Darlington is a very long way north. It wasn’t until I was whizzing past York on the train that I realised just how far north I was heading (geography’s never been a strong point), but the trip was so worth it to spend time with the legend that is Adrian Plass. He and his wife Bridget are the world’s most hospitable people and after a good natter and lunch, Adrian and I settled down for an interview.
We talked, of course, about his gently satirical Sacred Diary series, which started when his hapless but well-meaning fictional alter-ego was 37 and ¾, and now runs to 6 volumes. But until we spoke I didn’t realise how he only really began writing as therapy after a serious breakdown…..a result of difficulties in his childhood, years of helping troubled children in residential homes, and confused feelings about church, the way it operates and what it can do to people and their faith.
Adrian’s great gift, I think, is of encouragement. In my view he was put on this earth to help baffled, battered and bewildered Christians feel better about themselves and their fumbling faith.
He certainly did that for me when we met….and made me laugh (a lot!)
Hope the same is true for you.