A Field Guide to the English Clergy

Pages: 192
Subject: Humour, Religion: Christianity
Imprint: Oneworld

A Field Guide to the English Clergy

A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising

Fergus Butler-Gallie MA (Oxon) BA (Cantab)

The Archbishop of York's behaviour was 'never that expected of a cleric, rarely that expected of a pirate'...
9781786074416 (4 Oct 2018)
RRP £12.99 / US$20.00

The Book

Judge not, lest ye be judged. This timeless wisdom has guided the Anglican Church for hundreds of years, and has fostered a certain tolerance of eccentricity among its members. The Reverend Robert Hawker invented the Harvest Festival, but he also excommunicated a cat for mousing on Sundays. Bishop Lancelot Fleming would commandeer Navy helicopters when he was late for service. The Reverend John Allington - 'Mad Jack', to his friends - wore a leopard skin instead of a surplice, and insisted on being carried around in a coffin.

A Field Guide to the English Clergy celebrates the cream of the crop: the drinkers (and publicans), the inventors, the lion tamers, the suicidal missionaries, and even one piratical Archbishop. But despite their sometimes bizarre behaviour, many in the clergy saw the church as their true calling. After all, who cares if you're wearing red high heels when there are souls to be saved?

Additional Information

Subject Humour, Religion: Christianity
Pages 192
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

The Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree in theology from the University of Cambridge. He once accidentally appeared on Only Connect. This is his first book. 


Fergus Butler-Gallie's Field Guide is a delightful, sympathetic, humorous and earthed cocktail of quirky English clergy. There is a freshness even with some familiar figures, like Parson James Woodforde and Archbishop Michael Ramsey, whom you meet again in these pages as if for the first time. And there are some unfamiliar figures whose audacious yet loveable oddness Butler-Gallie skilfully draws to our attention. His style throughout is pithy and punchy, and in resurrecting these motley cloud of Anglican witnesses, he restores technicolour to these monochrome times, too easily dominated by managerial bishops prone to devastating bouts of doublespeak.

- The Rt Revd David Wilbourne