Canon Ronald Smythe's book "Not One Sparrow"Canon Ronald Smythe
Ronald Smythe retired in 2001. His book "Not One Sparrow"
Published in 2001 - is detailed here together with the publisher's note:

"From early days he and his family were faced with a series of setbacks and challenges, not in themselves exceptional, but severe enough to arouse doubts about the Creator’s benevolence. Could one really believe Christ’s statement that ‘Not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent.’?

As growing awareness of spiritual reality gradually brought him to faith in the Father of Jesus Christ, he tested out a possible call to Christian ministry. First by presenting himself for ordination and undergoing training, and then by going to teach Palestinian children (mainly refugees) in Jerusalem for two years. Once ordained, to his amazement he found the life of a clergyman immensely fulfilling with some 20,000 cockneys in an LCC Out County estate, where he learnt the Spirit’s power to build up, heal and strengthen a community. He also became convinced that, if Christians were to give effective pastoral care, they needed to be more aware of the behavioural sciences.

He then embarked upon part time training, and took on diocesan work while learning to care for a more diverse community. When the future was again uncertain he undertook a second journey, working for six months in South Africa and visiting third world countries on the way home, including Kenya, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, where he felt called to become a therapist. Returning to train full time with the Richmond Fellowship and other psycho-therapeutic bodies while continuing to work part time as a vicar, he joined the group setting up the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. Becoming a founder member of its training institute, and going on to help establish three WPF counselling centres in East Anglia.

Through nearly fifty years of parochial work and over thirty in counselling, often with very damaged people Ronald Smythe has come to believe deeply in an eternal Father who cares for the least sparrow. He also considers that Christ’s saving love will be a lot more effective in practice if caring agencies like the Church make more consistent use of the gifts and skills revealed to us through scientific study of human nature."

"Ronald Smythe writes about a varied and wide ranging career in an engaging style, accessible to members of all faiths and philosophies, those who practice religion and those who do not, and invites the reader into a unique engagement with some conundrums and challenges of twentieth century life. He has recently retired and resides near Southwold on the Suffolk coast."