Funky vicar: ‘This next job goes out to the church’

Keeping his own beat: Newly ordained Aylesbury vicar Richard Phillips
Keeping his own beat: Newly ordained Aylesbury vicar Richard Phillips
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A man of God he may be but a newly ordained Aylesbury vicar is just as at home behind a drum kit as he is on the altar.

Richard Phillips, 37, has just qualified as a junior vicar to serve at the Holy Trinity Church, Walton.

The father of three said he always knew he wanted to become a vicar but his other passion lies in picking up the drumsticks.

And not content with being ordained, Mr Phillips now wants to take his passion for music to the next level.

He said: “I’m looking for a local band to join in the area. I will feel like I have really arrived here when I have found a band to play with and let off a bit of steam.

“That’s important in any job letting off a bit of a steam. Something decent pop, rock or funk would suit. Anything from Coldplay to ABBA, that’s what pleases the crowd.”

Having spent three years training hard to be ordained, Mr Phillips is well aware of the task that lies ahead.

With more than 13 years working for pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmythKline (GSK)in sales behind him, feels he is ready for the challenge ahead.

“Ever since I started there (GSK) I pretty much knew I wanted to be a vicar,” Mr Phillips said.

“GSK’s mission in life was making people who were ill better. I never had an ethical issue working for them. I used to help supply HIV medicines which kept people alive.

“But now I’m working for the church which can really offer a fulfilling life. I’m quite pleased.

“I’m going to be working for the creator of the universe and it’s a real privilege.”

Mr Phillips, who has relocated to the area from High Wycombe, said his target was not just to get to know the church worshippers but those who live and work around it.

He added: “One of the biggest challenges is sussing out the area. It’s about trying to persuade people that life can be so much more fulfilling.

“The church still has a really important role to play. I want to encourage other people to use their talents.”