Fr Sean is gathering quite a following for the Evening Prayer podcast, which he has sent out at 6pm every day, ever since the lockdown began.
The 15-minute transmission is relaxed and personal as he chats about happenings in the parish, congratulates people on anniversaries and shouts out messages to individual parishioners by name.
He then moves on to Evening Prayer from the breviary, which is enhanced by his musical gift as he plays along on the piano.
Last Friday (April 24), however, saw a podcast which was truly remarkable and a tribute to Fr Sean’s dedication to leading his parish in prayer. Taking his daily exercise as prescribed by the Government, he went out for what was intended to be an hour’s cycle ride. At some point, however, his back tyre exploded, leaving him stranded miles from St George’s.
“Rather than being safely at home or in church,” he announced as the podcast 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.”
It had been quite a saga, his listeners discovered. He had changed the inner tube once, only to find after another four miles cycling that the damaged tyre would not hold and burst again. As he did not have another spare tube, there was nothing left for it but to walk.
Fr Sean did not allow such setbacks to reduce the musical quality of the podcast, however, and 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,” he commented as an aside. “People as they walk past think I’m completely mad.”
It took about the length of evening prayer from the breviary to walk from the airport to Boundary Junction, and Fr Sean must have found some encouragement from the psalm for 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.”
“Next week I might trying broadcasting while water surfing,” joked Fr Sean the following day.
Listen to Fr Sean talk about his podcasting adventures on BBC Radio Norfolk here. Start listening at 3.44 hrs (until June 10).
Pictured above is Fr Sean Connolly with his bike