“Dick leaves us in September and I feel sure he will receive your grateful prayers in his journey south, with the prayers of the faithful, that one day he shall return to Scotland and serve our Church in this dear land with perseverance, holiness, obedience and sacrifice”
A powerful memoir about faith and doubt, with a strong meditative and philosophical heart
Winner of the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2013.
At the tender age of fourteen, Richard Holloway left his home town of Alexandria, north of Glasgow, and travelled hundreds of miles to be educated and trained for the priesthood at an English monastery. By the age of twenty-five he had been ordained and was working in the slums of Glasgow. Through the forty years that followed, Richard touched the lives of many people as he rose to one of the highest positions in the Anglican Church. But behind his confident public faith lay a restless heart and an inquisitive mind.
Poignant, wise and fiercely honest, Leaving Alexandria is a remarkable memoir of a life defined by faith but plagued by doubt.
“Leaving Alexandria is many things. It is a compelling account of a journey through life, told with great frankness; it is a subtle reflection on what it means to live in an imperfect and puzzling world; and it is a highly readable insight into one of the most humane and engaged minds of our times. It is, quite simply, a wonderful book”
Alexander Mccall Smith
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”Leaving Alexandria is a profound, personal investigation of the virtues and flaws of religion and the most stirring autobiography I have read in a great many years. It is also a meditation on the nature of one’s own identity”
“At a time when the world has urgently needed wise and compassionate leadership, this poignant memoir, written with the integrity, intelligence and wit that we expect from Richard Holloway, lays bare the ludicrous and entirely unnecessary mess we have made of religion”
“A beautifully written and often funny, emotional and intellectual self-exploration by one of the most extraordinary churchmen of our time”
“Candid and deeply moving … Nobody could fail to be intensely moved by the final chapters of his memoir … a deeply lovable man; and what a wonderful book he has written”
Richard Holloway was Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. A former Gresham Professor of Divinity and Chairman of the Joint Board of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Leaving Alexandria won the PEN/Ackerley Prize and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. Holloway has written for many newspapers in Britain, including The Times, Guardian, Observer, Herald and Scotsman. He has also presented many series for BBC television and radio; Waiting for the Last Bus originated as a five-part series on Radio 4 in 2016.