Truth can be communicated through various methods. Some people struggle with abstract theology, but would enjoy a novel which communicates the same concepts. Least of All Saints is such a novel. It opens with Andrew Connington’s conversion under the ministry of John Wesley, then moves forward five generations to his namesake. Although young Andrew Connington has entered the ministry, he struggles with agnosticism. This account is reminiscent of the more famous George MacDonald novel, The Curate’s Awakening, the story of Thomas Wingfold. But while MacDonald deals with the legalism of the Scotch Calvinism in his day, Irwin seeks to introduce a later liberal Methodism to its heritage.
The author taught high school Latin, Greek, English and Ancient History as Head of the Classics at Humberside Collegiate Institute in Toronto until 1969. Some years after her retirement in 1969, she unexpectedly found herself co-pastor, then pastor, of her church in West Toronto, where she was ordained by the Christian Congregational Conference of Ontario in 1980. She continues to live in Toronto and celebrated her hundredth birthday in April of 2007.
She has written eight novels, including Least of All Saints. The same theological emphasis continues in the two remaining volumes of the trilogy: Andrew Connington (1958) and Contend with Horses (1968). While Least of All Saints is not currently in print, it was last reprinted in 1976 and you can locate a used copy quite inexpensively.
Dr. Vic Reasoner