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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
'Mobile minister' drawing crowds
Reverend Simon Lockett
Reverend Lockett writes his sermons while he is travelling
A curate has hit upon an unusual way of spreading the gospel message - by taking it to his flock in a VW camper.

After the merger of several local parishes led to complaints of clergy never being around, the Reverend Simon Lockett decided to become mobile.

He has started touring Oxfordshire in his van, meeting his parishioners in their own villages to share tea and religious discussion.

Thought to be the first such scheme in the UK, he says it has been a success.

"We've had a very warm reception at each village we've been.

The Van
The van contains tea making equipment and a table
"In some places the elderly folk come out - at some we've been inundated by kids.

"It does seem to have captured people's imagination and people are very excited about it."

He takes his laptop in the van to write sermons while out and about, and it also has a table and tea-making facilities to entertain visitors.

"Jesus went out in his sandals, John Wesley on a horse, and now we're using a camper van.

"It's the same message, but we're out there to listen to people, to be seen and to be accessible and available."


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