Accident played key role in minister's life

IN HIS spare time, Hope Baptist Church's new minister can be found riding his customised Ducati Monster motorbike.

Rev Marcus Bull is a keen biker but it was the aftermath of a horrendous car accident that led to him deciding to become a minister.

He was training to become a primary school teacher in East London when the car he was driving crashed into a tree, seriously injuring him. "The fire brigade had to cut me out of the car," he said. "They said they had never cut anybody out alive of a wreck that bad."

At that point, he thought about what direction his life was taking. He was advised to complete his training and teach for a few years, which he did.

The leg injury he sustained in the accident meant he had to visit hospital regularly and underwent several operations. His leg became infected and it got to the stage where he had to dress his leg twice a day and take antibiotics.

"I was back in hospital and the surgeon was talking about amputation," he said. "My uncle, who is a vicar, came to visit me and prayed with me at my bedside.

"After visiting time, the doctor came back to see me and wanted to try a different set of antibiotics. Within 24 hours the infection had cleared up and within 48 hours I was discharged from hospital.

"Obviously the antibiotics had some effect but I believe God was working in the healing process. When I got home, I applied to become a baptist minister."

Before arriving in Hebden Bridge, Marcus was at a church in Coventry and then minister at Trinity Church in Rawdon, near Leeds, for six years. "Having ministered in one church in Yorkshire, I was very keen to stay in Yorkshire," he said.

He came to Hope Baptist Church in September after it applied to the Baptist Union of Great Britain for a grant for a minister. His remit is to help the church to link with the community.

He said: "I've been made to feel very welcome. It's a gorgeous place to live, an absolutely beautiful part of the country. I live within a stone's throw of the canal towpath so I can walk into town on it."

His love of motorbikes led to him being featured in a TV programme called 'All the gear, no idea' on the Men and Motors channel.

He said: "I was riding a very old Honda Civic that needed a lot of work doing. I noticed an advert in Motorcycle News to take part in a biking show. I don't often wear my dog collar but I put it on for the picture thinking it might just swing it and it did.

"I got a call from the TV company and they flew me and my bike to California for a week all expenses paid."

A short while after he returned from America, the Ducati he is riding now was delivered to him after Sunday morning service one weekend during his time at Rawdon.

"It's a gorgeous machine," he said. "The programme is repeated sometimes so I get phone calls from friends saying 'You're on again'."