A Blackpool policeman who swapped life on the beat for the pulpit in an amazing change of career, has started a four year spiritual apprenticeship.
Steve Haskett, 35, shocked his family and colleagues when he traded in his police uniform for a dog collar two years ago.
But now, the former South Shore bobby has joined Anchorsholme’s All Saints Church, on North Drive as a curate.
He said: “I left the police service because I had a calling.
“I enjoyed my work as a police officer for nine years but I always had a real sense of restlessness.
“A few years ago my brother died, which was emotional devastating for me.
“It made me realise that following my faith was something I couldn’t put off anymore.
“I have just joined All Saints Church as a curate and I will now spend the next four years shadowing the vicar here.
“Initially, I thought I would get a lot of stick from my family and friends when I told them what I was doing, but I didn’t.
“People genuinely just wanted to know why, they were very curious.
“I left the police in July 2011 and went off to study at Theological College in Durham.
“Just two weeks ago I was ordained at Blackburn Cathedral, which means once I have completed this four year apprenticeship I will become a vicar myself.”
The father-of-one said he had only been a regular churchgoer until he reached his teens and had never attended every week as an adult.
Steve, of Norman close, Anchorsholme, said: “When I first told Lisa my wife about my plans she said she couldn’t see herself as a vicar’s wife.
“But over time she has been able to embrace it.
“As a police officer I found it disheartening at having to keep dealing with the same people and situations over and over again.
“I have found reconnecting with my faith a really healing process, I was a mess after my brother died.
“I enjoying having the opportunity to speak to people and be able to help them spiritually.”
Throughout his career, Steve, who joined Lancashire police in July 2002, worked as an emergency response officer, a neighbourhood policing officer and a crime investigator.
Steve added: “Even though I’m not as financially as well off as I was when I was in the police I can categorically say this move was worth it.
“Reconnecting with my faith has got rid of the restlessness I felt inside.
“I would recommend to anyone who felt they had a calling to follow up on it. My role as a curate is very fulfilling as it helps me to help others.”