DOWN in Sheffield’s Rivelin Valley, something was stirring in the mind of writer Adrian Scott.
He envisaged a work of religious fiction retelling the story of the Gospel but in the language of today – and Jesus is a woman.
The story follows young South Yorkshire journalist Mark Widdowson, sent by his editor to follow a developing story in the former mining village of Edlington.
Mark goes on to meet the woman at the centre of the action, Jess Jennings, a hairdresser, healer, prophet and guru.
Mark is drawn deeper and deeper into the strange phenomenon that is Jess, a journey that takes him from South Yorkshire to the Peak District, Harrogate, Birmingham and then finally to London.
The Mark Widdowson Blogs is Adrian’s first religious fiction – though the subject is probably not surprising.
Adrian, born and brought up in Sheffield, lived in an experimental religious community inspired by St Francis of Assisi, studied for a Bachelor of Divinity degree and spent five years studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood.
But deciding against ordination, Adrian moved to London, firstly working for the Bishop of East London as a community worker during the building of Canary Wharf.
His role involved supporting tenants’ groups whose lives were affected by the development.
He then worked with a community project in nearby Brick Lane aimed at social regeneration before returning to his home city to study for an MSc in Organisation Development at Hallam University.
Adrian, who lives in Rivelin Valley with his wife, three children and four dogs, launched the book at the Wilson Carlisle Centre on Cavendish Street.
He said: “The aim of the book is to invite the reader into a creative dialogue between the first century text of Mark’s Gospel, the first written account of Jesus’ life and death with 21st century British society.
“I hope to challenge the reader to reassess the Gospel and see it and their own life in a new and challenging way.”