A delightful compilation of funny and touching stories about the creatures that parish priest Bryan Apps has come into contact with throughout his life, complemented by Bryan’s own drawings and sketches.
Bryan Apps once rescued a young Starling that had fallen from his nest high up in the roof of a large Victorian rectory in Southampton. The bird had somehow slipped down the wall cavities to land beneath the floorboards of the ground floor study unharmed. Bryan quickly developed a unique rapport with the tiny creature as he nurtured him in a birdcage borrowed from an elderly neighbour. As many weeks went by the Starling’s bare back gradually became clothed with feathers. Bryan introduced the little bird to solid food, and eventually taught him to fly. Let out of the cage for brief spells, the fledgling practised flying around the lounge, until Bryan finally released him in his extensive garden. After flying to the top of the tallest tree, the Starling returned to perch on top of Bryan’s head!
When he was the curate of St Mary’s, Andover, Bryan said matins with the vicar each morning at 7.30, when, mysteriously, they and the vicar’s Alsatian were always joined by another dog, whose timing was impeccable, and who happily stayed for the entire service. The stranger made his own way safely home immediately afterwards having successfully negotiated a number of major road crossings en route.
These are two examples drawn from a great many real life anecdotes relating to animals and birds which have engaged Bryan’s interest throughout his life. They are set, in chronological order, within the framework of his work as an Anglican priest. More generally, the account touches upon the life of a parish priest in the course of a ministry which stretches over more than fifty years.
Features• A charming walk through a lifetime of animal encounters
• Over 90 illustrations by the author himself
About the author
Bryan Apps read history at Lampeter and theology at Oxford before becoming ordained as a parish priest in Winchester Cathedral. He was an assistant curate first in Southampton and then in Andover where, with his 97hp Mobile Church, he served the new housing estates on the outskirts of the market town. Next, he revived a Southampton church which had been earmarked for closure, before becoming the vicar of a large parish in Bournemouth. Bryan has also written and illustrated a number of books on motor racing. Devoted to his own pet cats and dogs, he feels that all God`s creatures have greatly enriched his life.