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Jamie is the Naked Vicar

PUBLISHED: 22:57 04 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:15 24 February 2010

MOTORBIKING priest Jamie Allen is all Rev-ved up to become the star of a new television documentary that charts his attempts to inject new life into a very traditional parish.

MOTORBIKING priest Jamie Allen is all Rev-ved up to become the star of a new television documentary that charts his attempts to inject new life into a very traditional parish.

Woodbridge-born Rev Jamie Allen, who has two tattoos and wears a nose stud, will appear in an eight-part documentary, which starts tonight, where cameras follow him from a large urban parish to a small staunchly traditional congregation in the heart of rural England.

The 31-year-old, an open-minded ex-DJ, has been dubbed the Naked Vicar, the church's answer to Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef, due to his modern attitude to religion.

Mr Allen said: "It's not a programme about church services or vicars. It's much more about a rural community and their parish priest. I was a townie and it shows me getting to know rural parishes.

"It's a very entertaining programme and a lot of personalities from the villages emerge. The programme aims to be aspirational and an antidote to EastEnders."

"The church is part of the glue of the community. People tend to turn to the church at one time or another for different needs and hopes and the programme shows in how many ways people use and value their church."

His parents, Pam and Roy, of Victoria Road, Felixstowe, said: "Initially he was apprehensive of the BBC. To start with he said no, but he thought about it and felt maybe this would be an opportunity to do something that is worthwhile.

"It was his first job as a vicar as opposed to a curate, it was quite a big undertaking."

Mr Allen took the cloth in 1999 and filming started in June last year.

"When he knew that this call in to the ministry was definite it wasn't such a surprise, even as a child after coming home from church he would set up his room as a congregation and go through a service in his room," his mum said.

In A Country Parish, which was screened on BBC2 last night at 8pm, the young vicar is shown moving from a large parish in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, to tend to the spiritual needs of a parish in Wiltshire. The exact location of the parish has not been disclosed for fear it could be turned in to a tourist attraction if the programme proves popular.

Since moving to the Wiltshire parish the former Felixstowe resident has come up against a degree of opposition. His mum said on one memorable occasion he made the mistake of organising the harvest festival for the same date as the countryside march.

"He has tried to bring some life in to this country parish," she added. This has included encouraging children to join in with the service and spreading the word outside the walls of a church.

Mr Allen is married to Suzy, has three daughters; Danielle, 6, Carrie, 3 and Katy, 1, one dog called Zebedee, three cats, four hens and a horse.

He originally wanted to be a doctor and studied chemistry, biology and physics in the sixth form at Woodbridge School where his dad had been the head of physics.

Mr Allen studied teacher training at Warwick University for four years, and taught for a while before "answering his calling".


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