The Rev’d Elaine Farmer is an Anglican priest based in Canberra and regularly preaches at St James’. She is a writer who has developed a specialised ministry in preaching throughout Australia and overseas, including preaching at Westminster Abbey and St Thomas’ Fifth Avenue, New York.
Letters from Lockdown
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Hilarious, poignant, witty and wise … Letters from Lockdown: Friendship Going Viral takes you not only inside the brilliant and quirky mind of Elaine Farmer, but also on a journey around the world. Farmer draws on her rich and varied experience to offer her reader a smorgasbord of insights into love and friendship, family, diplomacy, theology, psychology, hospitality, travel, sickness and death, all suffused with joy and more than a touch of defiance. These are letters you’ve always wished someone would write to you, and now she has! They might even inspire you to write some of your own.
–Hugh Mackay, Psychologist and Social Researcher
Elaine Farmer’s letters to her friends have put relaxed sparkle into their lives during these COVID months. Then someone rightly decided they deserved a wider audience.
An Anglican priest married to a diplomat (which is as uncommon as it sounds), Farmer’s insights — based on her life in Australia and abroad — demonstrate a charitable humour and a robust worldliness. Showing an understanding of the vicissitudes of life and non- judgemental, they also illustrate why she is a good priest.
–John McCarthy AO, Retired Australian Ambassador
Always interesting and often nostalgic, these weekly letters have become welcome companions on the uncharted journey of 2020. In beautiful prose, and with deep spirituality and a generous heart, Elaine explores universal themes of friendship, hospitality and relationship, giving the letters a wider appeal than their original audience. Thought- provoking reflection is nicely balanced with humour and whimsy.
–Bishop Sarah Macneil
One good thing can be said for a pandemic: gifted writers may use this time to produce new works in the shadow of death. From Boccaccio’s Decameron to Shakespeare’s sonnets to Defoe’s Journal of a Plague Year, writers have transformed their experiences of quarantine into storytelling of the highest quality. The Reverend Elaine Farmer’s take on this tradition, Letters from Lockdown: Friendship Going Viral, is an intimate and often droll account of her days and nights in Canberra and abroad. In her reflections on her childhood, her children, her foreign postings as a diplomat’s wife, and her calling to the Anglican ministry, Elaine offers a praise-song to friendship and love — the gifts we most need in this complicated time.
–Christopher Merrill, Director, International Writing Program, The University of Iowa, and author of Self-Portrait with Dogwood
Elaine Farmer is an Anglican priest based in Canberra. She is a writer who has developed a specialised ministry in preaching throughout Australia and overseas, including preaching at Westminster Abbey and St Thomas’ Fifth Avenue, New York.