writer, publisher, and speaker
Welcome to my Website which tells you a bit about me and introduces what I am up to at the moment in writing and publishing and also lists some of the events I am taking part in.
I am Publisher at Large for Collective Ink Books publishing under the 'Circle Books' imprint. In January, in the Quaker Quicks series, I published 'The Promise of Right Relationship' by Pamela Haines. In March 24 I shall publish, 'In Search of Hope' by Joanna Godfrey Wood and 'Paths to the Personal' by R. Melvin Keiser.
I am particularly interested in books that seek to make the Christian Faith intelligible to people who are curious about the spiritual meaning of life but have little grounding in traditional theology and little interest in institutional religion. Organised religion is socially marginalised in our society and regarded by many with suspicion, yet there remains an unsatisfied thirst for purpose, moral direction, and the search for the meaning of life.
I am looking for books proposals right now and can be contacted via this website.
I am currently writing
about how intuition is at the root of religious experience and how quantum physics, and ideas about consciousness, make some some aspects of ancient religious experience seem much more up-to-date. With the working title, 'God - closing the culture gap', I am also trying to explain why, as a longstanding liberal critic of the Church, I continue to serve as an active priest with genuine belief in the future of the Christian religion.
Temporary Parish Ministry
From May 2024 I shall be looking after three parishes in rural Oxfordshire, including Islip, where I live. Our fulltime Rector has retired and our part time local priest will retire at the end of April. The whole benefice comprises eight parishes and already I am seeing the problems of rural ministry in a new light, having only in the past worked in city centre churches and university colleges. Imagine eight PCCs, sixteen churchwardens, eight church treasurers, each parish understandably wanting its fair share of services. And, perhaps above all eight historic buildings, most very beautiful and most crumbling with bits dropping off and insufficient funds to keep them in order.
‘Compellingly readable, disjointed, amusing, wise, opinionated, radical’ – Church Times
'Witty and captivating memoir' - Professor Jane Shaw
'All his qualities are vividly present in this book, as well as a lively gift for scene-setting and character-drawing' - Philip Pullman
‘I’d lay a bet you won’t find another clerical autobiography as entertaining…and disarmingly honest as this one’ Amazon reviewer
‘Should be on the reading list at every sane theological college’ – Mari Prichard
Recording of Oxford Literary Festival interview with Angela Tilby CLICK PICTURE OF BODLEIAN LIBRARY ON LEFT
And then there's Religion and Generation Z - why seventy per cent of young people say they have no religion', a collection of essays by Oxford students, which I edited and published in 2022
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.
Other Current Interests
I'm also a public speaker (listen to recording above) 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'm an experienced conference facilitator covering liberal arts topics.
I am a Supernumerary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford.
Philip Pullman writes about Church Going Gone
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.