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November 08, 2005


Rich Leonardi

However, with the backing of the Archdeacon of Pontefract, the Ven Jonathan Greener, he spruced up the building and drafted in an interior designer to create a "reflection zone" for meditation. A key factor in his strategy was a glossy marketing campaign to "rebrand" the parish with the slogan "Church Lite, it's better for you".

Proof that if you lower the bar sufficiently, more will try to clear it. George Weigel call your office.

Susan Peterson

I was going to comment that the use of the word "idol" was unfortunate. This was without reading the whole article. From the citation by Mr. Leonardi, above, it seems that there is much more which is unfortunate about this episode than the use of the word idol.

Imagine being willing to admit that one is offering "Church lite"!

Susan Peterson

Rich Leonardi


There is an evangelical community near my home that uses themes like this as something of a bait and switch. They have a changing billboard in front of their building that will feature a slogan like "Sex: It's Healthy!" or "Jesus: Most Wanted." (It was founded by two P&G marketing execs.)

Once congregants are inside, they are fed a decent diet of orthodox Christian social morality, albeit with the sort of one-liner glibness more ideally suited to op ed pages.

There isn't any mention of the content of McCaskill's "lite"-weight approach in the article, but one can only hope he's pulling a similar stunt.


*cynicism on*

So, how many people joined to get on TV?

*cynicism off*

I hope this really works out for them. Sounds ghastly, but then, a lot of things sound ghastly when explained by English newspapers.


Actually watched first episode last night. I think it is a heart-warming story, not about the church selling out. There is some hope.


I've previously worked in a parish like Lundwood, so I appreciate what a major challenge the church faces there. However, I find the series depressing because both the Vicar and the Archdeacon seem to have no concern other than to get people through the church doors and into the pews. The Church is there to be the servant of the people, not vice-versa. It's there to serve their pastoral and spiritual needs, not least at times of crisis and to be used and abused (in accordance with the pattern laid down by one Jesus of Nazareth). It is in loving the people - genuinely loving them, even if they're pretty unlovable - that a working relationship will be built and God's work will be done. The people of Lundwood are NOT mere pew fodder; they are an end in themselves, not a means to an end. The shallow self-interested gimmicks of "priest idol" will doubtless work up to a point and for a time, but will the kingdom of God really be built up in the longer term? I hope so, but somehow I seriously doubt it. what is happening in Lundwood is indeed "church lite".


I watched the second episode of 'Priest Idol' tonight as I am Christian and was interested in what the programme might contain.

To be honest i was very disappointed in the programme as it conveys a very backward and silly view of Christianity. The show is aimed at trying to get bums on seats in a dying Church. Bums on seats is not the mark of a good church. The mark of a good church is its sending capacity not its seating capacity.

Christianity is a radical faith and its disciples are here to learn and be challenged by God. So in relation is a cult TV show honouring to God? Does the show really provoke its followers to learn about God or does it just provide interesting viewing?

As Christians we should strive to know Christ and make Him Known. Does 'Priest Idol' make Him known or does it mock Him?

As mentioned previous i also agree that the word idol is not appropriate. Deuteronomy 4 v 16a says "Don't make idols of ANYTHING..." I'm sorry but like everything else a priest should not be made an idol of. We are nothing without God. So let us instead of making silly shows focus on forming a stronger relationship with Him, make Him our true Idol and tell the world about Him in way that his honouring to God!


I watched Priest Idol with interest, not least because my family came from Lundwood (we left in 1981). My Grandad was the church organist at Lundwood for about 30 years until 1984, my Nan was church warden for a few years and we knew several people on the programme, including my old primary school teacher. I hope that the success continues for Lundwood, but small congregations are nothing new there.

And Lundwood was not a mining village, it did not have a pit of its own.

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