by Martin Charlesworth and Natalie Williams of Jubilee +

Gillian Ahlgren has published The Tenderness of God. Building on the legacy of St Francis of Assisi and St Clare, the book resonates with what Pope Francis calls a 'revolution of tenderness' and explores just how compelling sincerity and reverent encounter with others can be. 

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ should serve the Common Good (Miroslav Volf, Brazos Press, 2011).

Faithful Citizens: A Practical Guide to Catholic Social Teaching and Community Organising (Austen Ivereigh, DLT 2010).

Industrial Christian Fellowship - collected articles by Revd Phil Jump.

Mitres and Missions in Lancashire (Peter Doyle, The Bluecoat Press, 2005).

Rebuilding Jerusalem: The Church’s Hold on Hearts and Minds (Stephen Platten, SPCK, 2007).

Skills for Collaborative Ministry (Paul Nash, Sally Nash and Jo Pimlott, SPCK 2012).  A practical guide to working more effectively with other people, both inside and outside of the Church.

This new book, Just Mission: Practical Politics for Local Churches by Dr Helen Cameron, Head of Public Affairs for The Salvation Army, 'may be the catalyst to help turn the pursuit of social justice into something that "we", and not just "they", can do’ - June 2015.  

To help you on your Lent journey we recommend 'Just Love: personal and social transformation in Christ' by Paul Hackwood and Angus Ritchie (January 2014). If you are following Lent in an ecumenical partnership we suggest 'With Christ in the Wilderness: Following Lent Together' by David Sheppard and Derek Worlock (January 1990).

Unity in Process: Reflections on Ecumenism (Clive Barrett (ed.), DLT 2012).


Stepping Through Transitions: Management, leadership and governance in not-for-profit organisations A book by CGO Transitions Ltd on organisational development for Common Good Organisations (CGOs).


David Goodhart’s book, The Road to Somewhere, now a bestseller, explains the forces behind Brexit, and is described as an 'incitement to independent thinking’ by The Times.

Phillippine Common Goods by Patrick Riordan SJ shows how the criteria of the common good can be used to confront real political challenges, in this case controversial issues bounding the newly-installed Duterte administration, such as eradicating the drug problem, criminality, and corruption in the country.  

Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilites of Faithful Witness (Luke Bretherton, Wiley Blackwell 2010) especially section 2, entitled 'Local: Augustine, Alinsky, and the Politics of the Common Good' (pp 71-125). 

Faith in the City (Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Urban Priority Areas, 1985).  There are significant references to the common good in the following sections: 3.17 'collective action for the common good', 3.22 concern for individual rights can be "at the expense of the common good"; 5.86: all Christians should take part in 'promoting the common good which would benefit the UPA's'; 7.57; 8.11 "only if all worked together for the common good..."; 9.46; 9.54 use of our "common wealth" and so on.

Faith in the Public Square (Rowan Williams, Bloomsbury 2012) especially Part 5: Justice in Community, NB chapter 22: "Big Society - small world?”

On God's Side: For the Common Good. What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned about Serving the Common Good (Jim Wallis, Brazos Press).  

The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology (Oliver O'Donovan, Cambridge University Press, 1999).  

Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics.  (Adrian Pabst and Ian Geary, foreword by Rowan Williams - February 2015)A collection of essays marking the emergence of a new radical tradition that integrates progressive and conservative values, critiquing both the social-cultural liberalism of the left and the free-market liberalism of the right. 

Conservative Thought

God and Mrs Thatcher Dr Eliza Filby. This book traces the theological argument between the Church and the UK Government of the 1980s, finding it a ‘dialogue of the deaf’ - February 2015.  

Liberal Thought

The New Evangelicals: Expanding the Vision of the Common Good (Marcia Pally, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing 2011; with a foreword by John Milbank).  This is an in-depth look at the growing number of American evangelicals who do not identify with the Republican party and who focus on poverty relief, environmental stewardship, immigration reform, and anti-war activities.


In a video reviewRabbi Sacks recommends two books: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray and Sapiens: a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - both books examining the ‘abandonment of the ancient philosophy’ and the impact on European culture. Ben Ryan has also reviewed the first book here.

Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain by Benigno Beltran ‘tells a story of people betrayed and abandoned by modern society, of a wondrous planet being destroyed by greed and excess, and of a God of mystery and 'consuming fire' who is discovered amidst the desolation.’

'Collaboration Readiness: why it matters, how to build it, and where to start', is a new report from Collaborate looking at links between creative thinking, systemic culture change and front-end delivery. They say there is ‘a growing credibility gap across government and public services’ and that ‘big transformational agendas like devolution and NHS reform are premised on a step change in collaboration between commissioners, providers and the public’ and that there is more to do before we are ready for that step change. 

Pope Francis on tax: read this sermon, given in Cuba in 2015, in which he talks about Jesus' transformational interaction with Matthew: 'do you believe it is possible that a tax collector can become a servant? Do you believe it is possible that a traitor can become a friend?'

The Abolition of the Global – Learning to Live in the World in One City: an outstanding lecture (2015) by Archbishop Justin Welby on religiously motivated violence. You can read the text and watch the video here.

In 2015, addressing religiously motivated violence and how to build the peace, Dave Andrews published The Jihad of Jesus: The Sacred Nonviolent Struggle For Justice. Drawing on a lifetime's experience shared with his Muslim friends working together in community, Dave proposes a radical and gentle way to unite through Christian-Muslim solidarity.

In 2015, ResPublica published A Community Right to Beauty, arguing that the planning process is extended to ensure beautiful localities are accessible to all.

The Land of Scotland and the Common Good - a report by The Land Reform Review Group, published in 2014. This is the most comprehensive review of the system of the ownership and management of land in Scotland to date: several steps ahead of England and well worth a read for all those interested in land use and property laws.

December 2014 saw the UN climate change summit in Paris, and there were three major faith-based contributions to the debate: the International Islamic Climate Change DeclarationPope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si' (Praise be to you: on the care of our common home) and the recent Lambeth Declaration signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Read comments from Christian Aid here and get involved with their campaign here.

Theology and Economics: A Christian Vision of the Common GoodJeremy Kidwell and Sean Doherty. (Palgrave, 2015).  

Christianity and the New Social Order Chris Baker, John Atherton and John Reader. (SCM, 2011).  

Christian Tradition and the Practice of Justice Nicholas Sagovsky. (SPCK 2008).

Faith in Dark Places (David Rhodes, SPCK, 2013; updated, enlarged edition - first published in 1996) Rhodes explores the revolutionary idea, through inner city stories linked with biblical texts, that the answers in the struggle for justice are to be found where we least expect them: among the homeless and the poor.

Gods in the city: intercultural and interreligious dialogue at local level (Chris Chivers/Anjum Anwar/Council of Europe, 2008). 

If you're looking for one book combining several of Pope Francis’s writings, you will like ’The Church of Mercy’, his first major book in the English language. And in the wonderful 'Signs of the Times: Seven Paths for Hope in a Troubled World', Jean Vanier explains what can happen to our hearts and to our society when we commit to living a deep encounter with people who are weak, rejected or living in poverty.

On Rock or SandJohn Sentamu.  A set of essays setting out the values and priorities for a new social contract, resetting the terms of the debate about the kind of nation we want to be - January 2015.  

Journeying with God: Paradigms of Power and Powerlessness. (Fr Austin Smith, Sheed & Ward,1990)

Embracing the Passion: Christian youth work and politicsNigel Pimlott.  The importance of involving young people in the common good, from January 2015. Also click here for Nigel's Opinion Piece,  on this website.

Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural DevastationJonathan Lear (2008).  "Lear's book breaks new ground, in an extremely interesting way... This is what makes Lear's well-written and philosophically sophisticated book so valuable. As a story of courage and moral imagination, it is very powerful and moving. But it also offers the kind of insights that would-be builders of 'new world order' desperately need." Charles Taylor, New York Review of Books.


Catholic Social Thought

Clifford Longley was commissioned by Theos to explore an alternative vision to market fundamentalism, drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Thought. Jon Cruddas said 'it's the best thing I've read all year.' Just Money is short and an easy read, setting out how CST is a coherent practice that could humanise the business economy and offer a positive way forward - 2014.

