More T.V. Vicar?


In case you didn’t read the previous post (and shame on you btw :D) I should mention that I was one of a number of bloggers who were set a challenge to write a post using two words randomly pulled out of a hat… and my two were ‘sandwich’ and intrigue’. So here we go…

Recently I tried to think of a vicar/priest/minister that isn’t portrayed as ridiculous or nasty in film/TV/literature. I’m not one of those people who hears about something that is hailed to be “disgraceful and offensive” to Christians and then goes looking for it so I can see how disgraceful it is and how offended I am! I do confess to being quite curious when I hear of the outrageous stuff, but I tend not to get too worked up.

From the funny, but hopefully inaccurate, Welsh vicar ranting about sandwiches, (you can see the clip here – just to check how offensive/funny you do/don’t find it – delete as appropriate) to the sinister scenes of intrigue and conspiracy with plotting bishops and assassin priests in The Da Vinci Code – your choice seems to be… wally or baddie. (Other clerical baddies include Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers and Dan Brown wheels them out again in Angels and Demons)

As much as I loved The Vicar of Dibley, she was a bit more sex mad than a single woman of the cloth is probably supposed to be. And there’s a whole host (pardon the pun) of poor hapless priests and vicars to choose from. Four Weddings and a Funeral has that great wedding ceremony scene with Rowan Atkinson. Jane Austen’s father was a minister, and a good one at that (supposedly anyway – I never met him myself), yet pretty much anytime she wrote a vicar/curate into one of her books, he was silly and vain. There seems to be no end of incompetence. Programmes like Rev, Jam & Jerusalem, Keeping Up Appearances, Killinascully – they all have these bumbling halfwit clergymen! And then there’s Father Ted…

I’m not saying they’re not funny or well written. OK some more than others, but they are often very funny and in some cases scarily well written. Tell me, people of Ireland, how many of the priests in Father Ted are you sure you’ve met at some stage in your life!

So, I’m waving a banner. Just to say that there are many good, faithful, hardworking men and women out there. Serving God, serving the church and serving the community. Just in case there is someone somewhere wondering whether church leaders are all wallies and baddies. My answer is a resounding… CERTAINLY NOT! Well… not all 🙂

In a little nod to the restoration of faith in the faithful, let me quote just a few lines from Series 1, Episode 5 of Jam and Jerusalem. The doctor’s receptionist ‘Tipp’ (played by the wonderful Pauline McGlynn, of Mrs.Doyle fame) is talking to the local Church of England vicar about how she was,

“raised by nuns in a cold convent, in southern Ireland.”
“Yes, it must have been dreadful.” came the Vicar’s half-hearted reply.
“No, actually. It was lovely.” answered Tipp. “I won’t have a word said against them! But THAT won’t win you the Booker Prize will it?”

I know the feelin’ missis 😀

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