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Diary of a Heretic: The Pagan Adventures of a Christian Priest

Diary of a Heretic: The Pagan Adventures of a Christian Priest [Kindle Edition]

Mark Townsend
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In June 2007 Rev. Mark Townsend resigned from his ministry as a priest after his decision to share his story of brokenness and failure with the hierarchy. This book is the irreverent and whimsical, yet honest and gut-wrenching, story of his struggle to hold on to a faith within a world that seemed to be against him. It is a story that brings hope to all those who feel the established Western religious path has lost sight of compassion, grace and the one who could easily have been called ‘Friend of Failures.’ As the author gradually digs himself out of the consequential gutter the reader will discover that all such failures can be redeemed and may even produce glittering nuggets of gold. More importantly, the reader will begin to see that his or her own failure can also lead to real moments of magic - so long as it is not repressed but accepted. A major underlying theme of the whole diary is the notion that real magic does exist, and that the magical traditions such as Druidry can be a major blessing for those who crave for something more.

About the Author

Mark Townsend is a combination of priest, magician and writer, who uses seemingly opposing forces as equal gifts in our search for the meaning of life. He lives in Leominster, UK.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1422 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1782792716
  • Publisher: Moon Books (27 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EPQ7Y4U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,771 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I knew of Mark years ago. 3 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well, what a 24 hours this has been.
I received the book yesterday, and finished it fully this afternoon. It really has been a day of revelations and synchronicity in abundance for me as I have read this book.
As someone who spent much time in and working for the Church of England, and even considering the life of a vicar in my more hopeful times, I found Mark's experiences resonate with me page after page.
And it recently that I have realised how much I miss Jesus, as part of my life, and worship. I rather stumbled across paganism and embraced the belief of the Goddess aspect, and it has been that a lot that has sustained me. But I also miss the fellowship, of like minded people, and Mark, from reading this book, and from knowing him a little on Facebook, I can see is a like minded soul. He appreciates and values the earth based religions, and looks for magic all around.
This book is not a wishy washy happy ever after auto biography. There is pain and hurt in the pages, confusion, and often a not knowing where to go or how to be authentic. And all these things I can resonate with and I feel confident now that my belief in the Goddess, and the more pagan aspects of worship, do not need to separate me from the parts of Christianity I did love and have grown up with. He also reminds us how the church is a human construct, and imperfect, and we have been a part of that imperfection if we have been part of the Church of England. But we don't need to remain boxed in and change or hide our beliefs to have a very real relationship with the Creator.
My last part of reading this book was actually spent at the Reading Seat he mentions in the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, Authentic and Inspiring 3 Oct 2013
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, Mark Townsend opens his heart and soul to the reader. Far from being narcissistic, this is a glimpse through the window of another person's soul which also acts as a mirror into our own. It is brave, authentic and deeply inspiring.
The book is the diary of one year in Mark's life which charts his struggle to balance, integrate and assimilate his dual callings along Christian and Pagan pathways. For me, it describes the process of a man who, like a bonsai tree being freed from its binding-wires and tiny pot, rediscovers its essential tree-ness and slowly, awkwardly and often painfully begins to grow - his roots down into Paganism, and his branches up into Christianity (or vice versa!): for Mark, both the roots and the leaves of the branches provide him with life, nutrients and light.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic, personal, captivating 27 Sep 2013
By Karan
Mark Townsend has written a profoundly personal account, without ever divulging unneccessary personal details. He describes the spiritual journey following his involuntary three-year suspension from working as a priest in the Church of England and his subsequent deep immersion into Druidry. He reaches a state where institutionalised religion becomes a means, not an end, a jumping board into what matters most: the human encounter.

Townsend describes his struggle with apparent contradictions. While becoming increasingly aware of his very own call and direction, he moves away from the "either ... or ..." to the "both ... and ..." of spiritual authenticity. Ultimately, he does not return to his Church of England ministry, which would have meant for him to limit the scope and width of his work, but decides to follow options that enable him to stay true to being both a Christian priest and a Druid.

