REVIEW: Rev Richard Coles in conversation at Budleigh

PUBLISHED: 18:30 09 March 2018

The Rev Richard Coles in conversation with Annie Ashworth. Picture: Mike Rice.

The Rev Richard Coles in conversation with Annie Ashworth. Picture: Mike Rice.

fotoboat/Mike Rice

"It's counter-intuitive for a vicar to walk into a church and see lots of people," remarked the Rev Richard Coles, taking his seat in a packed St Peter's Church for an evening of conversation with Annie Ashworth, artistic director of Budleigh Literary Festival.

The Rev Richard Coles at Budleigh's St Peter's church. Picture: Mike Rice.The Rev Richard Coles at Budleigh's St Peter's church. Picture: Mike Rice.

The event was postponed when Coles was lured away from the 2017 festival to be in Strictly Come Dancing.

He was, he recalls, ‘booted off’ for performing the worst pasa doble the judges had ever seen, but not before becoming ‘the only incumbent of the Church of England to have spray-tanned with Debbie McGee’.

In an evening that provided food for thought as well as laughter, Coles discussed how he balances his ‘life of two halves’.

“To be an effective public figure is often at odds with being an effective vicar’, he admitted, “but the visibility of people who commit to a faith is a very good thing.”

The Rev Richard Coles at Budleigh's St Peter's church. Picture: Mike Rice.The Rev Richard Coles at Budleigh's St Peter's church. Picture: Mike Rice.

Delia Pemberton

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