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Hugs from above  

Baptist minister Patrick Coghlan introduces his latest book, a resource of reflections and prayers for those who have entered into retirement and later life

HugsfromAboveIt is with great pleasure that I announce the publication of my new book Hugs from Above – book number 39 (41 counting two that came out only as e books).

A great friend phoned this morning after seeing the book cover, saying, ‘And isn’t that what everybody needs at the moment? – A hug!’

God is great at hugging; he has plenty of hugs available; and social distancing does not prevent us from receiving one.
Hugs from Above is about retirement and later life, and ironically it has been published only weeks after I became eligible to receive my state pension. It is primarily a resource of reflections and prayers for those who have entered into retirement and later life. It looks at some of the changes that take place, and some of the difficulties that might be experienced at such a time – pointing the reader towards some helpful and encouraging verses from the Bible. Hugs from Above also offers the challenge of considering starting some new ventures after retirement or in later life.       

The prayers are relevant, uncomplicated and honest. They look at feelings, fears, anxieties, joys, thanksgiving, hopes and dreams. Prayer is the key that unlocks the power and unconditional love of God to flow into our lives, and the lives of those that we love and care about, in amazing ways – just like a big hug from God! Hugs from Above encourages the reader to pray with faith and expectation.
Let me tell you a little about myself, and my background: I am the minister at Worstead Baptist Church in Meeting Hill (North Norfolk). I am also the chaplain of Aylsham and district Care Trust (ACT), and the manager of ACT Counselling Services – both of which are based in the ACT Centre, in Aylsham. ACT is a Christian community care charity, and does a lot of work with older people – but not solely. The ACT Centre is part of the St Michael’s Care Complex.

In my work as a minister, chaplain and counsellor, I have had considerable experience of working with people of most age groups, in the context of providing ministry and care. This book follows several other books that I have written for people who are in retirement and/or later life: Never Too Old (Moorleys); A Glass of Homemade Lemonade (Veritas); Creating Church At Home (Kevin Mayhew); and Still Valued and Blessed (Kevin Mayhew).

Patrick Coghlan1I am married to June and we have two grown-up children – Rachel and Jonathan – and June and I have recently become grandparents to Isabella. What a joy that is. For my leisure I enjoy quality family time, dog walking and going out on my red 1950s style motorcycle.
I have been an enthusiastic author for many years. I began by putting together little books of poetry, and getting some of my poems included in anthologies. I had my first book published by Moorleys, in 2001 – Anytime – Chats with God (informal prayer). I have written a variety of Christian resources for different age groups, and some family novels.
So, why did I write Hugs from Above? First of all, I love writing for God. Secondly, I feel that God has given me a real heart to bring words of truth, comfort, and encouragement to people in later life. Thirdly, I love writing prayers for people to use. And fourthly, when God gives me the idea for a new book, it just seems to flow. I do believe that it is from God the inspiration comes – and I thank and praise him for that.
Book number 40 is at the publishers, waiting to come out.
Might I conclude by saying, “I have no intention of retiring at the moment!”

Patrick Coghlan is the minister at Worstead Baptist Church in Meeting Hill (North Norfolk). He is also the chaplain of Aylsham and district Care Trust (ACT), and the manager of ACT Counselling Services

His latest book Hugs from Above is available from Kevin Mayhew.


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Baptist Times, 22/02/2021
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