an interview with Fr JP Lyttle


What were your misconceptions about Priesthood before discerning it?

Who inspired you on your journey?

When I first started to think about the priesthood, I wondered if I would be stifled, I wasn’t sure if the priesthood would give me enough opportunity to go out and explore life.  Would I be restricted to the Church building and the presbytery?  Also I wondered if I could manage the studies as I didn’t have a degree and my experience at school wasn’t exactly great.

As I would go to Mass week in and week out, it kind of remained routine until a newly ordained deacon arrived in my parish which brought everything alive for me, this led me to explore my faith and come to know Jesus Christ who would change my life for ever. 

My greatest worry when discerning my vocation was whether I could cope without a family of my own and if I could still keep my friends and the people I loved in my life?

What was your greatest worry when discerning your vocation?

What have been the highlights of living out your vocation?

The highlights of my ministry so far are celebrating daily Mass, celebrating my cousin’s wedding, baptising my nephew and helping the many people go home to Heaven, by absolving their sins and putting them at peace with God before they die, one of my main tasks as a hospital chaplain.

What would you say to someone else considering Priesthood?

I would say to you if you are considering following Jesus as a priest, give everything you’ve got.  It’s an amazing life and it just keeps getting better!  If you want meaning in your life then go down this road, it’s a beautiful adventure and you will see and experience things that will give you so much life and joy!

How is the lived reality of your vocation different to how you had perceived it?

My lived reality of being a priest is that I have more friends than I’ve ever had before, I am out all the time to share in people’s lives and my life couldn’t be richer with the various events and experiences I have the privilege to have! 

How has living your vocation brought you joy?

Being a priest brings a great sense of joy because you get to share in people’s lives at every level.  From birth to death and everything in between, sometimes in the same day! People give you access to their world not because of you but because you are Christ, you share in His Priesthood.  It is a beautiful privilege. 

Guernsey Press

Window-fall priest is amazing doctors

News | Published: Jun 20, 2009

A TRAINEE priest from Guernsey, who plunged 20ft from a loft window, has amazed doctors after showing signs of recovery.

John Paul Lyttle, 28 (pictured), was smoking with a woman and two men, aged between 18 and 21, from the window in a church-owned flat in Isleworth, London, at 4am on Monday morning when he fell, landing on a concrete patio.

He is being treated at Charing Cross Hospital for severe head and back injuries and has been in a coma since his fall, but is believed to have regained some awareness and sense of touch.

Mr Lyttle had recently rejoined his studies for the Catholic priesthood.

The Rev. Ray Lyons, with whom he was staying, said he was a young man of incredible faith.


‘He is an inspiration. We’ve been contacted by people from across the globe. It’s astonishing,’ he said.

Mr Lyons, who has lived in Isleworth for 29 years and had been away at the weekend, has known Mr Lyttle for 11 years since he started his training for the priesthood.


I have never met John Paul Lyttle but I know many who have.

He was a seminarian for Down and Connor in Belfast.

He left D&C after the convicted sex offender James Donaghy attempted to seduce him in his presbytery.

He went for Portsmouth diocese and was a seminarian at Oscott.

Everyone who knows him likes him and says he is a nice chap.


I think John Paul suffers from the syndrome that is sweeping through and causing mayhem in our seminaries.