Gay, suicidal, pop starring, drug taking, promiscuous, vicar…

richard coles

And quite wonderful for all of it.

Finally got round to watching Fern Britton Meets Richard Coles on the i player, telling his story. You can catch it for a little while longer here.

Coles, along with the majestic Jimmy Sommerville were the founding members of The Communards, who provided part of the sound track to my student days. Although I could never dance, as I was even then far too awkward and self conscious.

In many ways, for people of faith, his story charts one of the totemic issues of our age. He survived hedonism of stardom in the 80’s, alongside the homophobic hysteria and traumatic loss of the AIDS epidemic and in the mess of it all, encountered Jesus.

Despite all the complex rejection and hostility towards homosexual people that was around then in the Church (even in the manifest presence of gay people within the walls of the establishment) God seemed to have no problem reaching for Richard.

Coles is now a CofE vicar, and lives in a celebate relationship with his partner David (also a vicar). So he remains a faithful witness to both the faith that found him and the person he was born to be.

Watch the programme if you can, it is beautiful and life affirming.

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