I’m delighted that a project that was born through watching the TV show Broken and reflecting on it with friends back in 2017 has now come to fruition in a new series of books, the first two of which are finished:
All of Life uses Call the Midwife as its inspiration to discuss the following topics: Liturgy and Prayer; Disability/Ability; Windrush – the experience of people of colour; LGBTQ people – from intolerance to acceptance and beyond; Vocation and Calling; Living with Death.
Being Humans uses Humans (a channel 4 drama about Artificial Intelligence) as its inspiration to discuss the following topics: Slavery; ‘Othering’ and prejudice; How we grieve – life after death; Identity and the experience of trans people; Technology – friend or foe?; Activism.
The God on TV books take popular TV programmes and provide materials to help Christians discuss contemporary issues in the context of their faith. They have been written with the premise ‘nothing about us without us’ and so each contributor is from the background that is being discussed.
The books are in two parts, they contain 6 essays on the topics at hand to help Christians and church leaders explore and learn and alongside each essay course materials are provided to be used in a small group setting. Sessions can be run as a standalone session – eg. if a church was exploring how it could be more welcoming to disabled people they might want to use that session from the book All of Life about Call the Midwife. Alternatively, the book can be used as a 6 week course to be run, for example, in Lent.
The first title in the series, released as an eBook on June 1st, All of Life, is a six week course that explores themes of Liturgy and Prayer, Disability, Attitudes to and Experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic People, Attitudes to and Experiences of LGBTQ People, Vocation and Calling, and Celebrations and Community. Each week will begin with a description of a key scene from Call the Midwife, consideration of a discussion on the theme by an appropriate Christian writer, then a Bible study including prayer, reflection and Bible study.
The second titles in the series, to be released as an eBook on June 26th, Being Humans, is also a six week course exploring themes of Slavery, Othering, How we Grieve and Life After Death, Identity, Technology: Friend or Foe?, and Activism. Similarly, each week will begin with a description of a key scene from Humans, consideration of a discussion on the theme by an appropriate Christian writer, then a Bible study including prayer, reflection and Bible study.
It is not essential for group members to have seen the television programme, but it will provide useful food for thought for those that have.
Editors Rev’d Bryony Taylor (author of More TV, Vicar? and Rector of Barlborough & Clowne), Mother Rebecca Amoroso, and Fr David Twomey have assembled a fine array of contributors for both books.
For All of Life: George Guiver (priest and member of the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield), Katie Tupling (priest and campaigner for full inclusion of disabled people in the church), Chine McDonald (PR lead for Christian Aid, Thought for the Day broadcaster), Claire Jones (deacon in the Church of England) and Frances Wilson (former nun who was Director of Ordinands in Lichfield Diocese and now works as a priest in the Diocese of Llandaff).
For Being Humans: Gemma Sampson (priest and activist in the fight against modern slavery with the Clewer Initiative and Hope for Justice), Chine McDonald (PR lead for Christian Aid, Thought for the Day broadcaster), Juliet Stephenson (priest and Director of the Good Funeral Company), Rachel Mann (priest and author of From Now On and Fierce Imaginings), Bex Lewis (writer and commentator on technology and its interface with faith and life) and Chris Howson (priest, campaigner and author A Just Church).