“I cry aloud to God” says the psalmist. This website is intended to help you do just that too.

Most of us go through times when we need or want to cry. Some of us find that hard to do.

The psalms are the prayers of those who have gone before us in faith and learned how to cry to God. We can learn from them, and follow in their footsteps, so that we too can cry hard.

In my experience, there are plenty reasons to cry hard – to lament – not least all the pain and suffering in the world as we live in the now-and-not-yet of God’s kingdom.

This website supports my publications in this area and I hope to develop it with a range of resources for lament in Christian prayer and worship. Do contact me to make suggestions.

I might occasionally write a blog entry.

I hope that the resources here will help you as you cry out to God over whatever is on your heart.

Simon Stocks


The Psalms: Really Useful Guide

This is the first Old Testament title in an exciting new series produced by the Bible Reading Fellowship. Each Really Useful Guide is a short, accessible guide to a book of the Bible, bringing it to life for the reader, enabling them to understand its meaning and apply its truth in their day-to-day lives.

It is not a technical commentary or introduction, but provides just enough background and context, so that you will be well equipped to read the Psalms for yourself and make good use of them.

It is intended for the general Christian reader, home group leaders, lay readers and anyone who just wants to know a little bit more about the Psalms. It explains things that might otherwise be difficult or off-putting and it demonstrates how the psalms can be useful in contemporary Christian life.

It is available through the BRF website. A review by Jules Middleton is here and one by Thomas Renz is here.

Songs for Suffering

Songs for Suffering is a practical and immediately accessible handbook to help anyone to pray when they are feeling troubled. It is written in an engaging style, with practical suggestions for using the psalms of lament and for forming your own prayers in the light of your circumstances.

It is available now from Christian bookshops and from ChristianBook.com (for USA),  Ritchie Christian media (UK) and in Australia from Koorong as well as the usual online retailers.

A review by Jules Middleton is here and one by Tanya Marlow is here.

My friend Amy Perry has produced a set of artwork – one piece for each chapter – that accompanies the book. This is available with additional commentary here.

Resource for Pastors / Ministers

An earlier booklet that covers more of the thinking behind Songs for Suffering was published as a Grove booklet and is available here (as either print copy or e-book download). This booklet is intended for pastors and ministers – those who have pastoral responsibility for others.


On Advent and Activism

This is the time of year when the words of my one-time tutor, David Runcorn, are ringing in my ears: “The trouble in Narnia is that it’s always Winter and never Christmas. Our trouble is that it’s always Christmas and never Advent.”


My name is Simon Stocks and I teach Biblical Studies at St Augustine’s College of Theology. This is one of the Church of England’s ministerial training colleges, and is based in the south east of England. It is a non-residential college, and we teach in a variety of venues.

I am an ordained priest in the Church of England and minister in the parish of Christ Church, Purley, in the Diocese of Southwark. I trained for ministry at Trinity College Bristol, where I embarked upon my research into the contemporary use of the psalms.

Before that I had a career in civil engineering, working mainly in the railway industry in design and project management. I was Principal Engineer for a section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link that connects London with the Channel Tunnel.

My academic interests also cover aspects of the structure of Hebrew poetry. My doctoral research in this field was conducted through Cliff College in Derbyshire, and was supervised by David Firth. I was glad of trips to the Peak District, being a keen walker and having grown up in south Manchester.

I am one of those seemingly rare breed of Manchester United fans: one from Manchester.

Contact me via the college office or @simonpstocks