Adrian Plass is back. I first discovered him in college, when my roommate somehow found The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Aged 37 3/4, on her mother's bookshelf in Florida. We both read it and laughed until we cried. I recently found that there are more books about Adrian and the gang, and I am excited to report that I have read Adrian Plass and the Church Weekend.
This is one of the few books in his Diary series available in Kindle format, something I hope that they will change in the near future, But for now, I can at least take this one with me everywhere, so any time I need to check in with Adrian, Anne, and Gerald and the rest of the gang.
Like all the Diary books, Adrian Plass and the Church Weekend takes it in turn to mock the frustrating things about today's church, the people who take their religion a little too seriously, modern life, relationships, family, and all our personal misunderstandings and foibles that make us laugh and cry. And he does it all with a sense of grace, compassion, and forgiveness.
While I have yet to think of any of Plass's books as laugh-out-loud funny as his original sacred diary, there are some moments of true joy in the Church Weekend that only Plass can bring us. Adrian has been asked by his church leader to organize a church weekend for their members. He consults with his wife Anne and his son Gerald, now a vicar himself with a lovely wife and a son who shares his disruptive sense of humor, and they decide that Adrian's church and Gerald's church should share the weekend.
They head to Scarleeswanvale Deep Peace Retreat Centre for a long weekend of fellowship, anagrams, Scripture, restoration, hymns, talks, tears, and lots of laughter. In between calls from Leonard Thynn and his wife Angels trying to understand what the woman in their SatNav (GPS) is attempting to tell them, Adrian manages to entertain, anger, offend, and minister to a motley group of believers in his usual confused but well-meaning way.
Anyone familiar with Adrian Plass and his unique blend of humor (slightly blasphemous at times), his knack for writing complicated characters, and his warm-hearted love for everyone, even those (especially those?) who are the most difficult to love will find Adrian Plass and the Chuch Weekend yet another heart-warming entry in his beloved Diary series. Anyone not yet familiar with Adrian Plass should start with his Sacred Diary as soon as possible and read the whole crazy series!