Shane Lynch found ‘direct relationship with God’ after being on ‘the dark side’

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Shane Lynch has spoken about his “direct relationship with God”, after being on what he described as the “dark side” and having been “very interested in satanic stuff for a long period” of his life.

The Irish singer and former Boyzone member, 46, will feature in Pilgrimage on BBC Two, in which celebrities with differing faiths and beliefs tackle a modern day Catholic pilgrimage.

Ahead of the show airing, Lynch, who is a Pentecostal born-again Christian, explained his own relationship with his religion, saying: “I’m a born-again Christian. It’s a lifestyle, it’s not a religion at all.

“I was born and raised a Catholic, but I was baptised as a child. Being born again is the symbolism of baptism.

“So as an adult, I made the choice to be baptised. And I decided to have a direct relationship with God.”

In the programme, which begins on Good Friday at 9pm, Lynch will be joined on the pilgrimage by actress Su Pollard, who was raised Church of England, Jewish actress Rita Simons, reality TV star Vicky Pattison, who is agnostic, practising Catholic, maths teacher and TV personality Bobby Seagull, Nabil Abdulrashid, a comedian and practising Muslim, and Paralympian Millie Knight who is non-practising Church of England.

Seven celebrities will feature in Pilgrimage on BBC Two (BBC/CTVC)

“I was on the dark side, and I was very interested in satanic stuff for a long period of my life.

“I knew and understood the spirits as such (and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit), the spirits of the occult and witchcraft, which I know is a dark and horrible world.

“So, knowing the dark, I decided I needed the light. That was the symbolism and I found him.”

The seven celebrities will travel by foot, road and train as they follow Portugal’s Northern Way.

Their final destination is the Sanctuary in the city of Fatima, where in 1917, three local children claimed they saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

Su Pollard, Bobby Seagull, Vicky Pattison, Rita Simons, Nabil Abdulrashid, Shane Lynch and Millie Knight (BBC/CTVC)

“We are the only ones who can decide. It’s our decision to either want God or not. God is not a bully. He doesn’t come in and say ‘right, I’m in your life now’.

“You have to decide that you want to know what that world is. Experience that love and prosperity and he leaves you to it.

“And if you want to go to Mass on Sunday, and that’s it, then that’s your relationship with God.

“If you want to sit with God all day long in your car, listening to the radio, I look at it as mental food. So it’s what feeds my mind.

“What I watch, what I listen to, what I digest, it’s actually mental food instead of mental health.”

Pilgrimage: The Road Through Portugal, will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer on April 7 at 9pm.

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