A PRESTWICH priest has taken to the catwalk to show you can live a full life with cancer.

The Rev Deborah Sandercock, 57, priest in charge at St Margaret’s and St George’s Church in Prestwich, refused to allow her diagnosis of peritoneal cancer prevent her from volunteering as a catwalk model at the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE).

She said: “One of the key reasons for wanting to be involved in the catwalk as a vicar is to show that you can live a full life with cancer.

“With physical and emotional changes in the body, that can result in diminishing self-esteem for many, it is important to show that you are the same person inside.”

Rev Sandercock was diagnosed last year and, in that time, she has lost her hair twice.

She said: “I have gone from blonde, to black hair and even no hair at all.

“My congregation never know what hat, hair colour, or wig I am going to be wearing but by doing so I am raising awareness of cancer, allowing people to talk about it and about my faith and the role of a vicar.”

To a packed audience in an inflatable theatre Rev Sandercock, and nine other volunteers, displayed a wide range of clerical clothing.

She said: “I want to be easily recognisable in my role as a vicar but I also want to bring brightness, colour and hope, especially to those living with cancer.”

Rev Sandercock’s outfits included a luxury soft bamboo dress, a single-breasted cassock and a traditional surplice.

She said: “I wanted to prove that even if you do have a cancer, then it doesn’t have to stop you from living a normal life.”

The two-day gathering in the Midlands is often dubbed ‘the Ideal Church Show’.