years of religious broadcasting on the BBC
celebrate the 80th anniversary of religious broadcasting on the
BBC, BBC Radio 4 presents a series of programmes of celebration
a specially commissioned poem by the award-winning poet Michael
Symmons Roberts, Keeping The Feast (Wednesday 1 January,
1.30pm; repeated 5 January, 8.00pm) explores the intimate links
between faith and food.
through the eyes of a child, watching the preparations for a great
feast, the poem examines the idea of ritual and celebratory meals
across different religions.
throughout the poem are the voices of Christians, Muslims, Jews,
Buddhists and Sikhs, who talk about the significance of both feasting
and fasting to their faiths.
Worship (Sunday 5 January, 8.07am) marks the occasion with the
commission of a musical accompaniment to the words of the BBC motto
Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation.
by John Dankworth, the music combines jazz idioms with the choral
harmonies of the St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir.
the service is The Revd Nicholas Holtam, with an address by The
Revd Colin Morris, former Head of BBC Religion and a continuing
contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought For The Day.
longest running daily programme, the Daily Service (Monday
30 December to Thursday 2 January, 9.45am) also celebrates the milestone,
along with its own 75th anniversary.
the first of a four part series featuring veteran presenters, Canon
David Winter shares his memories and stories from past broadcasts.
programmes in the series offer recollections and insights from Dr
Pauline Webb, Canon Stephen Oliver and Canon Noel Vincent. Throughout
the series Bible readings are given by actress Sheila Hancock.
Lady Behind The Daily Service (Thursday 2 January, 3.45pm) looks
at how the work of Miss Kate Corduex led to the first broadcast
of the Daily Service.
determined woman, Miss Corduex first wrote to the BBC in 1926 asking
for a daily evensong
to be aired.
a lengthy correspondence, during which Miss Corduex
raised a petition and had an appeal printed in the Radio Times,
the BBC finally agreed to broadcast a daily service, with the first
one airing on 2 January 1928.
first religious broadcast on the BBC was a radio talk given by the
Revd J A Mayo, Rector of Whitechapel, on 24 December 1922.
milestones in BBC religious broadcasting include the first church
service broadcast on radio on 6 January 1924 from St Martin-In-The-Fields;
the first Choral Evensong, broadcast live from Westminster Abbey,
on 7 October 1926; the first Daily Service, broadcast from Savoy
Hill, on 2 January 1928 and the first Sunday Half Hour broadcast
in July 1940.
television, the first church worship was broadcast n Christmas Day
1949 and Songs of Praise first aired on 1 October 1961 from the
Tabernacle Baptist Chapel in Cardiff.