- Of This Our Time by Tom Hopkinson
Hutchinson, 317 pp, £8.95, April 1982, ISBN 0 09 147860 X
When Tom Hopkinson was nine years old his father called the family together. He had decided, he said, to become a clergyman. Later he told his son that he had been persuaded to take this long-contemplated step by hearing a sermon ‘so distracted and confused that he had realised the clergyman delivering it must be overwhelmed with the burden of his work.’ He had seen that the only thing to do was to go out and help him. So the Hopkinson family was translated from the comfortable life of a lecturer in Classical archaeology in the University of Manchester to the comparative hardships of an industrial parish. The need to serve was in the blood: Tom’s sister Esther spent most of her life as a missionary in South Africa and Rhodesia, his brother Stephan became a clergyman. Tom edited Picture Post.