Roly Bain (1954 – 2016)
Roly Bain was a famous clown minister who performed in his native England, Europe, the United States of America, and around the world. In 1954 Roly Bain was born, part of a set of triplets, to Richard Findlater, biographer of the first great English clown Joseph Grimaldi.
At the age of 8, having read the biography of Coco the clown, he wrote in his school book that he wanted to be a clown in Bertram Mills Circus. However, his life didn’t go that way — at least, not directly. In 1978, Roly Bain was ordained a minister in the Church of England. But Roly still felt a calling to clowning, and in 1982 he co-founded the Holy Fools.
In 1990, Roly resigned his parish in London and spent a year at Fool Time, the circus school in Bristol (now called Circomedia), and embarked on a gospel-centered clown journey that lasted the remainder of his life. Roly Bain was one of the clowns showcased in Janet Litherland’s books, The Clown Ministry Handbook and Everything New and Who’s Who in Clown Ministry.
After a year’s battle with cancer, Roly Bain passed away on August 11, 2016.
Awards for Roly Bain
- 1994 – Clowns International Clown of the Year
- 1999 – Clowns International Slapstick Award
- 2001 – Clown Impact Award (USA)
- 2003 – Member of College of Evangelists
- 2010 – Barbara Miller Award