Damian Thompson writes regularly for the UK’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph and is also literary editor of The Catholic Herald.
Loose Canon: A Portrait of Brian Brindleyby Damian Thompson
But there was more to
Brian Dominick Frederick Titus Leo Brindley was the grandest eccentric ever produced by the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Church of England. Banished by his bishop to a back-street church in Reading, this portly cleric turned it into an Anglo-Papalist Disneyland, adorned with baroque reliquaries, spiky bondieuserie and hundreds of candles.
But there was more to Brindley than a ritualist. He was also an astute committee chairman in the General Synod and a learned, funny and loyal friend.
Then came disaster. He was forced to resign his living. But he reinvented himself as a Roman Catholic journalist, filling the pages of The Catholic Herald with his quirky musings on liturgy, food, architecture and soap operas.
Brindley's death was as perfectly stage-managed as his services. He dropped dead, surrounded by his closest friends, at his 70th birthday party in the Athenaeum Club in London on August 1st 2001.
This volume contains reminiscences by his friends, including his Oxford contemporaries Alan Bennett and Ned Sherrin, but the centerpiece of the book is a fine biographical essay by the Jesuit historian, Anthony Symondson.
No one who is intrigued by the exotic margins of English religion can afford to be without this book.
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