A PASTOR with a passion for magic tricks is revealing his secrets to other clergy so they can also use illusion to help spread the word of God.
Tim Saiet, curate at St Paul's Church, in Ridley Avenue, West Ealing, worked as a magician for more than 20 years and is a member of the magic circle.
The 45-year-old has led a showbiz lifestyle, his career includes being the magician for Arsenal Football Club and the McLaren F1 team, performing at movie premieres for United Artists and Warner Brothers, as well as taking the stage at the Edinburgh Festival and other prestigious events.
He became curious about Christianity back in 1997 and soon after he quit his glamorous career and decided to work for the church.
He said: "I wasn't depressed or down or anything like that I just wanted to find out more about God. I did an Alpha Course and they then immediately used me as a prison minister where I could use my magic skills to help communicate the message.
"I just adapt them slightly. For example, the torn and restored newspaper trick. I replace the the newspaper with a paper heart and tear it up as I explain how you get heart wounds when you are damaged in relationships or friendships. You can go to the doctor who will give you pills but only God can can put your heart back together, which is when I unfold the heart and it is back to how it was before.
"Church leaders are looking for different, unique ways to illustrate the message. Jesus used parables to make people think about it. I've taught one-on-one before but never run a course like this. I've got quite a lot of clergy signed up for it."
Some might say it all sounds a bit gimmicky, but Mr Saiet disagrees. He added: "We all love gadgets and things like that, especially blokes. There's nothing wrong with using what god has given us to appeal to people's imaginations."
The assistant pastor has certainly had a colourful career, he was a Royal Marine Commando before he took up show business.
But as far as he is concerned his current job is the best one he could wish for. He added: "I love working for the church, I don't miss show business at all."