Pope Francis' encyclical letter (a letter concerning Catholic doctrine sent by the Pope addressed to bishops, patriarchs, primates, and archbishops who are in communion with the Holy See) entitled 'On Care For Our Common Home.' 

One of our T4CG associates, Chris Knowles, has written a very useful exploration of the encyclical letter Laudato Si for our friends at Progressio. You can read it here.


Durham University and the Centre for Theology and Community held the MoneyTalks conference on how churches can take action on issues of money and debt in their communities. They have produced a free downloadable booklet outlining resources to support churches wanting to respond to issues of debt and financial exclusion in their local communities. October 2016.

To your credit the final, inspiring, report from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Task Group on Responsible Credit and Saving. The group was launched in January 2014 and spent two years identifying specific, deliverable initiatives which have contributed to the overall aim of putting the Church at the heart of a movement for a fairer financial system. The report is from January 2016.  

Building an ethical financial system: the role of credit unions - A Church Urban Fund paper giving some background to the issues surrounding payday lending, suggesting ways in which churches can get involved with and support their local credit unions (CUF November 2013).

Christian Aid’s latest report Tax for the Common Good, brings together theology and tax and looks at the purpose of tax, how governments should apply it, how companies and individuals should pay it and what they should expect of governments in return, in the light of scripture. Featuring chapters by Esther Reed and Angus Ritchie - October 2014.

Special Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity.  (Church of Scotland, May 2012).  An inquiry into what has gone wrong with the economic system and suggestions for ways in which it might be improved; particularly to establish what the Church of Scotland could do to improve matters.  

The Impact of Welfare Changes, published by the Caritas Social Action Network - July 2015.  

Business Ethics

Identifying specific steps to place ethos and purpose at the heart of finance, this July 2014 report ‘Virtuous Banking’ by ResPublica with Sir Richard Lambert, calls for social purpose, a Banker’s Oath, shareholder duty, trust and promoting diversity as the keys to banking reform.

Vision 2050.  The World Business Council for Sustainable Development's cornerstone report, calling for a new agenda for business laying out a pathway to a world in which nine billion people can live well, and within the planet’s resources, by mid-century. The report is a consensus piece that was compiled by 29 leading global companies from 14 industries.


If you know an employer we recommend you discuss with them ‘Work That Pays’, the final report of the Living Wage Commission, launched last week by Archbishop John Sentamu in June 2014.

What do low-paid workers think would improve their working lives? - a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. July 2015.

Work That Pays.  The final report of the Living Wage Commission. (2014).  

Faith Communities

Church Urban Fund have released Let's Get Together, a report emphasising the proven significance of inter-personal relationships for people’s wellbeing and flourishing. It points to the importance of churches continuing to provide opportunities, activities and spaces where people can feel that they belong.

Watch on video or read the short text of HM the Queen’s strikingly insightful speech at the beginning of the 10th General Synod in November 2015. With very careful choice of words, she spoke of the 'vocation to work in partnership with those of other faiths and none, to serve the common good in this land.' 

Jubilee Plus have released materials and keynotes from their Churches that Change Communities 2015 conference, along with a range of seminars on mobilising volunteers, doing business for social benefit, empowering the poor, and growing social action.

To help us understand the challenge of radicalisation, the Archbishop of Centerbury recommends the report Inside the Jihadi Mind: Understanding Ideology and Propaganda in which the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics analyses the common ideology communicated through the propaganda of three leading jihadi groups.

From food banks and debt advice, to night shelters and job clubs we all know examples of how churches are supporting communities, but what approaches are most effective? Download this new report: Fullness of Life Together, Reimagining Christian engagement in our communities, Livability and Church Urban Fund question the dominance of 'service delivery' models and offer alternatives drawing on co-production and Asset-based Community Development - 'working with' rather than 'doing to'. 

Resourcing Christian Community Action: parishes and partnerships Commissioned by the Church of England, this report and website resource looks at more than 45 initiatives across the UK. By Professor Hilary Russell (February 2012)

Collaboration between the Centre for Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds, the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, and the Institute for Global Engagement has led to a report. Towards Better International Policy was funded by the British Council’s ‘Bridging Voices’ programme and summarises key insights from two Anglo-American dialogues about increasing understanding of faiths and faith perspective, presented as a series of ‘policy messages’ or recommendations for diplomats and policy makers.


