A MULTI-TALENTED retired minister is taking a change of direction to release a book of poetry and artwork.

Andrew Pratt, from Comberbach, ministered across the north west in towns including Northwich, Nantwich and Leigh before retiring five years ago.

He also wrote books on hymns and worship, as well as more than 1500 hymns of his own, but is using retirement as an opportunity to explore a new creative outlet.

The new book, titled Words, Images and Imagination, features poems, photographs and watercolours, all by the author.

Andrew said: “I cannot stop being creative in one way or another.

Northwich Guardian:

The book also features some of Andrew's photographs

“It’s a case of going in a different creative direction to the hymns.”

Andrew took up photography at the age of 10 in the late 1950s, before starting to write poetry and paint watercolours while training as a teacher in the early 1970s.

However, this is the first time he is making this type of work available to the public.

Andrew said: “As a hymn writer, I’ve got no problem in getting hymns published, but getting poetry published through mainstream publishers isn’t easy.

“You do feel nervous going into a different genre. My friends and family think the photos are lovely, but that is different from anybody else seeing them.

Northwich Guardian:

Andrew says he cannot stop being creative

“And the painting was completely unexposed at the point it went out, so you’ve got no idea at all how people are going to respond.”

Despite Andrew’s Methodist background, he feels the book will appeal to a wide audience, with some 50 copies sold in the first few weeks after publication.

“The poetry has a religious thread, but it’s not strongly Christian,” he said.

“There’s some religious symbolism here and there, but the book could be read comfortably by people who aren’t Christian.”

Words, Images and Imagination is available now on Amazon and on Andrew’s blog.