Have you ever been asked to introduce yourself in a group, coming up with a ‘fun fact’ about yourself that will be easy for others to remember? When that happens to me I enjoy telling the story of Father Harold. You can probably tell from the picture that he was an Anglo-Catholic clergyman. In truth, he was so far ‘up the candle’, as they say, that he called all five of his children ‘Mary’ in honour of the mother of our Lord. Including his son. (I also have a precious photograph of the five Marys, with their mother. All six look remarkably serene in the circumstances.)
Beyond that, I don’t know much about Father Harold. But his picture is inspiration for Father Archie, who features in The Restless Wave. Archie is the vicar under whose tutelage Edward serves his curacy in Oxford. He’s hard-working, faithful to his calling and passionately committed to serving the poor of his parish.
I suspect Archie, like Harold, could be pretty forbidding at times. Edward is certainly a little in awe of him. But I’m just as sure that his austere exterior masks a heart of gold.