Culture vulture

17th October 2003 at 01:00
School chaplain Adrian Roberts enjoys Star Wars and Monteverdi Best book ever

Some books I've re-read such as George Eliot's Middlemarch because they deal with such powerful human issues as maturing and making mistakes - and because they're great and funny. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving stands out for me. The plot, which is about an enormous sacrifice, involves taking seriously the idea of miracles and predicting the future. It's funny, entertaining and deeply moving.

Best film ever

I go to the cinema to chill out and because I'm attracted by the gloss of it. I tend to be moved by popular films that touch on powerful issues of redemption and reconciliation. The Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi is one of the greatest for me. I'm always very moved by the scene of Darth Vader's death when he takes his helmet off.

Best recent outing

I love Monteverdi's Vespers because they're stately and majestic but also because they were composed as part of a new sound. Monteverdi was pushing the boundaries and I always feel I'm hearing them as if they are being performed for the first time. When I heard them live in London, I was stunned. It's the only time music has made me feel I understand the Trinity.

Something for school

I sing early blues and I use it as a teaching prop because it's raw and direct. It is created from terrible injustice and suffering, yet expressed without a trace of self-pity.

Treats in store

Learning Hebrew. I enjoy reading the New Testament in Greek because it's as close as you can get to the writers' intentions. In the same way, Hebrew will unlock the real poetry of the Old Testament.

Regular resource

Enquire Within by Mary Engelbreit is full of humorous information about the mundane from the Victorian age. My wife was given a copy when she left home, as I would now give a copy to a young person leaving home.

Adrian Roberts, 42, is chaplain and teaches religious studies at Leeds grammar school. He was talking to Elaine Williams

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