Discovering MGTIA

Mr God, This Is Anna
Discovering ‘Mister God, This Is Anna’

It’s autumn 1986 and me and my fellow musician friend Pete head up the steep road through the dead leaves falling like coloured snow. We are heading to Prinknash Abbey just outside Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The old Cotswold stone buildings seem to transport us to another world as we approached, and the world got a lot quieter somehow and became more tranquil.

After looking round the old place we headed for the Cozy Cafe for a coffee which also had a small bookshop. Pete noticed a yellow book cover, and picking it up mentioned he’d heard of the title “Mister God, This Is Anna”. He told me a vague overview of the story and I found it intriguing, so decided to buy a copy.

Once I got home I put the book on my shelf for a few days without reading it, due to being very busy. Then my mother asked me to look through some old books of my late brother Paul, who had died of cancer some three years earlier. Going up to my parents’ loft I soon found the stack of old books that had been Paul’s. Then came the sight of a shock of yellow poking between a pile of other books. It was the very same book I had brought the week before, “Mister God, This Is Anna”.

So I sat there in the dark dusty attic and started to read …

From the first sentence of the introduction by Vernon Sproxton to the last mournful words by Fynn at the end of the book I was captivated, and being brought up in quite a strict Church of England atmosphere I always felt something was wrong with my faith, something missing. Surely having a faith wasn’t all about sitting solemnly in a church and singing dull hymns. Somehow Anna seemed to exude a joy that blew all the cobwebs of stuffy and boring church-going away. Also her conversations with Fynn are each gems in their own right, with many deep concepts discussed in ways that made you think in new ways.

As a boy I always thought that if God existed, he surely couldn’t be confined to old cold buildings with pointy roofs. Now this lovely little yellow book confirmed that I was right.

Nigel C Fortune – Summer 2010

10 thoughts on “Discovering MGTIA

  1. I love the book. It inspires me and I always wanted to know if what it was written did really happen. Thanks for sharing your findings with us.
    God speaks in some many loving ways to many

  2. How I loooooooovvvvvveeeeeedddddd every minute and every sentence Fynn wrote! It only happens once in a lifetime. How I loved it, nobody will know!
    Thank you, Fynn!

  3. Mister God This Is Anna is a book that absolutely anybody can read and enjoy. However it is of most benefit to ‘God believers’. People of faith can be vulnerable at times because we really do not have anything with which to defend ourselves. We believe because that is what believers do, we believe. True faith is childlike in that it is often not backed with adult verifiable knowledge. We can be led down many man-made paths some honest and some totally shambolic looking, hoping, searching for that spark which may identify what it is exactly we believe in. This is what Anna helps with yet at the same time she makes it more difficult. In our own minds we have our own Mister God, perhaps the Catholic one, the Protestant one, the Jewish one or something else but usually one that has been handed down to us; but we believe in just the same. In MGTIA Anna’s Mister God is best known only to Anna as it is from within her ‘middle’ that he comes forth. In many ways he is as unknown to us as our Mister God is unknown to others; all we really have is Anna. We love the stories she tells us about him, we love her adventures and the things she says. We love her and through her the Mister God she knows so well, but I’m not sure if we love her Mister God unless he is in our middle. This is a picture she has drawn for us of the God she knows so well. What is in our middle is the God we have come to know and struggle with. It may be as Anna says there are no different churches in heaven because everybody is inside themselves. I’m not sure what the answer is or for that matter the question but I do believe as Fynn says that Anna has left her map of discovery behind with their arrows of direction. The answer lies in front of us not what we’ve left behind. In the end I think all we have is our faith and our quest for understanding. In Anna we have someone with whom we can relate and who can help us share that faith. Jesus said two thousand years ago that no one comes to the father except through the son. It may be that in the twenty-first century that nobody will come to Mister God except through Anna. I don’t know. I truly don’t know and that is the paradox of faith. I believe. I just believe.

    1. Last night I told my sister I thought she had a God hole in her heart as she pored out her despair. I went looking on my bookshelves for an inspirational read for her and finally alighted on Mr God this is Anna……..which brought me here out of curiosity.
      This eloquent post from Alan moved me to tears as I felt the joy of synchronicity and a little jolt from God to remind me he is there. And invite me to him.And invite me to invite others. Thank you Alan. And God.

  4. I reached this site only because I was looking for Guerin Street where my father, Ernest Young, was born over a century ago at 19 Guerin Street! Perhaps I’ll read the book one day

  5. How to copy article from other sites to your
    blog and make it unique and human readable ?

    To find out just search in google:
    Loimqua’s article tool

  6. A dear friend and neighbour lent me his old copy of this book about 5 years ago. It deeply touched me. I gave it to a friend as I hoped it might help her. It did. Just now I ordered a new copy. After reading your autobiographical details of Fynn/Syd’s life I could have switched my neighbour’s name into the story of how Fynn was not liked, but LOVED. We laid our 66yr old neighbour to rest on Thursday. I will re-read in his honour, and pray God will direct me to the book’s next owner. Divinity manifests in so many ways, and here is one. Thank you for sharing your research into Syd’s life. The parallels with my neighbour’s challenges, intellect, musical talent and openness and humour are staggering. God bless you Nigel, and all who find peace and hope here.

  7. I read this book as a child, it was my mother’s. Now, at aged 40, my mother died last year, and I ran across the book again, by chance, in a bookstore that was closing and giving away their books. I could not stop reading. Anna’s joy for life, and Fynn’s questioning, it is such a beautiful story of life, parenting, and how to remember to keep your eyes OPEN. I hope my children can read it someday (they are 10 and 7, so soon!).

  8. I have been passionate about MGTIA since my chance encounter with it in a library in 1977. I’ve given away at least 15 copies and just ordered 8 more for a women’s study group reading Immortal Diamond by Fr Richard Rohr. As Vernon Sproxton says in his introduction, which I have JUST discovered in a 1979 re-print, it was for me an Ah! book, a consciousness-transforming book. As someone else said, I was searching for the “missing something” in the Christian faith I’d been immersed in growing up. MGTIA was a huge piece of the answer; contemplative prayer was the rest. Anna invites us to discover “God in our middle” and to love everyone and everything “with all of us.”

Comments are closed.