The Parish Priest
Music, poetry and prose about the day to day life of the parish priest, with actors Celia Imrie and Michael Kitchen. Priests appear in major and minor roles in literature from Biblical times to the present day and frequently play a pivotal or catalyst part in the dramatic plot twists. Think of Mr Collins in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, or Obadiah Slope in Trollope's Barchester novels. Many priests have themselves been poets, such as R.S. Thomas and John Donne, whose work is featured along with the view points of long suffering vicars' wives, often the power behind the parish throne. Priests are often portrayed in novels and poetry as distinctive characters who are either malevolent, self absorbed, objects of desire or saintly. Rarely are they ordinary, frequently they are comical. Music surrounds the life of the church and the programme features works by Handel, J.S. Bach, William Harris, James MacMillan and Saint-Saens , and includes poetry and prose by, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, John Pritchard (Bishop of Oxford) and Thomas Hardy.
Producer Helen Garrison.