Nick Mayhew-Smith is a former Financial Times journalist now completing a PhD at Roehampton University, studying Celtic Christianity and its attitudes towards the natural world. These include sacred trees, holy wells and rivers, wilderness areas, mountains, caves and a wide range of wild animals. Having swum alongside seals on a visit to the site of St Magnus’ martyrdom, on Egilsay, his memories of Orkney’s sacred places are particularly memorable and sunlit.
He previously spent five years researching and writing “Britain’s Holiest Places”, a guide to 500 sacred places, which was made into a six-part BBC television series in 2013. He is interested in the creative mix of spirituality, the natural world and the wonderful heritage of sacred sites and holy landscapes that can appeal to anyone, of any or no faith. And for his sins, he is a lay minister in the Church of England, and lives in south Wimbledon.