About us

Keith White writes;

Since 1976 my wife Ruth and I have lived with hurting children and young people. The name of our home is Mill Grove. It has been my family home for four generations, and since 1899 over 1000 children have come to live with us. We have tried to find ways of understanding the stories, experiences, feelings, needs, gifts, resilience of these children, and The Growth of Love describes something of what we have discovered.

Keith White talks to a childThe five main themes of the book, and the Study Guide, emerged as I reflected on daily life at Mill Grove. I drew from three main sources. The first was my direct experience of being with the children. Then there was the theory that informs much child psychology, social work, teaching and therapy. The third was the Christian faith including biblical and systematic theology.

The fact was that in all the ups and downs, surprises and messiness of life together, it was obvious that love was growing in some of the children, and between them. I could see that not only in the children living at Mill Grove at the time, but also in many of those who had moved on, and had become parents and grandparents. So I tried to work out what sort of things had helped this love to grow. The book attempts to describe the five main factors as I see them.

In some ways Mill Grove is a rather unusual, some would say, special place, but I was keen to focus on what we have learnt, rather than on the way we live and do things. Love grows worldwide in all sorts of places and in many different ways. Was it possible to find common themes? Reactions to the book around the world seem to suggest that it is.

So however you connect with children: whether as a parent, teacher, carer, friend, nurse, doctor, or coach my hope is that the book will help you to see how love is growing and how you can help it to grow.

Some of those reading the book have been professionals, and they have found helpful insights; others are involved with children in families and church; some are Christians, others are not. The whole idea of the five themes is that whatever your role, training or beliefs, you will find ways of reflecting on how you relate to children, and how you can help love to grow.

One of the main arguments of The Growth of Love is that it takes a village for love to grow, and that every adult is potentially part of that “village” with opportunities to nurture the growth of love. It has been encouraging to hear from doctors, nurses, teachers, grandparents, teachers, psychologists and therapists, who have found encouragement and useful insights by means of the book. I hope that the Study Guide proves just as, if not more useful.

The Writing Team

The writing team bring a wealth of experience of working amongst children over many years.

The team is;

Dr Keith White

Martyn Payne

Tony Cantale

Steve Kersys