Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, the Curé d’Ars was a simple French priest who is now known as the patron saint of parish clergy. He is celebrated on the 4 August, which happens this year to be just as BBC2 series ‘Rev’ comes to the end of it’s current run. Both have got me thinking about styles and shapes of ministry in 21st century Britain.
Vianney almost didn’t get there, and some have argued Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander) perhaps shouldn’t have got there – become priests that is. Vianney had problems getting past his ‘BAP‘, and once in ministry, was given a small out-of-the way parish to deal with; the Rev seems to have been dropped, very green, in to a parish setting that appears doomed before he starts.
That’s not to say that there aren’t features of Adam’s situation in Rev that aren’t instantly recognisable to most clergy families – there are many: the constant door bell/phone; relationships with the school; the often disfunctional people that churches collect (fortunately – someone should – and that includes the clergy!). But some of it was pushed beyond credibility, spoiling it for me. The Archdeacon; the inappropriate relationship Continue reading “Le Curé d’Ars – the ordinary priest”