The Reverend Sue Allison, Rector of the Bain Valley Group, has written a book inspired by her mother, Shirley Marina Houlden, and her love of writing letters.

The book is called Grandma’s Letter and it is a celebration of love and the written word and its power to change hearts and minds. 

A prolific letter writer, Shirley wrote not only to family and friends but also to strangers if she had read about an act of bravery or endeavour in the local paper. 

Two very keen recipients of the letters were Sue’s two sons whom Grandma called her little ‘sweethearts’. She wrote to them to remind them of all the ways that she loved and admired them. Sue kept some of the many letters her mum wrote to her two sons and one very special letter formed part of both their wedding ceremonies.

Sue said: “I told the story of the book to some children as part of their collective worship in school in connection with how we keep in touch with people; just as how following the Ascension the apostles wrote to people to help them on their Christian journey. 

“The book is inspired by children as I am passionate about children’s spirituality but it’s aimed at both adults and children. I have received some wonderful feedback from children saying they think it is ‘awesome’ and another said they read it with their mum and think its lovely. If my mum were still alive she would be absolutely thrilled to know that her letters and actions were touching the lives of other people.”

Copies of the book are available priced £7.99 from Sue (she may be contacted via email here), and the profit from the sale of the books is going to the funding of ministry to children across Sue’s four parishes.