Beatboxing vicar says ‘it’s a wrap’

Rev Gavin Tyte's beatbox nativity

Rev Gavin Tyte's beatbox nativity - Credit: Archant

Uplyme and Axmouth church minister Rev Gavin Tyte announces his resignation

Rev Gavin Tyte

Rev Gavin Tyte - Credit: Archant

Uplyme’s ‘beatboxing’ vicar Gavin Tyte has handed in his resignation.

The rapping reverend, who is also the minister at Axmouth, says he is leaving the church to concentrate on his other job – as a self employed writer and designer.

He made his surprise announcement to parishioners on Sunday.

Mr Tyte, 41, who won national acclaim for his rap version of The Nativity, told villagers on his website: “For some time I have been struggling to hold down two jobs simultaneously – as a self-employed writer and designer and as vicar of Uplyme with Axmouth.

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“Although I have at all times felt supported in what has been a difficult work balance, the long-term viability of this arrangement has been unsustainable for two reasons.

“Firstly, I believe that the nature of the role of vicar means that one never really switches off enough to be able to concentrate on a completely different and distinct creative work that has equal priority. Not impossible, but difficult. Secondly, I admit that I am a very driven person and it is in my nature to give my all to that which I am working on. I have given much more than 50 per cent and 70 per cent of my time to the role of vicar over the past three-and-a-half years.

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“To prevent burn-out, I have come to the painful conclusion that I am unable to continue to split my time across two distinct ministries and that I need to choose one or the other.

“I have therefore chosen to resign from the post of vicar of Uplyme and Axmouth churches and focus on my work as a writer and designer.

“It has been a great pleasure serving both the parishes of Uplyme and Axmouth. I hope that I have contributed to the life and missional activities of both church communities. There have been many highlights and developments!

“As a family we intend to stay in the Lyme Regis area as both our children are happy and settled at Woodroffe School. Our last Sunday in post will be 1st September 2013 and I will do my best to ensure minimum disruption and a smooth handover of leadership duties.”

In 2011 Mr Tyte’s Beatbox Nativity was voted winner of a nationwide Christmas themed contest run by ITN and Jerusalem Productions, scooping him a £5,000 prize.

The short film, in which he played all the roles - angel, narrator and shepherd - was a big YouTube hit but the Vicar admitted it was not to everyone’s taste.

He said at the time: “The Beatbox Nativity has divided people – they seem to either love it or hate it - a bit like Marmite. But then the gospel story has always been provocative hasn’t it?”

Since then he has worked on setting St Luke’s Gospel in rap form – part of his Beatbox Bible project.

Mr Tyte also sparked controversy when he asked people to bring pants and socks to the harvest festival in preference to traditional vegetables – so he could give them to a charity for the needy in Exeter.

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