Mary Wakefield

Who’s Hugh?

Bishop Montefiore talks to Mary Wakefield about his new book on the paranormal - and shows her his watercolours

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The country-and-western singer Kinky Friedman has a song called 'They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore'. 'They don't turn the other cheek the way they done before,' sings Kinky. Had he met The Right Reverend Hugh Montefiore, the former Bishop of Birmingham, Kinky might have changed his tune.

'It happened out of the blue.' Montefiore, now 82, leans back on a delicate-looking wooden chair, balances it on two legs and rocks gently as he recalls his schooldays. 'I was 16, a keen Jew from a devout and influential family. I knew nothing about Christianity and I had never even been to a church service.' His voice becomes quiet. 'It was very, very strange. I was sitting in my study at Rugby school when a figure in white approached and said,