Brian Mountford
Writer, Publisher, Speaker

 
November 2021
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‘should be on the reading list at every sane theological college’ – Mari Prichard, writer

‘Church of England priest pulls no punches…refreshingly honest’ – Amazon reviewer

‘in elegant, clear, beautifully nuanced prose, this book is a pleasure to read’ – Amazon reviewer

‘I’d lay a bet you won’t find another clerical autobiography as entertaining…and disarmingly honest as this one’ Amazon reviewer

‘compellingly readable, disjointed, amusing, wise, opinionated, radical’ – Church Times

Available NOW on Amazon and Blackwell's.

This is a book more about life than religion, a book for everyman and woman. It has escaped the religious ghetto.

What people are saying about 'Church Going Gone'

Philip Pullman
CHURCH GOING GONE is the work of a man of great goodness, considerable stubbornness, and and not a little cunning. How can a person of liberal, humane, and imaginative instincts survive in the modern Church of England? Brian Mountford has not only survived, but for thirty years had the living of St Mary’s, the University Church in Oxford, the site of events of enormous consequence such as the trial of the Oxford Martyrs in 1555, and the centre of a busy and intellectually challenging modern parish. In the course of his life as a priest Mountford aroused enormous admiration not only for his liberal stance but also for his personal qualities of kindness and open-mindedness, and for the imaginative (and occasionally provocative) way in which he welcomed speakers from many different traditions to his church. All his qualities are vividly present in this book, as well as a lively gift for scene-setting and character-drawing. I enjoyed it enormously.

Professor Jane Shaw, Principal of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford 
Brian Mountford has written a witty and captivating memoir. He brilliantly evokes the utterly different world of the Church of England in the late sixties and, through the story of his own ministry, offers a fascinating - and sobering - perspective on the sea changes that the Church has undergone over the past fifty years.

 

John Simpson, English foreign correspondent and world affairs editor of BBC News
This charming and deeply insightful book is a real pleasure to read, and has the power to make its readers rethink their most basic beliefs.

 

Griselda Heppel, Children's Author

Your thunderclap of an opening is a stroke of genius; for a moment I wondered if you were channelling one of those BBC clergy sitcoms of the 1970s, in which by a series of hilarious mishaps, the poor, respectable curate is denounced for wild sexual shenanigans… but to find that’s exactly what happened to you, thanks to your filthy-minded vicar, beggars belief. And then you forgave the rotter, decades later, when he apologised - which I know is what we’re meant to do - but I’d have found it hard, considering what he put you through at the time.
You write beautifully, giving a valuable insight into a clergyman’s life and the inscrutable (actually, a bit of open scrutiny is much to be desired), partial, archaic structure of the C of E, while your own enlightened, creative, generous, all-embracing interpretation of liberal Christianity shines through. This is such an unusual memoir for all these reasons.

                                        'Religion and Generation Z

                                   - why seventy per cent of young people say they have no religion'.

                                            Essays by Oxford students on why 70% of their age group has 'no religion'. Subjects                                              include: loss of certainty, culture shift, science, being brought up Muslim,                                                              feminism, Catholicism, music, the environment, and the future of religion. This                                                  gives a platform to voices not normally heard.   

                                            In 2017 NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey published statistics that 53% of the                                                people in Britain say they have ‘no religion’ and that of those 70% of the 18-24 age-                                                group claim to have no religion. This collection of essays by Oxford graduate and                                                  undergraduate students attempts to say why. The essays are individual responses                                                rather than a systematic examination of the question. Atheist, Agnostic, Irish, Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim views are represented. 
The purpose was to explain a social trend but, in the process of writing, several of the contributors have, as if by chance, produced material which is richly meditative that can be read both for information and as spiritual reflection.

The Editor, Brian Mountford, is concerned that, within church and religious circles, the religious views of the young are often discussed by older clergy and writers but rarely heard first hand. This book is a partial remedy. Mountford has written opening and closing essays, introducing the topic and finally asking what future there is for religion.

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Other Current Interests

  • I am Publisher-at-Large for John Hunt Publishing's Christian Alternative imprint and looking for books that take a radical look at Christianity.

  • I'm also a public speaker on a range of subjects in the area of ethics, contemporary religion, and leadership, but especially on the 'problems of belief in a secular age'.

  • I give seminars on leadership. I'm an experienced conference facilitator covering liberal arts topics.

  • I am a Supernumerary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford. 

  • In Trinity term 2022 I shall be Acting Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.