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The Diary of a Country Priest


Judges' and contributors' comments

Rupert Shortt: The Diary of a Country Priest (1936) is about the trials faced by a rural pastor. His life is not easy. The congregation do not respect him; he confronts one melancholy experience after another. Yet the story still feels uplifting when viewed with the eye of faith. Part of Bernanos’s point is that service of God is often experienced as mundane and unfulfilling at the time. ‘If you ever see the passing truth … don’t expect her to make eyes at you.’ Moreover, Bernanos, like Belloc and Chesterton in England, did a good deal to promote dialogue between Christianity and culture in France and continental Europe.

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