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God speed! Priest gets between his four churches on his SCOOTER

Rev Tony Lawrence, once struggling with addiction, now navigates between his four churches on the Isle of Wight on an orange Vespa, embracing his faith and calling to priesthood.
Rev Tony Lawrence the priest charge of four churches gets between them on his Vespa SCOOTER.
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A priest now in charge of four churches gets between them on his SCOOTER.

Rev Tony Lawrence found God after battling drink and drug demons.

They almost drove him to suicide but he then met his wife Jules.

Ex-gardener Rev Lawrence started going to church and found his faith.

He now hares around on the Isle of Wight on his orange Vespa in his leathers and dog collar.

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Rev Tony Lawrence the priest charge of four churches gets between them on his Vespa SCOOTER.
Rev Tony Lawrence. (Picture: Jam Press)

The priest has four parish churches including St Saviour’s-on-the-Cliff in Shanklin and St Alban’s in Ventnor.

There is also the Church of the Good Shepherd, in Lake and All Saints, in Godshill – all about 10 miles apart.

Rev Lawrence said: “I had this strong desire to be a priest, but felt God wouldn’t want me as my education hadn’t been great.”

“I’d roar up and down the country on my Vespa, and I got into drink and drugs.

“Things hit a low point when I disappeared with the intention of taking my own life.”

He added: “I was living in Gloucestershire and decided to jump off the Severn Bridge, but made a bargain with God.

“I found a phone box and prayed: ‘If my friend Andy picks up the phone, then I won’t go through with it.’

Rev Tony Lawrence the priest charge of four churches gets between them on his Vespa SCOOTER.
Rev Tony Lawrence and his wife, Jules, with the Bishops. (Picture: Jam Press)

“Andy picked up the phone within two rings and I ended up staying with him for three weeks.”

Rev Lawrence and Jules then started attending his local church in Cheltenham.

They moved to the island in 1999 and four years later he had an epiphany to become a priest.

“The new role will give me plenty of opportunity to ride the Vespa around the parishes,” he said.

“I prefer two wheels to four, and it’s ideal for pastoral visiting.”

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