Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Congregation” as Want to Read:
The Congregation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Congregation

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A bustling mining town in 1970s England awaits the arrival of their new vicar. People are not sure what to expect as the rather aloof Reverend Matthews descends upon his unfamiliar parish, but nevertheless he is welcomed with open arms and gathered into the flock.

However, on discovering a journal left by his predecessor, the clergyman soon begins to wonder what secrets
Kindle Edition, 195 pages
Published December 15th 2016 by Creativia
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Congregation, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Congregation

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  215 ratings  ·  38 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Congregation
Margaret Millmore
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bit of a departure from my normal read, sort of quirky and odd, but really enjoyed it.

Reverend Matthews is the new vicar for a small mining town in England. He’s extremely hesitant about his new post, but soon discovers his predecessor left a ledger in which he wrote all the town peoples’ secrets, some aren’t really secrets as such, while others definitely are.

I really enjoyed reading about all the interesting people of this bustling 1970s mining town, the author does a wonderful job in her
Phil Price
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having read other titles from this author, I was looking forward to reading The Congregation.

A new vicar arrives in a sleepy mining town, trying to remain detached from his new congregation. However, they slowly work their way into his life, Reverand Matthews becoming more accepting of them. But things are not as they seem? They all seem to harbour secrets, the vicar himself having hidden demons, shrouded from his flock. The story keeps you hooked, new mysteries and secrets never quite reaching
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, kindle
This book felt very episodic; I am not sure how much would be lost if the chapters were reshuffled in a different order. Characters who starred in one chapter did not appear in the rest of the book, or were just mentioned once. The stories are so people-based, they could be pretty much timeless but at times it felt as though the 70s background was being really overemphasised.

My main problem with this book, however, was the ending. I was shocked that Archie was so unchristian. It then led me to
Pete Adams
The Congregation by A.J. Griffiths-Jones

A Review by Pete Adams – author

Captivating writing, consummate storytelling – AJ is fast becoming a favourite.

This is the third book I have read by A.J. Griffiths-Jones. I have never been disappointed and have already purchased another, and while the other books were not looking, I slipped it up my ‘to be read’ list.
I have found that AJ has a way of writing that draws the reader into her mildly eccentric characters while, almost unaware, a sine wave of
Kandi A. Hudson
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Held My Interest

This is the third book of this series that I have read and really enjoyed this one except the ending was sad. The book is about secrets that people have. Some secrets are funny, others poignant, others some people judge as not forgivable. It is in the unforgivable that the harm is done, not only for the person with the secret but for the person who learns the secret and cannot accept it. Lots of situations and lots of things to contemplate in this book of semi-fiction! A good
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't want to like this, but I somehow did nonetheless.
Thing is, this book is supposed to be a cozy mystery. And I suppose, in a way, it is, but I kept waiting for someone to be murdered, like in Agatha Christie's stories.
So the mysteries were less suspenseful than I had wanted, but somehow the author kept engaging me with the characters.
The ending was a bit... not sure I understood where all the sudden rage came from, and so it felt a bit unfulfilling.
But all in all, this is a very enjoyable
Alysa Blackwood
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got The Congregation as a free Valentine's gift on Kindle, and straight away, I warmed to the characters who were complex and believable.
It is a period book, set in the 1970's and even though I was very young, there were aspects of social history that I remembered which made it more interesting.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, I really enjoyed reading this.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kenna McKinnon
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A tightly woven collection of vignettes about human nature which is knit together by the observations of two Church of England priests, one from a journal written by his predecessor. The man of the cloth is very human and seems constantly surprised by the revelations both of his parishioners and by his own human nature. In contrast to many reviewers, I felt the ending evolved naturally from a cycle over which the priest had little control, given his own fallibility, but easily could have been ...more
Peggy A. Murray
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

I really got into this book, very good reading but toward the end there was a twist that just didn't fit with the rest of the book and then I was left hanging at the end like the lady or the tiger left to my own to figure out the rest of the story and there doesn't seem to be a sequel...would I read a sequel, I don't know, considering the twist...I gave 4 stars because I didn't like the twist, perhaps deserved 5 because it got me thinking or even 1'because it could have had a nice
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would have given the book 5 stars, but it ended rather abruptly and unsatisfactorily. I loved it right up until the last few pages.

If you like the tv series, Midsomer Murders, you'll like this book. It's not a murder mystery, but it has the same kind of quirky characters that Midsomer had in the early seasons. The characters are multi-dimensional and well developed. You find yourself caring about the characters and how their lives go.
Jim Ross
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked the book until the last chapter and epilogue. It ends abruptly and out of character for the lead person in the book. Wouldn’t recommend it to others.
Grandma Grace
May 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Lousy ending

The reverend turned out to be an forgiving fool. Hated the ending. The story was good until then. Such a let down
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It was intertaining. I felt it ended abruptly and without the Reverend Matthews dealing with his demons. Didn't like the ending.
Patricia Stringer
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

