Of interest: " 'Church'... wasn't so much about piety and dogma as experience, sensation, transportation - a reminder, through actual awareness, of something else."

This quote from the foreword to Mark Townsend's new book "The Path of the Blue Raven: From Religion to Re-enchantment," a wonderfully creative look at mystical, mythic, experiential and natural dimensions of faith and the loss of those dimensions for much of what passes for faith today. Townsend, a Church of England priest, magician, poet, speaker and author has found himself sidelined by "local church authority" because of his deeper perspectives on the nature of his religion. As he says in the book I can now understand why the rigid and burdensome world of organised religion never really freed me. It was a barrier to the divine rather than a doorway.

Reader reviews and comments about the book, which is available at the PCNV bookstore (click here) include:

Mark Townsend is a priest at the edge! The place where new ideas and new understandings are formed is always at the edge. It is a place that institutions, because they demand conformity to the institution, cannot go. But it is always there, out on the edges that new thinking, new imaginings, new dreams happen. --Revd. Peter Owen-Jones, Presenter of BBC s Around the World in 80 Faiths Bottom of the Pond.

I thought I'd be entertained, but I never imagined I'd be moved- repeatedly, and sometimes to tears- it's quite a shock to me.

Path of the Blue Raven is an inspiring book that explores the challenge of developing an authentic relationship with the Divine. Part biographical part exploration, the author looks at the way his own path has developed over the past few years and the influences that inspired him. The book is very easy read as Mark is a very humorous writer. I read it in a couple of days as I couldn't put it down!

This book will help anyone who is struggling to come to terms with their sense of faith but struggle to find their faith reflected in any institutional church.

The book will .... upset many that become insecure when others discuss anything other than what they think is the `right way to God'. Yet such a book that invites us to think through what we are doing can be no bad thing.

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