BISHOP and magician, Reverend Peter Fox, known in Papua New Guinea as ‘Bishop Condom’, is retiring from his current role at Old Lakenham Church in the United Kingdom.
He might not be able to change water into wine, but one Norwich vicar certainly has plenty of tricks up his sleeves in his sideline as a member of the magicians’ group, the Magic Circle.
The 66-year old, who has been practicing magic since he was seven, previously held the position as Anglican Bishop of Port Moresby in PNG, making him the only bishop in the Magic Circle.
He said: “There are other clergymen but I am the only bishop, which means I’m the only member of the Magic Circle who’s actually entitled to wear a pointy hat and have a stick.”
After learning the tricks of the trade he eventually left England for Papua New Guinea in 1979 to become a missionary priest.
While there he became an outspoken voice against the dangers of HIV and Aids, which at the time was a massive problem in the country, earning him the nickname of Bishop Condom.
Returning to the UK in 1984 he decided to join the Magic Circle and, along with his wife Angie Fox, performed a mind-reading act under the stage name the Fantastic Dr Fox. Within a year he was invited to appear on Terry Wogan’s talk show.
He said: “Getting an appearance on Wogan was like the Holy Grail for a magician, none of them could ever get on but they just rang me up one time and asked if I wanted to go on. We performed with Lulu, it was great fun.”
He was invited back to Papua New Guinea in 2001 to become the Bishop of Port Moresby before returning to Norwich to be vicar of North Lakenham and Tuckswood in 2006.
During his time back in England he did talks on the history of magic as well as performing for children in schools across Norfolk.
The father of three has always been a strong part of the Lakenham community, hosting annual BBQs for his congregation.
Rev Fox is now retiring to Castle Donnington to travel the waterways of England in his narrow boat, as well as performing a lot more magic.