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Rhys Stephenson Nancy Dancing Banner.JPG
Credit: Instagram/rocketrhys
Rhys Stephenson Nancy Dancing.JPG
Credit: Instagram/rocketrhys

Strictly Come Dancing contestants 'pray together' before show

Rhys Stephenson's pastor has revealed that the Strictly Come Dancing contestant prays with his partner before they hit the dancefloor.

Rev David Anderton, the vicar of St James and St John in Romford, told Premier that Rhys requested that his partner Nancy Xu pray with him before they head out on stage.

"Rhys asked Nancy if she would pray with him and she said yes," Rev Anderton explained. "So just before they go onto the dancefloor, they pray." 

Rev David Anderton said he was delighted to have his church feature on Saturday's show and see Rhys sharing so openly about his Christian faith.

"It was great to have Rhys talking about his faith in that way," he said. 

Members of Rhys's church appeared on a zoom call during Saturday night's show to cheer him on.

"It was great - people really enjoyed themselves coming along on Saturday night to the church," Rev Anderton said. "We had a party within Covid allowance and we were able to shout and support Rhys on the night." 

"We've had people saying 'we saw Rev David on the telly... there's been a lot of excitement about it!'"

Rev David said Rhys has been "very involved" in the church. 

"He was one of our worship leaders," he said. "About once a month or so he'd be leading worship for us in the church." 

The Stephenson family on a whole are "really involved" in the life of the church, the vicar explained. 

Rev Anderton said it was wonderful when people share their faith on the public stage as it shows others that "Christians are normal".

"Rhys is a very lively character," he said. "He's well-known for his work on the BBC...he's an ordinary guy and it's really good when he comes out and shares that his faith is so important to him in that way. 

"It really is at the centre of his life." 

Rev Anderton urged people to pray for those who are Christians in the public eye, such as Rhys and fellow Strictly contestant Dan Walker, who is also a Christian.

"We need to keep them all in our prayers because there is a vulnerability for them being in the public eye like that," he said. 

"We need to recognise that and we need to support them.

"I think as well, at times perhaps they don't get things perfectly right, and we need to not shoot them down when they don't.

"We have to acknowledge that we all get things wrong at times. We should keep them in our prayers and keep supporting them." 





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