Vicar ‘kept sani­tiser’ for hand­shak­ing

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

CELEBRITY VICAR Richard Coles has ad­mit­ted that he kept bot­tles of hand sani­tiser for all the hand­shak­ing at Christ­mas in his last parish.

But the for­mer Com­mu­nards star, 57, who trained at the Col­lege of the Res­ur­rec­tion in Mir­field in West York­shire be­fore be­ing or­dained in 2005, said he was “wiped out” on Christ­mas Day.

The Rev Coles, who is the vicar at a church in Fine­don in Northamp­ton­shire and has also carved out a ca­reer as a broad­caster and jour­nal­ist, said that there were more than 30 carol ser­vices in the run-up to Christ­mas in his last parish in cen­tral Lon­don.

He told Ra­dio Times mag­a­zine: “Af­ter Hark the Her­ald, we would take up our po­si­tions in the porch to wish de­part­ing wor­ship­pers a happy Christ­mas.

“10,000 hand­shakes fol­lowed, or to put it an­other way, 10,000 op­por­tu­ni­ties for viruses to pass from them to me. We kept lit­tle bot­tles of hand sani­tiser for pro­phy­lac­tic wip­ing, but, in­vari­ably, we were voice­less by Mid­night Mass, and wiped out be­fore the Queen’s Speech.”

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