“Inner City Testament” by John and Grace Vincent

Inner City Testament book cover
John & Grace Vincent - Inner City Testament.

Story by John Mellor

Inner City Testament book cover
John & Grace Vincent –
Inner City Testament.

Spanning 100 pages and 90 years this book tells the story of John and Grace’s early lives, as well as their work in Burngreave since arriving in 1970. It is a unique and fascinating account of two people, committed to each other for nearly 60 years illustrated by a rich archive of around 50 well annotated photographs.

John was born in Sunderland in 1929 where his father, David, was working as a manager with a retail provisions firm. Grace’s life began in 1934 in India where her father, Wilfred, was an Irish Methodist missionary, returning to Ireland when Grace was 14.

They met in Manchester through their mutual involvement in the Student Christian Movement and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Following their marriage in December 1958 they lived in Wythenshawe, before moving to Rochdale Methodist Mission in 1962.

In 1970 John was ‘stationed’ by the Methodist Conference to work in inner city Sheffield and both became involved in many projects: the Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield Inner City Ecumenical Mission, New Roots Shop, Namibia House, and the Ashram Community. John writes:

“I am attempting to be at the same time a student and disciple of Jesus and of Jesus stories as contained in the Gospels and also a Community Worker on the streets of the Inner City”.

Hopefully this brief review has whetted your appetite to either beg, borrow or buy a copy, and read this action-packed autobiography for yourself.

Available from Ashram Press, 7 College Court, Sheffield S4 7FN (£10 plus p&p), or at the Burngreave Ashram, 5 Spital Hill.