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Message of hope from reformed addict

PUBLISHED: 14:48 13 September 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 29 October 2010

Ian Clarke

A reformed drug addict and dealer and a singer who has battled with anorexia are visiting Dereham as part of a nationwide tour sharing a message of hope.

A reformed drug addict and dealer and a singer who has battled with anorexia are visiting Dereham as part of a nationwide tour sharing a message of hope.

Barry Woodward grew up in Manchester and was a dealer for 14 years and was totally dependent on drugs, including heroin.

He spent time in various UK prisons but his life was completely turned around by a sequence of encounters with God.

Mr Woodward - author of “Once An Addict” which has sold 30,000 copies - is now a contemporary evangelist who uses storytelling and humour to communicate the Good News.

He is travelling the country on the Restored Tour with singer/songwriter Shell Perris, who has written a book entitled “Made to be Me,” which tells of her battle with the eating disorder.

She is a former member of the all-girl school band TBC and wants to use her music to bring hope to others.

Shell was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 15 and told she had just eight weeks to live but her life was transformed when she experienced God's unconditional love.

Her debut album “Have You Heard?” was released in April 2008 and her book “Something to Shout About” was published in 2007.

There are 26 dates on the tour, including Dereham Northgate High School on Thursday September 24, 7.30pm.

It is being hosted by Dereham Christian bookshop Green Pastures and for more information and for tickets - which cost £5 - contact 01362 697953.

Mr Woodward said: “I used to think I had wasted my life, but when God hold of it. He turned the mess into a message. Many people have messed up but God cares about those people and they can have a new start. God has a plan for their lives.”

The nationwide tour is being presented by Authentic Media in partnership with Compassion UK and the Proclaim Trust. Website: www.authentic.media.co.uk/restoredtour.

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