Sunday, 30 June 2013

Ss Peter & Paul: live broadcasting

The BBC were with us early this morning for a live broadcast of Radio 4s Sunday Worship. 
The sound engineers rolled into the church car park at just after 6 a.m., closely followed by the production team, musicians and the BBC Wales satellite van.  It's a very humbling thought that we were heard by an audience of 1.8 million or so - rather more than we usually welcome at St Arvans on a Sunday morning.

I'd forgotten, not having done this for a couple of years, but the somewhat adrenalin-fuelled tension of even a scripted live broadcast of worship is a strangely enjoyable experience, made all the better by the absence of any obvious 'live' disasters. One is  happy when it's all over, yet sorry, too, in a strange sort of way. But it has always to be undertaken first and foremost as  an act of worship and an attempt to communicate the message of the faith to real people,  the radio broadcast side of things can only be incidental to that. 

Afterwards, a quick cup of coffee then off up the hill to say mass at our daughter church, St Mary, Penterry which occupies an idyllic spot at the end of a wildflower meadow, and a 'real' congregation of about thirty.

Our thanks to all who took part - to my parish colleague Fr Mark, to Kate who played the 'cello (I don't often get the chance to work with my wife; she is way out of my league) to one of our churchwardens, Verena, who read the first lesson, the inspired singing of the Cantemus Choir under the direction of  Huw Williams with Dr Peter King of Bath Abbey on the organ.
As always, the members of the BBC team under their producer, Karen Walker, were the personification of kindness, patience and professionalism.

And our thanks to the holy apostles themselves for watching over us ....


  1. I am surprised that the broadcasted service on Sunday in the UK does not include an Eucharist. Here in France, each Sunday morning a Protestant Communion service followed by (Catholic) Mass (each during about 1 hours) are fully aired both on radio and the 2nd public TV channel. There is also the occasional Eastern Divine Liturgy in place of the Mass, and sometimes even a "Boudhist quarter of hour" after all this. The only question is how long will all this last, with plummeting audiences.
    But I confess that the British broadcast certainly has better music!
    + pax et bonum

    1. Thank you. Yes, I've noticed over the years how much time is given in France to broadcast liturgies. Time constraints here (and we have less time than formerly) usually mean that the broadcast ends up resembling either an extended meditation on a particular theme or a liturgy of the word of some kind. There are occasional exceptions - and they have worked well - but this now seems to be the norm.

  2. Thanks to Fr Mark and his blog I was switched on ready for the 'live' broadcast but not without some trepidation! I need not have worried. All went well with an apt homily. Well done St Arvans.

  3. I really enjoyed the broadcast. Well done to everyone


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