This book is a great read not only for those who may "sit on the fence" themselves, but also for those who feel ready to challenge the boundaries of their religious perception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 1 Oct 2013
Diary of a Heretic is the best book I've read in ages. I've read some of Mark's other books, but for me this book is the best. What Mark tells of his own story is unique and interesting, sad and funny, but above all authentic. An inspirational story, grounded in the everyday but also highly reflective on some very important spiritual questions for our time. Would highly recommend this book, particularly for anyone struggling within the institutional framework of church.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Many Can Identify With This Man 28 Oct 2014
By Henna
I love Mark Townsend's books. This, like his others, is filled with honesty, triumph, mistakes, joy, and the muck of living in a tangled world. He had me in tears in a couple of places - this really is a book with which many people can identify... the helplessness then the peace that follows. I'd recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Townsend: Diary of a Heretic 30 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wish I could write as eloquently as some who have posted reviews about Diary of a Heretic, Mark's latest gift to us all. I very likely wouldn't do him justice. So, I'll say just two things: #1: This book stays in my possession to be read again, more slowly...and, #2: I have told everyone I care about to read it as well. Love your stuff, Mark! Never stop.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly honest 22 Nov 2013
By PollyB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book broke my heart and healed it all in one go. Broke it because it saddens me to hear yet again how the church can behave...and healed it because Marks determination to remain authentic and not engage in retaliation is inspiring and heart-warming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mark bares his soul 14 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a bit of risk in writing a biographical book. Especially when you are writing as someone who has been held up by others to a greater level of expectation. People don't want their spiritual leaders to have human failings.

As a Pagan High Priestess with over 20 years practice I know first-hand what a burden it can be when others place you on a pedestal. Eventually you will fall off!

Mark bares all, showing himself as the wonderfully human man that he is. He doesn't do it to seek redemption, nor is this an attempt to sully the reputations of others who have wronged him. Indeed, he takes great pains to make sure names are not named.

Spiritual paths are seldom easy or straightforward. It is all too easy to lose your way as you try to figure out if you are even on that path. often times the writers and so called spiritual gurus present only the positive and the good thoughts, making readers think the only way to really be doing spiritual work "right" is by not striving towards, but constantly living in a state of non-doubt, non-questioning spiritual perfection. Not all spiritual leaders are placed on pedestals by their followers. Some climb up their all on their own, and then fight tooth and nail to maintain that illusion.

What Mark provides here is hope. If he can find his way back onto his own spiritual path, then so can the rest of us. If he can have doubts and imperfections and still find solace in his personal relationship with Spirit, then so can we.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharing a journey
In this book Mark invites and somehow lovingly compels you to share part of his journey. In my opinion it's not a journey about faith or belief although it may seem that way to... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ms. P. C. Kennedy Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicky Ferguson's views on this magical book!
It is so difficult to put into words what a profound effect this book has had on my understanding of how the magic of a druid way of thinking links to those mysterious moments when... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sawyer
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderfully honest and vulnerable man
What a wonderful book, an open and honest telling of a journey of discovery. If only our clerics, of whatever faith, could feel able to do the same. May god/dess bless you Mark. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lyn P
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity for Seekers
I am just over half-way through. Mark is preserving my sanity as I too, like so many others, search for a spiritual fusion in my life. His honesty is refreshingly challenging. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ffraid
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and inspiring
I have read a few of Mark's books and always find them inspiring. If I had to select one word to describe this book - and, indeed, all of them - it would be 'honest'. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs Pamela Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Heart.
I found this book very thought provoking. It is a warts and all chronicle of one year in the life of the author, Mark Townsend. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking journey through the eyes of an open mind
Mark's journey is one of many highs and lows. From the joy of an early morning walk, to the struggles of finding a true and happy path through life, Diary of a Heretic tells us of... Read more
Published 14 months ago by SP
5.0 out of 5 stars Open, honest, funny and unique
I knew of Mark Townsend, who he was and had read a few articles about him...but when I was given his book to review the thought did cross my mind "why am I reading a book about a... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Rachel 'Tansy' Patterson
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