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Comedian talks about his return to faith

By Sarah Mac Donald - 14 July, 2013

Comedian and broadcaster Frank Skinner has said his association with a Jesuit church in London affected his attitude to fatherhood and his appreciation of silent meditation.

Interviewed in the summer edition of Jesuits and Friends, Skinner explains how he returned to the Catholic Church in his late 20s, after being disillusioned with his faith in his teens.

In the interview, he says he believes he has matured as a believer and is now better equipped to discuss his faith with others in the world of light entertainment.

“I find that the people in my line of work who talk to me about religion are often very interested, rather than very disparaging,” he says. “Atheists and agnostics are often more interested in religion than religious people.”

The writer, comedian and actor is best known for his television work, often alongside David Baddiel, with whom he also collaborated for the football song ‘Three Lions.’

Since January 2012, Skinner has been host of BBC show Room 101. He is also a radio presenter, though he is probably best known for his role in Fantasy Football League. In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.

Fatherhood has had a profound effect upon him, following the birth of his son in May 2012, who was baptised at Farm Street Jesuit Church in London. Skinner says the experience of fatherhood led him to better understand the love of God as father.

“When you’ve got a child, the love that you feel is like nothing else you feel in the rest of your life. And I think for the believer – certainly the parent – it gives you the clearer view of what a big painful, awful sacrifice that was.”

“When they become your primary concern, ahead of yourself – for me, it’s helped me to understand that sort of love of God, that selfless, forgiving love.”

Frank Skinner’s interest in silent reflection started through yoga, and it extended into the meditative spirituality he finds with the Jesuits.

“Through short periods of time, I developed the ability to stop thinking and clear my mind,” he explains.

“And I suppose afterwards you feel peace. You start to feel very centred and that starts to inform the rest of your life. I feel that God is in that – in everything – and it’s like that silence can make you feel it in yourself.”

The interview with Frank Skinner – alongside features on the Pope Francis and a preview of World Youth Day in Brazil can be read in the summer edition of Jesuits and Friends at: www.jesuitmissions.org  

 Courtesy: ICN – Independent Catholic News  http://www.indcatholicnews.com/

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