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Church urged not to forget pie-throwing priest clown

Sun 14 Aug 2016
By Alex Williams

The legacy of a Anglican priest who made a reputation for himself as a custard pie-through clown who targeted bishops must not be forgoten, one of his former-colleagues has told Premier.

Associate vicar Roly Bain, who won accolades including two Clown International awards, reportedly died following a one-year battle with cancer.

Fellow Anglican priest Patrick Forbes, who co-founded the Holy Fools network of Christian entertainers with Roly told Premier Christian Radio: "There was a time when the idea of a lowly priest hurling a custard pie at a bishop in the Anglican Church would have been impossible to imagine.

"It's possible for senior people to take themselves far too solemnly. Roly went to work on that with great success and the bishops, bless their hearts, took it in very good [humour]."

Ordained in 1978, Mr Bain choose to spend a year at the Circomedia circus school in Bristol in the early 1990s before, more recently, serving as an associate vicar at St Mary the Virgin Church in Olveston.

Tributes paid on the social media website Twitter to Mr Bain included a "man of so many gifts", "irreplaceable" and "a great blessing to the Church".

Patrick Forbes added: "It very much matters that the Church doesn't forget Roly and that it has the courage to build on what it may learned [from him], that there are ways of sharing the Gospel which are not necessarily solemn and Bible-thumping and there may be a gentler, quieter and sometimes outrageously funny ways of sharing the good news of Jesus with other people."

Click here to listen to Patrick Forbes speaking with Premier's Alex Williams.

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