Better off without them?  A groundbreaking pilot survey into the proportion of voluntary sector welfare projects organised by churches and other faiths, by London Church Leaders and London Churches Group for Social Action, 9 May 2013.  


Faith in the Community: strengthening ties between faith groups and local authorities - surveys local authorities on their engagement with faith groups, by Christians in Parliament and the Evangelical Alliance. (June 2013).  

London Churches Social Action Group have produced their Common Voice on Migration materials for churches - July 2015.

Moral But No Compass a report by the Von Hügel Institute (a summary for the C of E General Synod). The report was commissioned by the Bishop for Urban Life and Faith to consider whether the Church of England should become more deeply involved in the delivery of contracted welfare services, to assess the church’s capacity for such work and to consider the kind of partnerships with Government which might be possible in this field.

The Big Society Audit 2013 looks beyond the rhetoric of this controversial policy to find out what’s been happening in practice (produced by Civil Exchange, December 2013).  

Who is My Neighbour? is the Church of England's letter to its parishioners before the general election - 2015.


48:52 Healing a Divided Nation is a report by The Centre for Social Justice and Legatum Institute. It analyses the task ahead and scrutinises the reasons why people voted leave - 'a bold and unequivocal statement for millions of people who wanted to change the political, economic, and social status quo.’ The report includes a contribution from Frank Field MP. October 2016.  

Not actually a report, but a practical, downloadable booklet for all churches across the country by CTMR: A guide: refugees, asylum seekers, migrants May 2016.

The rehabilitation of prisoners: Belief and Belonging, a report by Lemos & Crane looks at the spiritual and pastoral role of Catholic prison chaplains. May 2016.

Europe The UK's EU referendum took place in June 2016, and we are maintaining this collection of resources to support your thinking: take a look at political theology at its best from Jonathan Chaplin at KLICE. Watch videos from our May 2016 debate on the EU Referendum, featuring Jonathan Chaplin, Peter Smith, Caroline MacFarland and Eliza Filby.  Take a look at this article by Ben Ryan of Theos. Explore the Reimagining Europe blog and don't miss KLICE’s series of EU Ref briefings. Meanwhile Philip Booth and Diego Zuluaga on the Reimagining Europe blog are using Catholic social teaching to explore whether subsidiarity needs to take its rightful place in the EU. We have a piece by Patrick Riordan SJ on the role of the Catholic church in Europe’s common good, and on the Thinking Faith blog Patrick has published Greece: Solidarity and subsidiarity in action and Whatever Happened to Solidarity? You can also watch Phillip Blond, Director of ResPublica, in this TV clip discussing sovereignty and power: he draws attention to the stark lack of leadership and shows how Britain could lead, but isn't.

For Refugees Not a report as such, but a very helpful web resource from this collective of churches, charities and community organisations who are working in partnership to welcome refugees to the UK.  Feb 2016.

Creating Conversations The learning from four events, held jointly by Church Urban Fund and Edinburgh University's Divinity School, have been synthesised into this report helping to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Participants - academics, clergy and practitioners - shared their diverse experience and expertise on poverty-related issues. 2015. 

Hope 16 A local community in Liverpool, focusing on young people held a month-long festival in January 2016, and this report includes lots of ideas that can be replicated elsewhere.

Building Kingdom Communities Church Urban Fund and Livability have published this 'invitation to theological engagement on your community engagement'. Intended as a resource for those who run activities in their community, the paper picks up the theological threads from the earlier Fullness of Life Together , and encourages theological reflection. (2016).  

A Routemap to the Enabling State In this final, accessible report in the Enabling State series Carnegie Fellow Sir John recommends 8 steps for governments can take to build a society which gives citizens and communities more control whilst ensuring that the most vulnerable are not left behind. (2014).  

Caring for our Common Good: Minding our Own Business a report from the Hurtado Jesuit Centre, asking where, in our current context of conflicts around deepening inequality, social need & global divides, where are our common interests? Compiled by Dr Patrick Riordan SJ, of Heythrop College.  

