Mark Wahlberg pauses ‘Transformers’ filming because it was Sunday

The actor surprised a local congregation by taking communion at a small church in England’s scenic North East region on Sunday.

Movie director Michael Bay discusses a scene with Mark Wahlberg on the Detroit set of Transformers: Age of Extinction, 2014. Paramount Pictures |

If you want proof that former bad boy Mark Wahlberg is a changed man, just look at his recent behavior on set of Transformers: The Last Night. While filming the action movie in the North East region of England on Sunday, he took an unexpected break. Rather than lounge around his Hollywood star trailer eating bonbons (or whatever it is they do in there!), Wahlberg attended Mass.

Wahlberg did more than pay a personal visit to St. Aidan’s Church in Seahouses, though. He received communion and reportedly made a large donation to the church (roughly $260 reports say), which saw about 70 or 80 people in its pews that Sunday.

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Even though the star was flanked by bodyguards (not something you see every Sunday!) Father Des McGivern, who is St. Aidan’s pastor, told The Chronicle, a regional newspaper, that he didn’t recognize Wahlberg. It was only later, after the Mass, that a parishioner told him.

“It’s great that we had him in for the service,” he said. “We were aware he was here filming in the North East but the last thing we expected was for him to join us for Mass.”

That’s how I start my day. I like to get in there for about 15 or 20 minutes—say my prayers.”

One church-goer told The Chronicle that Wahlberg’s appearance was “a bit surreal”: “No one expected him to be there. I’ve heard that he is a devout Catholic and goes to church every Sunday, no matter where he is filming around the world.”

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Actually, as Wahlberg tells it, he doesn’t only go to church on Sunday. In his 2012 appearance in CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” Wahlberg stated that he goes to church every day.

“If I don’t go to Mass necessarily every day … I definitely go to church every day,” he told Morgan. “That’s how I start my day. I like to get in there for about 15 or 20 minutes—say my prayers.”

St. Aidan’s Church in Seahouses

St. Aidan’s Church in Seahouses, England. Photo by Bill Henderson

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He added, “I pray to be a good servant to God, a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a brother and uncle, a good neighbor, a good leader to those who look up to me and a good follower to those that are serving God and doing the right thing.”

Wahlberg explained that his faith has been the single biggest factor in his personal restoration from a wayward youth (at age 16 he spent 45 days in jail and plead guilty to assault) to a family man.

“My faith has really allowed me to overcome a lot of things—and hard work,” he said. “You know, nothing comes easy … especially when you’ve got your back against the wall and you’ve got a lot going against you.”

In the face of public scrutiny, Wahlberg continues to stand up for what’s important to him. In this case: his faith. That sort of principle must not be easy to maintain in Tinseltown, whether you’re filming in Los Angeles or a small town in England.

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