Jamie's not quite the Naked Vicar

MOTORBIKING priest Jamie Allen is all Revved up to become the star of a new TV series, charting his attempts to inject new life into a very traditional parish.

MOTORBIKING priest Jamie Allen is all Revved up to become the star of a new TV series, charting his attempts to inject new life into a very traditional parish.

The Woodbridge-born vicar, who has two tattoos and wears a nose stud, will appear in an eight-part documentary, starting tonight.

Cameras follow him from a large urban parish to a small congregation in the heart of rural England – the sort of move Dawn French's character made in The Vicar of Dibley.

The Rev Jamie Allen, 31, an open-minded ex-DJ, is already being dubbed the Naked Vicar, the church's answer to his namesake Jamie Oliver.


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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.

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"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."

Jamie's parents, Pam and Roy, live at Victoria Road, Felixstowe. His father 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 is his first job as a vicar as opposed to a curate. It was quite a big undertaking."

The young vicar took the cloth in 1999 and filming started in June last year.

Pam said: "When he knew that this call to the ministry was definite, it wasn't such a surprise.

"Even as a child, after coming home from church, he would set up a pretend congregation and go through a service in his room."

In A Country Parish, which will be screened on BBC2 at 8pm, Jamie 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 into a tourist attraction if the programme proves popular.

Since moving to the Wiltshire parish, he 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.

Jamie is married to Suzy and has three daughters, Danielle, six, Carrie, three and Katy, one, a dog called Zebedee, three cats, four hens and a horse.

He studied at Woodbridge School where his dad had been the head of physics, and went on to Warwick University before teaching for a time.

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