Chris and his wife Anna are heroes of mine. Anna works tirelessly giving a voice to the voiceless in the Middle East. Chris is one of those awesome people you meet in life who combine compassion, empathy and practical wisdom with intelligence that one never feels ‘alone’ when they are around. That might seem an odd thing to say, but I have found in life that when you are going through a tough time, it can be very lonely even if one is surrounded by sympathetic and kind people. But certain people have the authenticity (borne of real life experience that gives an and authority to their words and ‘weight’ to their presence) and genuine (unconditional and ‘I’m not going anywhere’) care that one never feels alone. I have had the sort of wobbles throughout my life that I have needed the assurance that these truly great men and women bring just by being themselves wherever they are and whoever they are with. I have noticed that they usually have a great sense of humour too, because they know that intensity helps no one (including themselves) be the best version of the person God made us to be. When I arrived in Brighton six years ago, Chris (along with Tom my friend and head of department) were instrumental in getting me cling on to normal life (work and the rest of life) through the trauma of my separation and divorce. I often felt like a bucket with holes in it who needed a constant refilling of the core truths that I could not hold on to alone: the love and mercy of God, my ability to be a good school teacher, my ability to be a ‘good’ person again (I of course mean ‘good’ in a relational sense – being faithful, trustworthy and having integrity – and not in an absolute sense like Jesus, cf Mark 10:18). Chris never lost patience in reminding me of the truth and making me feel like I wasn’t alone, and doing so in utter seriousness yet without intensity. The amount of times I cried and laughed with Chris in the same conversation is testament to that wonderful character set Chris has. That’s why he and Anna are so lovely. Kit and Ellis have amazing parents.