Faith: “I’m a sheep in wolves clothing”




We set off to find a remote cricket club nestled in the wilds of Lancashire to hear Kevin Cockburn share his faith story. Around 60 people had gathered for the evening event. Kevin filled a table with his own supporters, his wife, family and friends. I’d never heard of Kevin before, so I had no idea who he was or what to expect.

Kevin is a high energy detail person. He spoke for an hour or so without any notes, relaying the story of his life in chronological order, I’m sure he could have talked for longer. He spoke with considerable fervour and enthusiasm; unpacking the harrowing details of his young life growing up in a powerful, controlling and cruel religious cult. He shared some of their shocking practices, such as banishing and essentially kidnapping members. The cult wrought years of emotional trauma and damage throughout his childhood leaving his head “messed up”.

During his teenage years, desperate for connections and love, Kevin fell into a tailspin of taking and supplying drugs which pulled him deeper and deeper into a life of drug dealing and serious crime. Many years later, Kevin still looks the part. Though he presents with that familiar stereotypical “hard man” image it was interesting to note just how many times throughout the evening he firmly declared: “I’m not a fighter.” At heart Kevin was, and is, a man of peace. As a young man, trapped in a world of criminals, he never wanted to hurt anyone, and feared being hurt himself.

During his talk he referenced his love for his parents, his nan, his (now) wife and family. He openly admitted to feeling intense fear and loneliness during his years of crime, conviction and subsequent imprisonment. There seemed no ounce of malice in him. He wasn’t an angry young man, hateful of everything, but actually very caring, simply craving normal levels of love and belonging, and all of the things which growing up in a cult had taken from him.

He shared his story, right up to the present day. Though Kevin is not a polished speaker, the remarkable story comes bursting out of him with such force, it almost seems to have a life of its own. His story carries its own dynamic energy, he shared it authentically and it is indeed gripping real life stuff. I think it’s one of the most dramatic and scary stories I’ve ever heard. I was on the edge of my seat more than once.

He “plugged” his ten pound autobiography The Tattooed Saint, then quickly back tracked and offered it for free. Following his talk Kevin prayed for people, first as a group, then individually. When the room began to empty and I thought his work was done, I approached him and introduced myself as a journalist with Sorted Magazine. We chatted about exchanging details and while I was fumbling about for a pen in my bag he said: “Can you just hang on a minute?” and shot off to pray with a group of men across the very far side of the room. I rested against a warm radiator and observed him, from a distance, for about twenty minutes. This is possibly the first time I’ve encountered an author who prioritised praying for people over publicity. He was unaware that I was watching, so this wasn’t a performance. I’m convinced that Kevin Cockburn is absolutely the real deal; humble, genuine, authentic; a man whose life has been completely transformed by the hand of God. In Kevin’s own words: “I am a sheep in wolves clothing.”

Kevin’s book is available here

Main Photo Credit: Val Fraser

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.

You may also like

Sorted Magazine

Sorted discusses the big issues of the day – focusing on subjects as diverse as culture, sport, cars, health, faith, gadgets, humour and relationships. We aim to be positive and wholesome in all we do. And we have been achieving this since 2007.

Every printed issue of Sorted is read by more than 100,000 men in 21 different countries – while digitally, the number of people reading our online content (free and via subscription) continues to soar.




Follow Us



Visit our shop for great gift ideas