Retired Scarborough vicar Liz Kitching writes a series of children's books

A retired Scarborough vicar has turned author and written a series of stories to help children learn about God and the Bible.

By Mike Tyas
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 7:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:00 am
Rev Elizabeth Kitching with her illustrators Janice Springall and Gordon Reed.
Rev Elizabeth Kitching with her illustrators Janice Springall and Gordon Reed.

Revd. Liz Kitching said she got ‘a total buzz’ from writing the books, each of which is taken from a well-known Bible story. The first is called: ‘It’s fun being an angel’ and relates to stories found in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament and the Gospel of Luke.

Liz said: "It gave me a total buzz writing these books.

"When I went to collect the first book from the printers, I sat and held them in their packets and sort of hugged them. It's actually like having a child because you've produced something that's come out of you."

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Liz showing her new books.

The idea to write a book dated back to the 1990s but it was not until the pandemic that Liz finally got around to putting pen to paper.

She said: "I suppose I’ve been busy for the last 30 years doing other stuff.

"I had more free time during the pandemic. I’d been leading a team of folks going into local schools acting out Bible stories but we couldn’t do that because of Covid.

"So I wrote an online story for Cayton Primary School called: ‘TheRevd cheeky sheep’. I so enjoyed it, and found it so easy, that I thought ‘I’ll have another go’’.

Liz’s books are beautifully illustrated by Gordon Reed, her next door neighbour in Osgodby, and Janice Springall of Falsgrave, and printed by McRay Press. Scarborough

"When Gordon showed me the drafts of his drawings, I could have cried.

"They were so perfect. They catch my humour, but they’ve got Gordon’s own stamp all over them."

A key part of each of story is fun, a reflection, Liz says, of her character and childhood memories.

"Humour goes through me like Scarborough through a stick of rock," she said.

"The things I remember most fondly about my childhood are the times when I was rolling about laughing with my uncles. They all had a ridiculous sense of humour, but I absolutely loved them all because they were so silly.

"I was talking to a friend of mine. Her granddaughter is nine and reading books about monsters or being scared of the dentist, and I thought, 'What a horrible book for a kid to have to read, what if she's frightened of dentists already!"

"That was my motivation. I thought I’m going to write books that won't frighten children but will bless them, make them cheerful and happy."

Revd. Kitching, 71, was for 20 years an infant and nursery teacher in London and Scarborough before training for ministry, becoming vicar at churches in north Scarborough in 2005 before retiring eight years ago.

"Not very many schools these days allow you to talk about your faith,’ she said. "It's a taboo subject. This is just a gentle way of saying to children, actually there is a Christian holy book and it's called the Bible."

One of Liz’s friend was so bowled over after reading the books that she sent copies to the Queen, the Prime Minister and Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, to read to their grandchildren and children.

"It would be great to think the Queen may read these books to her great grandchildren, or Boris Johnson reading them to his son," said Liz.

She added: "It’s absolutely gorgeous to think people can read these books to their kids and have fun, picking out the little pictures and what the characters are doing in them. Yes, it's a lovely feeling."

The books, which are suitable for all children, are £2 each and can be bought direct from Liz at [email protected]

Revd. Kitching can be seen reading each story on YouTube, at YouTube Liz Kitching.