A shocking memoir has been released in which an ex-priest recounts several such violence and brutality he witnessed while living in Yorkshire.
Faithless, published under the pseudonym Seth Walker, bars all the secrets of the author’s life.
From exorcisms to murder, it recounts the troubling sights Seth witnessed throughout his career, as well as what drove him to attempt suicide ten years after he was ordained.
Readmore: Sheffield restaurant’s direct threat to ‘thieving toe-rag’ who stole artwork from their toilets
It is a book about both life and death, as the author revealed when he spoke to Yorkshire Live.
Seth, who has altered the name of everyone in his memoir, himself included, for privacy reasons, spent his years in the ministry working across Yorkshire.
Joining the Church of England felt like a natural progression for him, after being raised by parents who ran their own non-denominational church and attended Theological college.
Despite the long, bright future many might have imagined for him with the Church, he left just a decade later.
In the years between his ordination and his retirement, he has faced a series of shocking sights, some of which he almost excluded from the book.
But keen to recount his journey in its entirety, and what led to his attempted suicide, Seth has chosen to publish his story.
One of its most frightening such revolves around when Seth was attending a service and a drunk man entered the church.
Immediately, Seth saw the need to intervene and lead the man away from the congregation, but the stranger was adamant he needed to be in a church.
Seth then volunteered to take the man to his nearby home, where a downstairs room had been converted into a chapel.
He recalls: “While we were driving, he turned to me and said a very distributing phrase. He said: ‘I will show you a radiance you won’t believe.'”
Seth remembers feeling terrified. “It was really unnerving and it just gave me this feeling of otherness.” But the man’s unusual behavior then turned dangerous.
“He suddenly shouted: ‘No, I will not kill that man,'” Seth said. The author continued: “Then he reached out and grabbed hold of the steering wheel of my car. So I said in the name of Jesus release this wheel, and he did.”
And this would not be his final brush with danger. Wishing to share one of many further incidents, Seth explained how he once helped a distressed man, who had been threatening him to murder his entire family.
The parishioner was “a self-confessed killer”, who claimed to have served time in the military, though Seth did not believe him.
Regardless of his history, Seth did witness the man in “crisis.”
One evening, after going to bed, the priest heard a knock on his downstairs window.
When he went to investigate, he found the wife of the aforementioned man.
Standing outside his home, desperate for help, she was clutching a bundle of knives in a tea towel.
Seth explained: “She said that he said he was going to make the family perfect if he had to kill everyone to do it.”
The woman then asked Seth to go to her husband, and, bravely, he did.
Seth stayed with the man “while he broke down”, calming him, which meant the parishioner could later go to counselling.
But perhaps the most gripping story included is Seth’s own.
While Seth spent his time helping others, he also battled with his own demons.
After struggling with his faith and his mental health, he decided he wanted to take his own life.
Intending to commit suicide, he ventured out to a desolate moor, slit his wrists, and laid down to die.
In his words: “As I lay down to die, I asked for God to say something, to be there with me in my last moments. There was absolutely nothing.
“I came to a realization as I laid there in the freezing cold that there was no God, that the basis of my life had been a joke.”
Thankfully, Seth did not go through with his plan. Out of his quest for answers, came an unexpected outcome.
He explained: “In that instant I felt I was born again out of faith.
“I pushed myself to my knees, made my way back to my car and back to the journey to start again, to where I am now.”
Decades later, he continues to enjoy the life he is glad he saved.
“It is absolutely lovely to be in a loving family and that would have been denied me if I had been successful all those years ago.”
Seth is using his retirement to pursue his passions, which include writing, and he hopes to be able to help others by sharing his story.
His memoir Faithless, published by Mardle Books, is available to buy now.