I’m standing on the flat roof of Elim Church Northampton with Lynda Heron, church leader, conference speaker and ex-kissogram. It’s the first hot day of the year; the sun’s baking the asphalt and the air smells of roof tar and tree pollen. We lean over the parapet and watch the traffic pass by below. On the wheel-rutted verge outside the church, a blossom tree showers petals across the pavement and, from somewhere in town, a siren wails, stops, then wails again.
‘I love that,’ Lynda says as the police car appears and chicanes in and out of traffic, its blue lights flashing. ‘Makes me feel alive.’ And I totally get what she means. I grew up in London to a constant playlist of urban noise. There’s something amidst the chaos and grime that’s full of energy and life.
Talking about this makes me wonder where Lynda grew up. ‘We moved around a lot,’ Lynda says. ‘But I ended up in Blackpool when I was 16 and lived there until Jason and I went to Bible College.’
Jason is Lynda’s arrestingly charming ‘Blackpool Gypsy’ husband. I want to know how they met – was he a ‘kissing client’? ‘No,’ she laughs, ‘I was working as a travel agent. The kissogram stuff was evenings. Jason didn’t know about it then. We met in a nightclub and I liked him straight away. He’s got Romany blood and has these lovely dark eyes.’
So what did Jason work as? ‘He ran a joke shop and had a pitch on Blackpool Prom.’ I’m trying to work out how a Sam Fox wannabe and a gypsy version of Del Boy got to run a large church in Northampton. ‘So how on earth did you get Godded?’ I ask.
Lynda smiles. ‘It didn’t start particularly well. I got chucked out of a church service when I was 18. The youth group had hired me for their vicar’s birthday. They’d planned for me to do my stuff on him during his sermon. My gorilla tried to talk me out of it, but – ’….
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