A clergyman has taken on a new role – in a fish and chip shop.
Assistant curate at the Parish of Wyke Regis Roger Butcher is putting his frying skills to good use as he helps behind the counter at Alf’s fish and chip shop in Lanehouse, Weymouth.
Roger, 40, who used to run his own fish and chip business before hearing his calling and training for the Church of England ministry, volunteered to run the shop to give owners John and Karen Pearce a well-deserved break.
He has recruited his wife Ginny, while Karen’s daughter Jacinda Dye is also working there.
Alf’s is just on the edge of the Wyke Regis parish at Fiveways.
Roger said: “I met John Pearce from Alf’s when I first moved to Weymouth a few months ago. He was very busy one evening and I asked him if he wanted some help.
“I ran a fish and chip shop in Blandford before I went into the ministry so I know what I’m doing.
“Running a fish and chip shop is a stressful business because your customers tend to all turn up at the same time.
“I could see they were snowed under at Alf’s and I was happy to help them out for a few hours on a Friday.”
He added: “I heard that John and Karen never go on holiday because of their commitment to the business which is open seven days a week.
“They do so much for the community including taking elderly people out on trips and raising money for charity.
“They’re always giving something back to the community. I thought, here’s two people who don’t have the opportunity to go on holiday, let’s help them out.”
Roger is taking on the voluntary role for just a few days, and his last shift will be tomorrow.
He said: “It’s a bit of a shock for some people when they see me here and at church.
“When I ran my own shop and people heard I was going to train for the church there used to be a few jokes about feeding the five thousand and things like that, so I’m used to it.
“I think, though, it’s important to be approachable as a member of the clergy and this is very much a community shop.
“I’m just glad to help out. But it’s a bit too hot to wear my dog collar while I’m here.”