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Post People: The reverend who has given an animal blessing and appeared in the Ali G film

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 December 2016

Animal blessing led by Rev Philip Wright (lead chaplain at Queen's Hospital and linked to St Luke's Church in Cranham), at The Upminster Taproom. Picture: Melissa Page.

Animal blessing led by Rev Philip Wright (lead chaplain at Queen's Hospital and linked to St Luke's Church in Cranham), at The Upminster Taproom. Picture: Melissa Page.

Archant

Fresh from delivering an animal blessing to dogs and their owners, the Rev Phil Wright talks about his role as lead chaplain in Queen’s Hospital, and how he ended up appearing in the Ali G film.

Q How important is the festive period in terms of being with family and remembering what is important?

A To me it is about taking time out to see family and friends and spend quality time with your own immediate family but it’s also a time to reflect on your relationship with God.

It’s also about pigs in blankets, Christmas isn’t Christmas without them!

Q What would you say to people who believe religion creates more problems than answers?

A Bono, the front man for U2, said once that religion was a man made club, and there is some truth in that.

It’s not about the type of church building you go to or what songs you sing or if you went shopping on a Sunday.

It’s about love and God’s unconditional love.

I work with many people from many faiths and have a wonderful fruitful relationship with them, where respect and love are the foundation.

Q Can you tell readers about your role as lead chaplain at Queen’s and at St Luke’s?

A I am responsible for the religious, spiritual, pastoral and bereavement service.

The majority of our work is pastoral and spiritual care to patients, relatives and staff and is not about religion. When someone finds themselves in hospital sick they often lose the thread of their life. Our role is to help them explore what is important to them and help make some sense and meaning of their situation.

Q You have even appeared in adverts, TV and the Ali G film, how did that come about?

A I was a TV and film supporting artist which led to appearances in The Bill and Jonathan Creek.

In Ali G I was a press photographer! It’s nothing major but you can see me for a split second or two.

Q How do you like to spend your spare time?

A I am a huge West Ham fan and have a season ticket, I’m also the chaplain to the West Ham Academy, which I enjoy.

I love music and going for a beer. I like real ale so I can often be found in the excellent Upminster Taproom.

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