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Confessions of a Pole Dancing Priest by The Reverend Laura Chapman, with Warren FitzGerald



Confessions of a Pole Dancing Priest


‘Fresh, funny, and wholly original,

this book will stay with me for a long time.’

Daisy Buchanan

Laura has a calling from God. But, like many other twentysomethings, she also loves booze, sex and funny cat videos. Will this make her a bad priest? The crusty white male custodians of the ministry think so. But Laura has different ideas.

At theological college, despite hard partying and frequent hangovers, Laura is a good enough student to point out where the scripture is a misogynistic ‘crock of shite’.

Threatened with expulsion, Laura is silenced. For now. But she finds empowerment in pole fitness classes, and as a fully-fledged priest, older and wiser, she installs a pole in the vicarage, leaving visiting bishops agog.

Laura, an outsider herself, knows that outsiders are who the church is there for – from the old man barred from his lover’s funeral to the young woman in need of a secret abortion. But even Laura’s powers of inclusivity are challenged when she has to eulogise at a paedophile’s funeral and is hit on by a randy undertaker.

Confessions of a Pole Dancing Priest, one woman’s true-life odyssey of outrage through the patriarchal world of the Church, is full of whip-smart comebacks, stinging one-liners, and scalpel-sharp observations. Laura’s story moves from episodes that are frank, crude, funny, and rebellious to a traumatic conclusion of almost biblical proportions that speaks to the wisdom and humanity in all of us.

‘Laura Chapman’s “Confessions” should be required reading for anyone who wants an in to what is too often hidden! This is a fabulously funny, deeply theological, all-too-recognisable telling of what ministerial life is really like!’

The Revd Canon Jarel Robinson-Brown

Armley Press’s many previous books include Chris Nickson’s Leeds: The Biography, Nathan O’Hagan’s The World is (Not) a Cold Dead Place and the encyclopedia How Leeds Changed the World.

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