By Tim Binnall
A vicar in England forced to hold his weekly service online due to the coronavirus crisis saw his broadcast interrupted when he accidentally set himself on fire! The jaw-dropping incident reportedly occurred last Thursday when Simon Beach of the St Budeaux Parish Church in Plymouth was in the midst of his first-ever virtual sermon. Describing the experience as "surreal," the service took on an even stranger turn thanks to some candles that were placed a bit too close to his seat.
As Beach leaned toward the camera for a portion of the service which he called 'waiting,' wherein one pauses and asks God "what are you saying to us." Whether by divine intervention or merely a mistake in the homemade set design, the heat from the nearby candles suddenly ignites the shoulder of the vicar's sweater. Realizing that he was ablaze, the holy man appropriately responded with a bemused "oh dear, I've just caught fire" before putting extinguishing the small flame.
To his credit, Beach had a sense of humor about the mishap, especially after the fiery scene went beyond his congregation watching at home and popped up on social media over the weekend. Fortunately, the vicar was unharmed by the viral moment, later saying that "the nice thing is, it did damage my pullover and my shirt but my arm is fine." We'll leave it up to you to decide if the incident was a 'message from above' and, if so, what it was supposed to mean.