I thought the version of the Nativity shown on BBC1 last week was very good. Whilst some poetic licence was inevitable this was no more than many of us clergy have done when we have tried to make the story come to life. I thought the girl who played the Virgin Mary was excellent; her portrayal underlined the fact the Mary was a girl of humble origins specially chosen by God to be the Mother of His Son.
Compare that with the dire programme on Boxing Day when we were “entertained” by the Songs of Praise Big Sing. Sugary, schmaltzy etc. it certainly was but there was nothing religious about it in my opinion and to see some of those in the large audience dressed up with Father Christmas Hats, with paper chains and tinsel wrapped round them really took the biscuit. Many others were in their shirt sleeves and there were many women with bare shoulders indicating that this programme must have been recorded when the weather was a lot warmer than now. Yet, the BBC can get it right: Kings College Nine Lessons and Carols on radio 4 and a Kings Carol Service on television.
When the BBC do something well it is exceptionally good but..............sadly, much of their religious output on TV is dreadful.