Author & Speaker

Mark is an author of six spiritual books which portray the adventure of faith as a relevant, authentic and life changing experience. He also leads Retreats and Quiet days based on the teachings of his books.

“Mark is the master of the short story. These are powerful tales which speak directly to the heart and soul, allowing us to eavesdrop on events which were to shape the destiny of the world.” Barbara Erskine

“The Revolution begins here.” Phil Rickman

More details on Mark’s books can be found here:

Mark’s vision of the spiritual quest is one of re-discovering who you really are. He believes that our priceless inner gold is always there deep within us. However many of us have lost sight of it in our fast paced and perfection driven lives.

The following quote from one of Mark’s mentors sums up his approach:

‘Life is too important to be wasted in yearning to be rich, famous, good looking, popular, or pretty, or in dreading being poor, unknown, ignored, or ugly. These things become unimportant, as though they were pebbles alongside a dazzling diamond. You – your true self – have always been and will always be a diamond.’
Anthony de Mello - Walking on Water, Columba Press, 1998.

Mark’s book, The Gospel of Falling Down: the Beauty of Failure in an Age of Success forms the heart of his retreats and quiet days. We are all easily enthralled by ‘success’ but Mark challenges his clients to understand that real success is learning how to cope with failure, and even use it as a teacher. As he says: ‘We often feel that climbing the so-called ‘ladder of perfection’ is what faith is about, but in reality it is in falling from that ladder that we discover our greatest gift - which is the magic of our truest Self.’

Mark’s retreats have enabled many people to discover a sense of their own inner value and beauty, often through the cracks in their lives. His spiritually open nature comes through in all his talks, writings and workshops. He describes himself as a Christian with an Earth Based heart. His work is relevant to people of all faiths or none.

Another favourite quote of Mark’s is this:

‘Your essence itself knows already all there is to know. It understands and already is more than anyone can speak of. Already, in your potential, you surpass the wise sayings of any guru, enlightened one, or prophet. These people can startle, provoke or point you towards your essence, but they must then back away, and shade their eyes – for your essence outshines them.’
Simon Parke – The Beautiful Life, Bloomsbury, 2007

Speaker / Performer for Faith Groups, Colleges and Schools

As a professional Magician (illusionist) Mark often uses visual effects to enhance his talks. In his capacity as ‘spiritual entertainer’ he speaks at Diocesan Conventions, major festivals like Greenbelt and Churches, colleges and schools across the land:

"Mark Townsend does not disappoint. We booked him for the Rochester Diocesan Conference, and he kept the audience riveted after a full day of seminars, Bible teaching and worship. He really does have the capacity to awaken a child-like sense of wonder. I'm glad to recommend him as someone who can offer high-quality entertainment - and a really nice guy!" Revd. Brian Senior, organiser of the Rochester Diocesan Convention

From former Diocesan Direction of Education for the Diocese of Hereford:
"It is a memorable experience of graciousness to have Mark as part of any act of worship in school or church. A combination of who he is and his magician's skills awaken half-forgotten yearnings for a better world in which all value and cherish the good and the God in each other. In or out of worship, in church or school, pub or club, Mark's magic delights the spirit and engages heart as well as mind. All ages need this. But, in times of some negativity and cynicism amongst teenagers, his magic and his personal integrity together enable young people to re-connect to their intrinsic value. But ~ don't take my word, invite him, and see for yourself!"
Revd. Ian Terry - Chaplain of St Edmund's School, Canterbury

For further information on Mark’s School work and his Retreats etc. please go to: