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   Simon Peter unmasked as a woman!
Rosie and Simon

Day 30

Large stones make the biggest splash of all – as the apostle Simon Peter found out tonight. Affectionately dubbed the "rock" in the Bible, he is the latest disciple in the drink.

"SP" had become a legend on the Ark – for famously likening the Resurrection to a "floater in the toilet" and winding up fellow Arkmate Martha in a chapel service for chuckling over women's breasts.

All of which makes it even more intriguing to discover SP has been played all along by a woman.

Rosie Telford is a graduate student in astrophysics ("with a subsidiary in surfing the web") at the University of Leicester in the UK.

"As the only female in my research group, I gained a valuable insight into 'lad culture', which I was keen to exploit in my role as Simon Peter," explains Rosie, who attends a "low" Anglican church in Leicester. "Other useful experience were gained from running a football team for young people from the council estate on which my church is located."

SP was nominated three times for the Ark's plank – intriguing when you consider the biblical character famously denied being a follower of Christ three times before the cock crew.

"Simon Peter was an ordinary bloke in extraordinary circumstances," says Rosie. "He was competitive, but warm. I feel a lot like him. He made stupid mistakes he later regretted – but still carried on speaking his mind, making extravagant statements that got him in trouble. In the Gospels, he caves under pressure because he's only human. I think experiencing Jesus and the Holy Spirit first hand changed him into someone who dared to get into trouble and die for his Lord – but he would have stayed faithful to his roots."

Rosie, whose interests include all things Python, juggling, field hockey and 90's alternative music, occasionally posts on the Ship of Fools bulletin boards. She has also submitted a couple of Mystery Worshipper reports.

Oh, and she was given two fish for her birthday...

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