alongside the local church. I went to a college called Cliff College which is a Methodist college, and while I was in my last year I set up a charity that was going to act as an administration base for the work that God had called me to do which was that of an evangelist. On the day of my graduation I became the director-evangelist of Proclaim Trust. We had £10 in the bank, we had no offices, 1 chair, 1desk and some shelves that weren’t straight, that was the start of Proclaim Trust. Over the years obviously that’s changed, we’ve built it up and we’ve got staff now, and our own office suite. I speak in a maximum of 25 prisons a year. I don’t do any more than that because I believe in prison ministry, certainly for me, but I don’t want it all to be about prisons. I’m doing lots and lots of different events up and down the country working with different denominations, including the Restored Tour with Shell Perris. I think working with different denominations is important, even though I belong to a denomination, I’m recognised as a minister. I work right across the board with all the different denominations, not looking at what we can disagree on, but keeping the main thing, what we do agree on which is Christ and having a relationship with God. With your background do you find that you end up dealing with a lot of people with drug addiction? It’s general adult ministry and young people as well because my books have gone mad. We sent 27,000 copies of my book out to prisons in the last 2 years and some of them went to Young Offenders institutes and we get lots of letters. They say that they can actually see themselves in my story. They
are in the same cycle, early stages of it, the beginning of the crime and the drugs. Drugs are so massive now, they were big in my day, but they’re even bigger now. So even though I am older, my story can relate a lot to a younger generation. So I would say young people, young adults, older people, I do tend to draw quite a lot of rehabs to my meetings, people who have got problems with drugs, but I also draw the Professors and the Doctors. In fact a solicitor became a Christian a few months ago in a meeting I was doing in Halifax. I always try and present my story in a way so that everybody can get something from it, Do you ever get anybody who comes to try and disprove that this has happened to you? I do lots of interviews with the BBC, with Sky and lots of Newspaper stuff, it’s a powerful story and people have read my book. Sceptics of the Christian faith have interviewed me. The thing is this, people can argue with your theology, but they can’t argue with something that has happened to you as powerful as it has happened to me. We’re all different and God works in us all in different ways, your experience will be different from my experience. We’re all on a journey, for me I think I needed a big shebang because I was into big experiences and God met me where I was at. God woke me up to His existence. Noone can take that away from me, I might not understand everything about how God works, I might not have all the answers about suffering and why God doesn’t always heal etc. At the end of the day something happened to me fourteen years ago is a fact and
no-one can argue with that. One thing that does help my story is that my former psychiatrist had a part to play in me becoming a Christian. He’s a very good friend of mine now and he supports our ministry, Dr Samuel Yangye, he didn’t know that I was going to become a Christian. So in my new DVD that we’ve just brought out we actually interview my psychiatrist and he gives his professional opinion on the state that I was in and he also validates my ‘Religious Experience’. Having been in the situation how would you help a friend who had an addiction? If someone has a friend who is addicted, or they know somebody who is taking drugs, I would say be supportive, be there for them but don’t be their doormat. Drug addicts and users will take you for granted, even now I can think of a couple of people who I know, they’ve seen that I’ve changed and they know that I am a Christian and they try and take advantage of that. I won’t be anybody’s doormat, but I will support and I will get alongside them. My Dad for example when he found out I was on drugs he couldn’t bear it, he disowned me. I think because he came from that generation that was his way of dealing with it. My son’s a drug addict, I don’t want to know him. I don’t blame him for doing that, I think what he did was right for him and it might have been right for me, because it meant that I could get on with my selfish lifestyle. But if I had a child who was on drugs I wouldn’t do that, I would support them, but I wouldn’t be their doormat.