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Reserving Judgement

Another delayed post - it's that kind of a week.  I watched the first episode of the new BBC comedy Rev on Monday evening (when I was probably too tired) and failed to be impressed.  The 'official' reviews suggest it knocks the Vicar of Dibley into a cocked hat (or a bishop's mitre maybe) but I'm yet to be convinced.  The characters were, to me, entirely predictable and it didn't feel like any 'run down' inner city parish I've ever known, and I lived and worked in one in Manchester and know many others in various (admittedly not SE england) cities.  There were odd moments that made my smile - but you had to be a minister or at least know a sprinkling of theology to appreciate them.

It felt to me rather tired format, and it would be rather nice if we could move beyond the Church of England which, let's face it, is only one expression of British Christianity.  A raving charismaniac, a turn-or-burn fundie, a lovey-dovey liberal, a dour Free Presbyterian who wouldn't know a joke if it bit him, even a batty Baptist... anything but middle of the road C of E please!

A few good moments such as the arrow prayers and the visitors to church who didn't know which way up to hold the hymnbook, but not sure that's enough to make a good series.

I read a comment on one blog from a vicar who said it was true to his life, with all the characters he encountered frequently... an observation many of us made about Dibley (the series not my old place) in its day.  He may well be right... lots of churches have at least one loveable rogue, many have a know-it-all lay-person, not a few have a resident 'cassock chaser' and so on.

I'll wait and see how it develops, afterall I wouldn't want someone to dismiss my church or ministry after one hour...


  • I quite liked 'Rev'. I liked the vicar's wife reading the newspaper during the service and the soul searching moment of prayer. That gave it an aura of authenticity. As a comedy it doesn't work because it isn't that funny. I rather suspect I'm more like Nigel the lay reader than the cool vicar. I like to think about my sermons too. They are sometimes described as boring.

  • The Baptist Times reviewer quite liked it too... must be me, or the 7-8 hours I'd spent on the road on Monday, or something.

    I think about my sermons... and I thought my latest one was rubbish until I read it back and decided it was, after all, passable; not great but not hopeless either.

  • Thanks for the kind comment on my blog - hope you have a great Sunday! blessings

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