Tonight was programme 2 of the 3 part ‘Priest Idol‘ series on Channel 4. As you’ll remember from last week’s post the programme is all about reviving a dying church in Yorkshire by means of a new priest, a marketing company and… oh this and that, I forget. Just to say too, while I think of it, Richard is posting about Priest Idol too – he’s also written a piece on Spero news entitled ‘Priest Idol is hip, but will it bring in flock?‘
Tonight’s programme started with some fairly low key strategies which sadly didn’t seem to achieve a great deal – namely the blessing of people’s houses and a churchyard cleanup day. But unfortunately the truth remains that the only times people really seem to come to the church are for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
The marketing guys come a Sunday morning service and decide it isn’t very interesting. They go to a local ‘cafe church’ setup which is more lively and does seem to ‘connect’ better with the people.
The archdeacon decides a new set of vestments might be the answer.
Eventually the marketing company reveal their strategy. The ‘brand’ which will be used for the church in Lundwood is ‘Church Lite’. Slogans include “Church Lite – its better for you” and “Half the preaching of other leading churches”.
But not everyone is in favour. When ex-vicar of Lundwood Father David finds out he’s less than keen:
I think its inappropriate, really.
The real battle at this stage though seems to be the PCC. The ‘Church Lite’ brand doesn’t go down too well, and some of the PCC members don’t like the new ideas for a meditation space at the back of church.
We use that table for tea on a Sunday.
But eventually it is decided that they will go with the marketing strategy with a grand launch. But will anyone turn up? Find out next week.
I should really be writing for ‘TV Quick’ or someone.
So, what did everyone else who was able to see it think? If you’ve written about it in your blog do leave a link in the comments, though be aware that all comments containing links have to wait to be moderated.