Hard Work Never Killed Anybody: how the idolisation of work sustains this deadly lie, by John Bottomley

hard_work_never_killed_anybody_MSP_9781925208863_cover1This book’s title is an irony: it examines how people do die at work (about 2,900 Australians per year). Victorian Rev John Bottomley has been a Uniting Church pioneer in work-related death and grief.

This book traces his involvement with the next of kin and colleagues of workers who died. Even if some of the economic and legal aspects of the deaths are dealt with by the company or government agency, there are still many lingering aspects of spiritual distress.

It is an honest personal memoir of his own learning journey, beginning with parish ministry in 1974. The book is well worth reading not only for the harrowing substantive matters it addresses, but also as an account of someone who recognised a need and set about addressing it.

This work included the creation of the Uniting Church Creative Ministries Network and is a fine example of the Uniting Church’s solidarity with workers and returned defence personnel (albeit with problems with some church bureaucrats).

Bottomley has got himself into a few difficulties over the years for having such a caring heart. An inspiring story.

Keith Suter

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