The Archbishop of Canterbury has sung the praises of BBC sitcom Rev, about the day-to-day challenges of a vicar in a struggling inner-city parish.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said the BBC2 series – starring Tom Hollander as Anglican priest Adam Smallbone – ‘amusingly’ shows the issues faced by men and women of the cloth around the UK.
He told the new edition of Radio Times that he does not find the stories about the efforts to boost the congregation and church funds too bleak, although they did not reflect the growing flock in some areas.
The Archbishop, writing in the magazine, said: “The show amusingly depicts some of the challenges facing clergy up and down the country. But while it’s great entertainment, it doesn’t truly tell the whole story.
“I have a friend who runs a growing church in Reading city centre, filled with young people with no church background; I have another friend who has had to plant two new churches because his congregation is bursting at the seams. Other churches have few people, but great impact, again with visionary and inspiring leadership.”
He went on: “As with all of life, the picture is complex, but I see plenty of struggle and plenty of grounds for celebration. Therefore, while Rev is great viewing, it doesn’t depress me quite as much as you might think.”
Rev is currently in its third series although there are no concrete plans for further episodes after this, with Hollander recently declaring the programme would end ‘for the time being’.