Enjoyed meeting the different characters making up the congregation. Did not see the ending which was a bonus. Good read
David Stimpson
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I Was enjoying this until a Very Poor Last Chapter ... Really Messed up the Whole Book
Virginia Tican
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in 1975 (at the time of a new wave of enlightenment when the brash and the young were breaking established norms and asserting themselves more forcefully) was a troubled Anglican priest and World War II veteran sent to a new and bigger parish to help him deal with his own demons and make a fresh start. Told with 'it~is~what~it~is' pragmatism, this realistic account of the members of Rev. Matthew's flock's issues (sometimes funny and sometimes poignantly tragic) are so relatable and evocative ...more
Bryan D.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having grown up in a parsonage (Yes, I'm a P.K.), I was intrigued at the idea of reading about life in an Anglican vicarage. What I can say is that A.J. Griffiths-Jones has got it right in her description of what as a youth I described as life in a fish bowl. Everyone is watching the pastor (and by extension his family), and while my father never had a housekeeper, with her own secrets, he did have parishioners spread across four states who undoubtedly had many of their own. Just as Vicar Archie ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first book I've read by this author and I found her writing style easy to read. The plotline (a vicar's interactions with his mining community - a new commitment for him) is full of twists and turns as you get to know the protaganist and the cast of characters (including the cat - a real character). Unfortunately, the amount of typos disturbed the flow which could have been corrected had an editor been involved. I also found the ending abrupt (as if the author had limitations) and ...more
Berk Rourke
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my third book from this author. She is excellent. She draws her characters realistically, weaves them through the various scenarios of the story appropriately, handles ticklish topics exceedingly well, and creates very fast reading and enjoyable books. I don't know what more needs to be said other than this gathering of anecdotes about a Vicar (I think we in the U.S. would call him a preacher) and his congregation, as well as the rest of the town in which he labors, was wonderful. I will ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Looking into the life of a Priest

A look into a minister’s life was interesting. Yes, they are Godly men but need companionship in this earthly world. How many have ever given thought to the lonely life priests live? Parishioners go home to family while the priest returns to his lonely place of dwelling. I hope to follow Fr Matthews wherever he goes and wish him always the best! Great read!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Set in the 1970s, an English vicar discovers secrets about his parishioners thanks to writings left by the previous vicar. Each chapter deals with a different member of the congregation. The ending seemed out of character for the vicar. I hadn’t expected him to be so judgmental and unforgiving, especially since had inappropriate feelings for the married woman. Would he have forgiven a man more easily for having a scandalous past?
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This is book 3 in this series but it can be read easily be read as a stand alone. I love the way A.J. Griffiths-Jones writes this fun different series. I love that the chapters are not really connected almost like short stories but it all comes together. These villages in England are a kick. They seem all sweet and boring but once the secrets start being revealed you see so much more.
Alice Stuber
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book up to the ending. Each chapter is, for the most part, a self contained little story dealing with a different character or family in the village. Their relationship with Archie, the vicar, strings the stories together. I lived the very Britishness of it. However, the abrupt and unforgiving ending just ruined it for me. I wanted a relenting spirit.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First I read the Circus, then The Villagers, and just finished The Congregation. They were all different and told the stories of the people and secrets in each book. Great author, A.J. Griffiths-Jones
Vicki Cheney
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice story but distracting editing errors

I did read all the book but at times considered stopping because of the punctuation errors particularly. There are some interesting characters and a readable story, but the ending seemed abrupt.
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story of a troubled vicar

A touching narrative about a vicar and his congregation in a small English Village. I was completely wrapped up in it. I couldn't bear it when he was upset. The story ended far too soonto

Nancy L. Sullivan
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I have become a huge fan of A.J. Griffiths-Jones! The characters are so real, so thoughtfully created. I loved this story and I am looking forward to the next one!
Judy Martinez
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book!

This book is a bit quirky and different. Cant wait to read the next one. Well written. I look forward to reading more from this author!
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Explosions: 4.5 Stars - A great read! 1 4 Apr 19, 2017 09:07AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • It Began With a Lie (Secrets of Redemption #1)
  • Bone Maker
  • Blues, Butterflies & Murder (Myrtle Grove Garden Club Mystery Book 5)
  • The Secret of Willow Inn (Willow Falls, #1)
  • Mildred in Disguise with Diamonds (Mildred Unchained #1)
  • The Fifth Juror (Women of Redemption #2)
  • The Defenseless (Brandon Fisher FBI, #3)
  • Foliage and Fatality (The Mystery Sisters Book 2)
  • Gardenias and a Grave Mistake (Diana Flowers Floriculture Mysteries #1)
  • Uncle and Ants (Silicon Valley Mystery #1)
  • The Complete Kate Benedict Cozy British Mysteries (The Kate Benedict Series)
  • Geronimo's Bones
  • Family Secrets (Whispering Pines Mystery #1)
  • Murder on Tyneside
  • Backwater Bay (Kurt Hunter Mysteries, #1)
  • Chips of Red Paint
  • Back Story (Reed Ferguson Mystery #10)
  • Off the Beadin' Path (Glass Bead Mystery, #3)
See similar books…
A.J.Griffiths-Jones is a historian & genealogist with a special interest in Victorian Crime. After a decade of living & working in China, she now lives in Shropshire, England. A.J's interests include cooking, travelling & swimming.
Her debut book 'Prisoner 4374' was the result of ten years research in to the life of Dr.Thomas Neill Cream, the notorious Lambeth Poisoner & Jack the