Vicar left red-faced after accidentally conducting service with Blues Brother filter after Zoom mishap

Emily Cleary
·3-min read

A video of a vicar accidentally opening a church service as a Blues Brother has gone viral. 

A Zoom filter blunder left Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, resembling Jake Blues from the 1980 film during a live-streamed church service last Sunday.

Footage shared on social media shows Rev Roberts welcoming the online congregation at St Mary’s Church, Warwick, wearing a black fedora hat and sunglasses.

He believes his wife Mandy, also 62, inadvertently selected the filter while setting up his mobile phone to record the service for worshippers.

When she couldn’t rectify the error she quietly told her husband during the first hymn to remain seated for the sermon as the filter only appeared while he stood at the altar.

Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, conducted a church service with a Blues Brother filter on after a mishap with his Zoom account (swns)
Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, conducted a church service with a Blues Brother filter on after a mishap with his Zoom account (swns)

Rev Roberts said a button must have accidentally been pressed while setting up for the Sunday service and joked: "At least it wasn't Rambo or the Godfather."

He said: "Every Sunday morning we go over the live stream about 50 minutes before we are due to start because it's quite a complex process to get everyone and everything in place.

“The person who set up the phone that films me, who happens to be my wife, somehow turned on a filter and filters are something she does not know how to turn off.

Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, conducted a church service with a Blues Brother filter on after a mishap with his Zoom account (swns)
Reverend Roberts has laughed off the incident (swns)

“When I came forward to speak she realised a hat and glasses were on my face.

“After I was off-screen after doing the welcome, she sidled around to me looking horrified and whispered in my ear. She said ‘I don’t know what I’ve done but there’s a hat and glasses on your face and I don’t know how to turn it off’.

“So I had to take evasive action. I decided not to come forward again and do the rest of the service from the bench.

“I had no idea it was a Blues Brothers filter at the time but I knew when I got the message from my wife something had gone wrong.

“Unlike in the film, I did not go cartwheeling down the aisle.

Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, conducted a church service with a Blues Brother filter on after a mishap with his Zoom account (swns)
"It was rather fitting to be Blues Brothers... they are on a mission from God" (swns)

Rev Roberts said that it wasn’t until he got home that he realised it was a Blues Brothers filter.

“Normally on a Sunday morning between 20 and 30 people tune in but I know at least 2,500 people have now seen this service on our Facebook page," he said.

“Thankfully it was only on my face for a couple of minutes while I was doing the welcome. If I had gone back out to do the sermon without noticing it would’ve been on my face for the whole 45 minutes.

"It was quite fitting it was the Blues Brothers. In the film they are on a mission from God to raise money for the nuns in the orphanage where they grew up by doing concerts, while we are trying to raise £2million to fund urgent repairs to our landmark tower to avoid its closure."

Reverend Vaughan Roberts, 62, conducted a church service with a Blues Brother filter on after a mishap with his Zoom account (swns)
St Mary’s Church, in Warwick where Reverand Roberts conducts a virtual service for worshippers every Sunday (swns)

Despite laughing off the mishap, Rev Roberts said his Zoom disguise will not become a weekly tradition at the historic 900-year-old church.

He added: “Although some of the congregation are speculating how I will dress up this Sunday I can assure them it was an accident and a one off.

“But vicars should be able to laugh at themselves, not take themselves too seriously and have a bit of fun.”

Watch: What to watch on NOW TV in March