Good Neighbours: How Churches Help Communities Flourish - a report by Church Urban Fund and Theos, September 2014. The report argues that, alongside essential material support for vulnerable communities, churches should build relationships, social networks and community connections, which are often in short supply.

In Professions We Trust: ResPublica’s report about vocations - July 2015.  

Jonathan Rowson’s new Spiritualise report produced with the Royal Society of Arts is important. He says ‘We need a viable commons, grounded in the depths of shared human experience’. Hard copies are due next month but in the meantime there is a pdf download and you can watch this video, December 2014.  

Looking for ways local people and churches can act together for change? Click here to see the good ideas and practical steps suggested by the Contextual Theology Centre.

Lost and Found: faith and spirituality in the lives of homeless people by Carwyn Gravell at Lemos and Crane, 2013. 

Multiculturalism: a Christian Retrieval by Jonathan Chaplain, Theos, 2012.  

One of the most significant reports this year has been Feeding Britain, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger led by Frank Field MP and the Bishop of Truro. It unpacks the food banks crisis and reveals the underlying causes - April 2014. Read the full report here.

Our Common Heritage - A report by the organisation Housing Justice arguing that the Church can help address the housing crisis by making its land and/or buildings available for affordable housing - 10 June 2015.

The transforming work of the Church Urban Fund’s Together Network continues. Their Good Neighbours report produced with Theos demonstrates that tackling poverty is more effective when working with rather than working for the poorest and most marginalised. Watch their video: Investing in Communities (4mins) and How Church Urban Fund Helps (2mins) - Summer 2014.

that the Church can help address the housing crisis by making its land and/or building available for affordable housing. - See more at:
that the Church can help address the housing crisis by making its land and/or building available for affordable housing. - See more at:
that the Church can help address the housing crisis by making its land and/or building available for affordable housing. - See more at:

Walking the Breadline: the scandal of food poverty in 21st century Britain by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam, May 2013.  

Sheppard Worlock titles


As an excellent introduction to the Sheppard Worlock partnership we suggest 'A Holy Alliance' by Andro Linklater. Also available to download here. Reproduced by kind permission of Andro Linklater and Hearst Magazines. Photographs by kind permission Liverpool Daily Post and Echo and Jason Shenai.

For more on the Sheppard Worlock years see our background section 

Download papers on the formations of Worlock (by Pat Jones) and Sheppard (by the Rt Revd Rupert Hoare)


Better Together (David Sheppard & Derek Worlock, Hodder 1988 & Kindle edition 2013)
With Hope in Our Hearts (David Sheppard & Derek Worlock, Hodder 1994 & Kindle edition 2013)
Steps Along Hope Street (David Sheppard, Hodder 2002 & Kindle edition 2013)
Bias to the Poor (David Sheppard, Hodder 1982 & Kindle edition 2013)
Built as a City (David Sheppard, Hodder 1973)
The Other Britain (David Sheppard, Dimbleby Lecture, 1984)
1980 National Pastoral Congress (NPC) (Chaired by Derek Worlock; National Pastoral Congress, 1980) 
The Easter People (Chaired by Derek Worlock; National Pastoral Congress, 1980) 
The Worlock Archive (Clifford Longley, Geoffrey Chapman 1999)
With Christ in the Wilderness (David Sheppard & Derek Worlock, Bible Reading 1990)
Living With Dying (Grace Sheppard, DLT 2010)
Parsons Pitch (David Sheppard, Hodder 1964)
Archbishop Derek Worlock: His personal journey (Ann Knowles and John Furnival, Geoffrey Chapman 1998)
Bread Upon the Waters (Derek Worlock, St Paul's 1991)
English Bishops at the Council (Derek Worlock 1965)
Turn and Turn Again (Derek Worlock 1971)
Give Me Your Hand  (Derek Worlock 1977)

For some specific references to the Common Good in their books, please see the following :

With Hope in our Hearts p33,34, re the calling of a bishop, and belief in a God who desires "the wealth of the whole increased for the common good." Also p.54 re unemployment, isolating you from "making your contribution to the common good"

Steps Along Hope Street, p287: "Concern for the common good meant entering into debates on a national stage." Then further references occur on p289, re 'debating the common good' in the House of Lords, and also p290 re Sunday Trading and 'the health of the whole'.



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