Friday, November 18, 2011


Who knew a TV sitcom could be so profound?

Not sure how they do it. Great intelligence, hard work and creativity, I guess.

Ingredients of its success.... well, some of them:
  • Tom Hollander's wonderfully, gently expressive face and voice
  • a supporting cast of characters who each portray somebody I have met, somebody who is utterly ridiculous, somebody the situation really wouldn't be the same without and somebody fantastically amusing all rolled into one
  • research so thorough that every episode in the last series (and so far in this second series) closely resembles a situation I, as a lifelong churchgoer, have been part of or witnessed
  • attention to detail balanced so carefully with an understanding of 'everyman' that specialist churchy knowledge (that new curate was Lucy Winkett!) complements characters and scenarios with which anyone can identify
  • a depiction of Christianity / churchmanship that is at once authentic, beautiful, laughable and flawed. In other words, accurate.
One priest apparently told writer James Woods that the show isn't a comedy but a documentary. I think it's both. Hurrah for Rev Adam Smallbone, his most excellent wife and his dysfunctional / lovely congregation.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Accompaniment versus Direction.

Am off to see a Spiritual Director this afternoon. Eeeeek!

Well, she says she prefers the term "accompanier" to director. Which I can understand. But that makes me feel like a soloist who has to take the lead, rather than an idiot who needs to be helped. And, to be honest, I prefer the lack of responsibility implied by the latter.

My minister thought I might find this sort of exercise helpful, what with all my uncertainties about church per se, and my role in ours par example. I'm grateful for this. I've been reading about Spiritual Directors in Susan Howatch novels and they're all rather merciless yet redemptive. The Trinny and Suzannah of the spiritual life. Not that it's good practice to live life as if it were fiction. Is it?

There may only be one session, as I think we will decide today if the relationship is going to work. If it carries on, I don't expect I'll feel able to share much of what goes on here on the blog. But if there's any comedy I'll let you know.