Brian Castle

Visiting Scholar, Centre for Formation in Ministry

Twitter: @drbriancastle

Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge from 2002 to 2015, graduated from University College London with a degree in Classics.

After two years spent as a Social Worker in London and teaching in Lesotho, Southern Africa, he trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon College, Oxford, and at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. He graduated in theology from Oxford University and after his curacies served as a parish priest on the Copperbelt of Northern Zambia. From there he became a visiting lecturer at Bossey, the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches, in Geneva after which he was appointed Vicar of North Petherton with Northmoor Green in Somerset. During this time he completed a doctorate (from the University of Birmingham) on communicating theology across and within cultures. Using hymns from Zambia and UK, he demonstrated how these ‘Christian folk songs’ express the faith of the people in the pew.

Before moving to the Diocese of Rochester, Brian was Vice Principal at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford, and a member of the Theology Faculty of Oxford University. He has taught and lectured in South Africa, South Korea, the USA and Estonia.

Brian co-chairs the Mission Theology Advisory Group which helps and encourages churches in the relationship between Gospel and Culture. He is also a member of the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission.

Brian continues to work on the interface between Gospel and Culture, the way in which hymns express faith and on the area of reconciliation.



  • Reconciliation: The Journey of a Lifetime, London, SPCK, 2014
  • Reconciling One and All – God’s Gift to the World, London, SPCK, 2008
  • Unofficial God? Voices from Beyond the Walls, London, SPCK, 2004
  • Sing a New Song to the Lord, London, Darton Longman & Todd 1994
  • Hymns: The Making and Shaping of a Theology for the Whole People of God, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 1990

Contributor to Books

  • Richards, Anne, with the Mission Theology Advisory Group, Unreconciled – Exploring Mission in an Imperfect World, London, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, 2011
  • Green, L. and Baker C.R. (eds) Building Utopia? – Seeking the authentic Church for new communities, London, SPCK, 2008
  • Richards, Anne, with the Mission Theology Advisory Group, Sense Making Faith: Body, Spirit, Journey, London, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, 2007
  • Without a City Wall: Some Reflections on the Relationship of Those Inside to Those Outside,’ in J.Egan and T.Whelan (eds.), City Limits – Mission Issues in Postmodern Times, Milltown Institute of Theology and Cultures, Dublin, 2004
  • Presence and Prophecy – a Heart for Mission in Theological Education, Church House Publishing, London, 2002
  • Challenges to Christianity in the West in the Light of Experience in Korea, in W.Ustorf and T. Murayama (eds), Identity and Marginality – Rethinking Christianity in North East Asia, Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 2000
  • The Search for Faith and the Witness of the Church, published by the Board of Mission (Church House Publishing), Autumn 1996