Andrew Wooding Pays Tribute to his Father Assist News Service Founder Dan Wooding

Andrew and Dan in Sheffield

Andrew Wooding, who works for Church Army in the North of England and is the elder son of ANS Founder Dan Wooding shares these memories of dad.

Since Dad died more than two weeks ago, we’ve been overwhelmed by the tributes that have been flooding in. More than 500 alone on our Facebook announcement. This includes many people we didn’t know of, but obviously Dad had encouraged them along the way.

I made a note of some of the words and phrases that kept cropping up: an inspiration, a mentor, a media pioneer, passionate and fearless, he leaves a great legacy, gentle, generous, a great sense of humour. Dad was a voice for the voiceless, especially Christians trying to live out their faith in countries where they are persecuted. This was his main passion.

In many ways Dad and I were opposites. I’m an introvert; he was more outgoing. I like to stand back and observe; he liked to get stuck in. I write fiction and spend ages agonizing over each word; Dad was a tabloid journalist who could churn out as many column inches as needed at great speed.

But let’s not focus on the opposites. They say your parents live on through their children, so this is just a little of how Dad lives on in me.

Writing

My childhood bedroom doubled as Dad’s office at home. So I grew up loving typewriters, the smoothness of carbon copy paper, and the smell of yellowing newspapers. I used to type up his interviews and edit his stories. So Dad built into me the compulsion that whenever I see a blank sheet of paper, I have to fill it up with words. We were both into telling stories, except his were mostly true.

Music

Dad took an interest in my music. He would listen to my Stranglers LPs and sometimes say nice things about them. As a journalist, he would be given review copies of albums by the truckload, so half of my bedroom wall was filled – floor to ceiling – with shelves bulging with vinyl. And he took us to concerts. Some of them freebies to do with his job. So Dad built into me a love of performance, of seeing a band live and in the moment. To this day I am not happy unless I have tickets for the next concert I’m going to.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Peter wooding