Discovering ‘Mister God, This Is Anna’
It’s autumn 1986 and me and my fellow musician friend Pete head up the steep road through the dead leaves falling like coloured snow. We are heading to Prinknash Abbey just outside Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The old Cotswold stone buildings seem to transport us to another world as we approached, and the world got a lot quieter somehow and became more tranquil.
After looking round the old place we headed for the Cozy Cafe for a coffee which also had a small bookshop. Pete noticed a yellow book cover, and picking it up mentioned he’d heard of the title “Mister God, This Is Anna”. He told me a vague overview of the story and I found it intriguing, so decided to buy a copy.
Once I got home I put the book on my shelf for a few days without reading it, due to being very busy. Then my mother asked me to look through some old books of my late brother Paul, who had died of cancer some three years earlier. Going up to my parents’ loft I soon found the stack of old books that had been Paul’s. Then came the sight of a shock of yellow poking between a pile of other books. It was the very same book I had brought the week before, “Mister God, This Is Anna”.
So I sat there in the dark dusty attic and started to read …
From the first sentence of the introduction by Vernon Sproxton to the last mournful words by Fynn at the end of the book I was captivated, and being brought up in quite a strict Church of England atmosphere I always felt something was wrong with my faith, something missing. Surely having a faith wasn’t all about sitting solemnly in a church and singing dull hymns. Somehow Anna seemed to exude a joy that blew all the cobwebs of stuffy and boring church-going away. Also her conversations with Fynn are each gems in their own right, with many deep concepts discussed in ways that made you think in new ways.
As a boy I always thought that if God existed, he surely couldn’t be confined to old cold buildings with pointy roofs. Now this lovely little yellow book confirmed that I was right.
Nigel C Fortune – Summer 2010