By Saul Cooke-Black

COMBINING Christianity and comedy, Tom Elliott aims to introduce more people to the world of faith.

It has been a busy 12 months for the former Archway School pupil, winning praise from TV star Miranda Hart for his debut DVD and becoming a dad for the first time.

Tom, from Stroud, told SNJ reporter Saul Cooke-Black about how he wants to make Christianity more accessible to the wider public through his work.

It all started for Tom when he was a pupil at Archway School.

From the early years of secondary school, Tom started doing magic as an entertainer at children's parties.

"I was doing magic with my friend when we were about 14-years-old and we decided why not start doing this for kids' parties," the 25-year-old told the SNJ.

"My love for entertainment, comedy and having a laugh grew from there."

At the age of 17, Tom attended a Christian youth camp and from that moment formed a relationship with God.

He said: "My favourite verse is when Jesus said 'I've come that you may have life and life in its fullness.'

"I believe living life fully comes through forming a relationship with God.

"It's a message worth sharing and it is good news for people."

Since the age of 18, Tom has been touring the country, performing his unique act of comedy, magic and Christianity to audiences in churches and theatres.

He is quickly gaining recognition and last year recorded his debut DVD, When Life Hands You Lemons at The Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham.

After the show, he wrote to TV star Miranda Hart and sent her a copy of his DVD.

She wrote back to him with a letter of endorsement, calling his work 'Such Fun.'

Tom, whose comedic influences include Michael McIntyre and Jason Manford, hopes his work can persuade more people to form a relationship with God.

"The church needs to be able to connect and engage with people," he said.

"One of the best communicators who can hold the attention of a crowd of 20,000 people are comedians.

"I am passionate to build a bridge between the church which can often be perhaps a scary place for non-Christians."

During his seven years of touring the nation, Tom says it is gratifying to see his work changing people's perception of Christianity.

He said: "It's great to hear people come into a church who were perhaps a bit nervous say they have had a great time.

"Perhaps my work has inspired them a little bit and perhaps their perception of the Christian faith has changed.

"They often think Christianity is quite restrictive and rulebound and don't expect the message to be about living life in its fullness and as it should be.

"It's all done in a light and fun atmosphere."

Tom, who also works as a youth minister at Minchinhampton Baptist Church, believes comedy and Christianity naturally work well together.

"Laughter and joy is a character of God," he said.

"And heaven is a celebration of life which is why it works so well."

Tom also works as a motivational speaker at schools across the country.

He is married to Natalie, a primary school teacher, and has a five-month-old daughter, Abigail.

To find out more about his work and upcoming performances visit