I AM writing about your story about the Reverend Canon Dr Paul Shackerely.
I know this vicar from way back to when he was acting Dean Of Sheffield (Cathedral) and I became Deanery Synod Representative (a senior non-clergy role in a local congregation).
He was the person that restored my faith in Christ and loyalty to the Church of England after my recruitment to become a priest didn’t work out.
All other so-called priests at the time were pushing me from pillar to post. But Paul took me in and took me seriously.
My back story is that the Church through the Royal Naval Chaplaincy Department advised me to leave the Royal Navy to become ordained and return to the Navy as a chaplain only to do a U-turn and renege on their excitement about me. This left me with suicidal and dark thoughts.
Paul helped me to overcome this period, rebuild my character and confidence and kept me within the fold of the Church.
By all rights I could have walked away and never darkened a church door-way again but I am still in support of the Church of England.
I don’t know what came over him to behave in such a reckless way but I can assure people that he is an agent of God.
I do not condone this blip in his behaviour.
However I am support of him because he is a deeply fun person and deeply caring pastor.
Dave Croft, senior security officer, Barking, Essex