A Britain's Got Talent contestant has entered the UK’s Official Christian and Gospel album chart at no.3 and no.29.
Father Ray Kelly is currently on Britain’s Got Talent but music he recorded in 2015 has now entered the chart as new entries.
The 'singing priest' was popular before with over 61 million hits on a YouTube video of him singing Hallelujah at a wedding and two albums to his name.
His highest entry at no.3 is 'Where I Belong' just behind Hillsong Worship and Stryper.
He spoke to Premier about his chart entry and his beginnings as a vocalist: “Well I’ve always loved to sing, I did a bit of voice training years ago when I worked in Dublin…my family are very musical anyway - it was always something I loved to do.”
Father Ray Kelly regularly sings at church and for weddings and funerals but said: “it always took second step to being a priest; that was number one in my life."
"I wouldn’t be a priest only for my parents and their faith and my grandparents' faith."
He added that although he is used to speaking in front of people, he was still nervous about singing in front of Simon Cowell and the other Britain's Got Talent judges: “I thought about it for a long time before deciding to enter and I kind of thought in the end I’m not going to beat myself up if they criticise me and I don’t get any yes’s…but I said I'd give it a go”
Speaking of the moment he got a standing ovation, he said: “I was gobsmacked by their reaction really. you know, even the four second delay after I finished my last note and there was kind of silence in the auditorium in the palladium…those four seconds seemed like hours".
"Then Simon stood up and it all changed after that."
Two of his albums are in the Christian and Gospel album chart this week and he said as well as people enjoying it his music he would like his appearance on the ITV show to make people think about their opinions of priests: “I would like to think that it would sort of bring the priesthood closer to the people, bearing in mind that priesthood comes from the people anyway"
"The days are gone when priests are on a pedestal and untouchable and unseeable - they're just ordinary guys trying to get on and do their jobs the best they can."
Listen to the full interview with Loretta Andrews here:
Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.