01 May 2020, The Tablet

The priest, his podcast and the exploding bike tyre

The priest, his podcast and the exploding bike tyre

Fr Sean Connolly with his bike and phone.

In lockdown, for most people it's less a case of "on yer bike" than "off yer bike".

Except perhaps for this one Catholic priest.

Father Sean Connolly has built a strong local following for his daily Evening Prayer podcast from St George's in the East Anglia diocese.

In his 15-minute transmission, he talks about what is going on in the parish, mentions anniversary and individual parishioners by name. He also updates listeners on Dylan, his dog, who is often asleep.

He then says Evening Prayer from the breviary, and accompanies this himself on the piano.

However one recent broadcast did not quite go as planned after he went off for his hour's daily exercise on his bike.

First his back tyre burst, miles from St George’s. He changed the inner tube, and it burst again.

So he had no choice but to deliver the evening prayer as he walked his bike home.

“Rather than being safely at home or in church,” he said as he began, “I’m actually walking with a bike with a punctured tyre, realising that I’m not going to make it in time. So I thought I would begin prayer on the journey. I hope this works.”

He sang into his mobile phone as he wheeled his bike along the Cromer Road into Norwich. “I’m now more or less at the airport,” said at one point. “People as they walk past think I’m completely mad.”

He gave a specially spirited rendition of the psalm of the day: “I was brought low, but He saved me…He has saved my feet from stumbling. I shall walk in the presence of the Lord In the land of the living.”

You can tune into Fr Sean’s podcasts at 6pm every day on the St George’s parish website, or listen to them later here



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