More About the Author
Michael Counsell was born in Birmingham, in England. His father was an inspector of taxes and 1914-18 veteran, and his mother was formerly a domestic science teacher. He went to school in Cambridge, Manchester and Birmingham, then Military Service in the Royal Artillery in Hong Kong.
Michael went to university in Cambridge, England, studying Natural Sciences for two years, then trained for the ministry of the Church of England (Anglican/Episcopal) for two years at Ripon Hall, a theological college outside Oxford.
He was ordained by Bishop Leonard Wilson in Birmingham in 1961, and was an assistant priest for two years in Handsworth, Birmingham. Next he studied Islam at the Anglican Communion College, St Augustine's Canterbury, under Canon (later Bishop) Kenneth Cragg.
Then he went abroad as a missionary, and was on the staff of St Andrew's Cathedral and then the first vicar of St Peter's Church in Serangoon Gardens; he started to study Mandarin Chinese.
Then the Bishop of Singapore sent him to be Priest in charge Vietnam and Cambodia, where he stayed for almost four years. There Michael translated Kieu, an epic Vietnamese poem by Nguyen Du, into English rhyming verse.
His next appointment was as Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, in the Seychelles Islands, in the Indian Ocean. He translated the four Gospels into Seychelles Creole, the first books to be published in the local language. To help him in this task he attended St George's College, Jerusalem, for a two months course on the Palestine of Jesus.
Returning to England, Michael Counsell was the Vicar of St Peter's Church in Harborne, a suburb of Birmingham, and attended the Mid-service Clergy Course for two months at St George's House, in the grounds of Windsor Castle. He also served on the staff of Christ Church, Bronxville, NY, USA, for a 3-months sabbatical.
Michael and his wife Elaine were shattered when their youngest child was killed by a drunk driver near their home, but they were wonderfully supported by the churchgoers, and learnt an important lesson about forgiveness.
For a year he served as Church Consultant to Inter-Church Travel in Folkestone, and organised the chaplaincy team to Oberammergau Passion Play. Next he was put in charge of St Augustine's Church, Honor Oak Park, in London, during which he took a 3-months' sabbatical back-packing through Cambodia, Vietnam and China, meeting local Christians. It was then that the first bilingual version of his translation of Kieu was published.
Michael retired in 2000, and for five years lived in a camper van. He was a Chaplain to Oberammergau during the performance of the Passion Play in 2000, and locum priest in Hamburg and Strasburg, and at St Peter's, Kifissia, in Athens, for three years, during which he had to opportunity to serve as one of the chaplains to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Michael Counsell finally bought a flat in Birmingham, and has taken services at churches in the King's Norton Deanery and helped when there was no priest in Malaga, Spain; Corfu in Greece; and Tangier in Morocco.
Michael speaks a number of languages with varying degrees of fluency. He plays the piano and the church organ badly, sings tenor, has joined or founded a choral society in each place he lived. At present he sings with two choirs in Birmingham.
Michael Counsell's writing career began when he was asked to write, with his iwfe, a booklet ion the death of their child. Author of 20 published books, at present busy on the 9th annual volume of 150 sermons each year in The Canterbury Preacher's Companion series. He also wrote an imaginary monologue for Mary Magdalene called She was the First Apostle, which was performed in the UK, Bermuda, and USA, and filmed in Israel.
In 2013 he published his verse translation of a Kieu, by Nguyen Du, as a self-published paperback and an e-book, both available worldwide through amazon. See www.amazon.com/author/revmichaelcounsell or www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00340BRHE