Thursday, 22 December 2011

Rev./The shortest day

My sister-in-law went to church on Sunday for the first time in years - because she's started watching Rev.  the BBC2 comedy about an inner city vicar.  As a fan of the show myself, I'm not surprised - I just hope she found someone in the pulpit at least half as honest as the show's Adam Smallbone. He's so full of doubts and fears, he's endearing because he struggles, and he's got an almost impossible task: how on earth to be relevant to and meet the needs of the community his church supposedly serves. Adam has a vast and dilapidated church which attracts a small and marginalised congregation.

It's a gentle, thoughtful sitcom which humanizes Christian belief - Adam Smallbone (what a great name) is an Everyman who struggles to deal honestly and decently with all manner of challenges: lust, drugs, booze, trying for a baby, stealing and death have all come up in recent episodes. The show isn't scared to expose some of the less attractive sides of the Anglican church either - like the episode in which the Archdeacon isn't promoted because he's in an 'active' gay relationship.

If my sister-in-law is anything to go by, this show is doing a lot more for the church than its latest glossy advertising campaign.

Continuing the religious theme, today is the winter solstice (5.35 this morning, to be precise), when daylight is shortest and darkness longest. It marks the start of real winter (yes, there are three cold and dark months stretching ahead) and gets me thinking about cycles of seasonal change, birth, death, and suchlike subjects. It makes sense that so many festivals of light occur around now - what better time to bolster ourselves up against the cold, dark reality outside? A good time for: twinkly light displays, and ever expanding gift lists particularly if you're part of a multi-faith family.

The shortest day is also National Short Story Day (clever eh). On that note, writer John Mole has put together a collection of three deceptively naive short stories inspired by Hans Christian Andersen, with a sharp political edge. Three Christmas Tales is available as an e-book, and until the end of the month, all proceeds go to the Westminster branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

This is my last post until the New Year. A happy and healthy turn of the year to you all.


  1. I'm so glad your link to my blog pointed me to your lovely blog. "How putting disparate items together can lead to a pattern, a picture, perhaps even a story." Yes! The story of my interfaith life...I look forward to exploring your posts.

  2. Hi Susan: Ditto for your blog! (And thankyou Freshly Pressed for introducing me to you!)Being a novice at this blogging business, I haven't quite figured out how to monitor who is linking to this one - a job for the New Year, I think. Have a peaceful one!

  3. I too am a recent convert to Rev. No religous belief but it has got me wondering if our local CoE church is half as interesting. Really enjoying your writing, have a good one.

  4. Thankyou! Maybe we should form a new religion: Revism? A very merry one to you and yours.