An Anglican priest, artist and classic car fan has landed a dream job combining all his enthusiasms.
The Rev Adam Gompertz, pioneer minister and creator of REVS, an innovative Christian ministry for classic car enthusiasts and petrol heads, has been appointed as artist-in-residence at Aston Martin.
REVS attracted a substantial social media following due to its 'Doodle a Day' feature – a daily post of car artwork with an associated reflection, which Gompertz describes as, 'Radio 4's Thought for the Day but with added petrol!'
Among those who noticed Gompertz's work was Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, who invited him to the factory in Warwickshire for a sketching day. Gompertz was offered the opportunity to become the marque's official artist-in-residence.
He will attend various events, motorsport meetings and model launches to create artwork that encapsulates Aston Martin's brand and vision.
In July, heattended the Goodwood Festival of Speed where he was able to sketch Aston Martin's newest model, the DBS Superleggera, and experience a ride up Goodwood's famous hill in a DB11 AMR.
A life-long petrol-head, Gompertz forged a career in car design before swapping carburettors for a dog collar and heading to theological college to train as a vicar.
While working as a curate, Gompertz conceived the idea of REVS as an annual car show to engage people who loved cars but had no church background or desire to attend church. Out of that came a wider ministry.
He explains: 'It was a way of relationship-building but once a year could not sustain the relationships we were developing, so we launched the Sunday Service Station, a monthly "cars and coffee" event at a local cafe here in Shropshire, a place where people could stop on the journey of life, grab food and experience community, a listening ear and even prayer.
'We don't preach at people – we simply listen and care, and if they just want to talk about their car, then we can do that too.'
During the last year, Gompertz has been part of Church Mission Society's Pioneer Mission Leadership Training programme in Oxford. He says being around other like-minded people has helped convince him of his calling to develop REVS further.
'I think cars and mission can fit very well,' he says. 'Car-related themes of restoration, design and creation have a natural resonance. The theme of restoration works brilliantly, as I get to hear some stories of people whose lives have been damaged. Classic car lovers need to know that God loves them.'
He adds: 'I think the future of REVS is about small groups and setting up similar service stations. REVS seems to reach people who I never thought would be interested, and we are currently exploring the possibility of publishing a book of doodles and reflections.'
Gompertz and his work with classic car enthusiasts and Aston Martin is set to feature on BBC's Song of Praise, to be broadcast on BBC1 at 3 pm on October 7.