The Nail - being part of the Passion: a new Lent course for 2012. by Stephen Cottrell.

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment

New 2012 Lent books and study courses give a fresh heart to the most reflective season of the Christian year. Leading you deeper into the meaning and relevance of the Jesus’ life crucifixion, death and resurrection a new Lent course offers emotional and spiritual enrichment.
Privately, as part of a group or as a resource for whole church or school worship, new 2012 Lent study courses give you a themed, engaging and culturally relevant experience to support the spiritual growth of everyone taking part.
The Nail by Stephen Cottrell provides the relevant Bible text, imaginative meditations and honest, blunt prayers of confession that you need in for personal reflection, a short group study series or resources for church or school worship.

'You hold in your hands a nail that was used to Crucify Christ.'

New for 2012, The Nail is the written-up version of a new Good Friday liturgy devised and performed by Stephen Cottrell and the people of Christ Church & St Paul’s, Southwark.

Starting with the image that each person in the Passion story might have held one of the nails used to crucify Christ, the image is expanded to involve everyone who hears the story today. The Nail begins: ‘you hold in your hands a nail that was used to Crucify Christ. If you accept it, this nail is the beginning of a deeply moving personal journey through the Passion Story’.
The Nail asks the question: ‘do accept responsibility for your part in his death, or do you blame another?’ In each chapter, the question is asked of the key players in the Passion story: Pilate, Caiaphas, Judas and others. But the question is also asked of the readers and listeners today.


Eye-witnesses and key players in the drama plead their case

The Nail makes you a part of the Passion. Moving, first person accounts from eye-witnesses and active participants place you right in heart of events leading to the crucifixion and beyond.
Each account by an eye witness or key player can be used as a personal reflection, a focus for group discussion, sermon base or even performed as a monologue. Each witness tells their story in the first person. They take up their nail and give their excuses for passing the nail, and responsibility for their part in the crucifixion, to another witness who then takes up the story.
The complete, relevant Bible text for each witness is included, making The Nail a one-book devotional or study resource. Each eye-witness account concludes with a prayer of confession that lays bare our own hearts as well as that of the nail holder.


'Will you let Jesus Forgive you?'

The final chapter of The Nail asks the all important for the Passion story players and for today’s readers: the life changing question ‘will you let Jesus forgive you?’
The Nail isn’t a 40 session day-by day Lent course. It is a focus for personal reflection or a short series of weekly group studies. The narratives, prayers and helpful guidelines make The Nail an engaging and thoughtful resource for services or assemblies, and monologue scripts for a Good Friday service. Author snapshot: Stephen Cottrell
Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell is Bishop of Chelmsford and former Bishop of Reading. Experience includes the film industry and St Christopher’s Hospice, South London. Stephen has assisted the Director of Pastoral Studies, Chichester Theological College and with the Initiative for Evangelism, Wakefield.

Author of more than a dozen books on evangelism, spirituality, cooking poetry and films, his other Lent and Easter books include 'The Things He Carried' and 'The Things He Said'. More widely, Stephen Cottrell's other works include the popular titles 'Hit the Ground Kneeling: Seeing Leadership Differently' and 'Do Nothing… Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference'.

Born and brought up in Essex, Stephen Cottrell is married with three children and lists writing, music and playing the eukelele among his interests.

Quick Guide to

The Nail by Stephen Cottrell - what is it?

  • Eight short mediations on the imagined, first-hand accounts given by key players in the drama of the crucifixion and beyond.
  • For your personal devotions, as themes for small group study or resources for church or school worship.
  • Complete with relevant Bible texts, thought provoking prayers of confession and practical guidelines for group study and discussion.

The Nail by Stephen Cottrell - why should I buy one?

  • To put yourself at the heart of the events leading to the crucifixion and beyond and into the minds of the key witnesses.
  • To understand how the motivations, hopes and fears of the those involved in the Passion are still present in us today.
  • To explore privately or in a group the significance of the question: ‘will you let Jesus forgive you?’

Over to You

What about you?
At you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.

The Nail by Stephen Cottrell is the written-up version of a Good Friday liturgy ‘devised from scratch’ by an ordinary church congregation.

  • Have you or your church devised and written your own Good Friday liturgy, how did you do it, and have you any tips and advice for others thinking of doing the same?
  • How to you think do you think writers and performers of original worship can ensure the truth of what they say isn’t undermined by their imagination in the way they say?

Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at

10th February

February 10th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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