As well as getting out on the road with various events over the last few months, there have been other projects going on behind the scenes.
One of the biggest projects has been a novel by Alison Fuggle - The Encourager: Barnabas - a novel.
When Roger and Alison first began work on the new musical, Barnabas, Roger asked Alison if she had ever written a novel. When she said that she hadn't, Roger suggested she might like to try, and that the character of Barnabas from the New Testament would make an excellent subject.
Over the months that followed, Alison got to work, researching and drafting. In that time she created a wonderful novel, assisted by helpful comments from her novelist friend, Rosalind Fox. Alison has written many poems, lyrics and short stories over the years, so converting her way with words into a novel was a new challenge!
In July, with the premiere of Barnabas approaching, the novel arrived on Helen's desk (or rather to her dropbox account) ready to be formatted for print. The following weeks of work for Helen and Alison, as well as Andrew Jones designing the cover, all culminated in the book being sent to the printers at the end of August. The books were received a couple of weeks later, in perfect timing for the launch at the musical premiere.
We're immensely proud of Alison and this novel. It is the perfect accompaniment to the musical, particularly for choir members who are learning the words. It also stands alone beautifully, and is brilliant for anyone who enjoys Bible-based fiction. The characters of the Acts of the Apostles - particularly the small characters like John Mark, Simeon, Mnason, Miriam and Rhoda all come to life in your imagination. The story itself is hugely inspiring - Alison's interpretation of the missionary journey taken by Saul and Barnabas challenges us all to reflect on the way we too share the Gospel.
If you're looking for Christmas presents - The Encourager is highly recommended!