Back in the sixteenth century a revolution occurred throughout Europe. This revolution had profound implications on how human beings saw themselves and the world around them. This is not the Reformation, but the invention of the printing press. The printing press changed everything, it opened up a world of learning to people who before would have very little. It changed society just as much as agriculture and the emergence of cities did thousands of years ago.
Today we are living through a similar revolution. With the coming of the radio and TV worlds were opened up to people that before were closed off. We can see the world like never before thanks to radio and TV. This revolution has gained pace through the internet. Just 20 years ago I was introduced to email. I didn’t use it at all for the next four years, until I began to work in the lab. Then over the next few years I began to use it in my personal life. Ten years ago I used email once a day for work, today I use it all the time. My phone like the majority of people sends me tens even hundreds of messages every week. I’m on Facebook, Instagram and I write a blog called The Silly Vicar.
Back in the sixteenth century the church was at the centre of the printing press revolution. We used the printing press to reform and re-energise the church. Today we must do the same with the internet. Over the last month, we have turned the back of church into a TV studio every Monday morning. We make a discussion show called “Thank God It’s Monday” or TGI Monday. It’s a panel discussion show similar to Loose Women or Question Time. Each week people send in questions and we try and answer them. On the panel is Zoe our deanery curate, Dan the curate from Cheswardine, Roz who is the online pastor for the diocese, and myself.
So far we have answered questions about The Lord’s Prayer, advert controversy, who are the saints, and how can we know God. Each week we answer two questions in about 10 minutes. I will make a DVD of the show for people to watch after the 10am service, but you can watch it every week on the internet via our church website.
I think this is a great way of learning about our faith and sharing our faith with the wider community. Often people in the past have felt that they can’t ask a question and only in asking that question do they grow in faith. This has been many people’s experience in the various courses we have run in church over the years.
There is however another strand to this story and it’s a bit embarrassing . To support the TGI Monday channel the diocese asked me to turn my blog into a video blog. It’s called The Silly Vicar Show. Every week I make a 5 minute video with my son Andrew and once with Lydia. We talk about the advent candles and even did a Christmas Special. Basically it is Andrew and me messing about but hopefully the message comes through.
So does anyone watch this stuff? The answer is yes, so far literally thousands of people have watched TGI Monday, we get around 700 views per episode. Even The Silly Vicar Show gets a few hundred each week. The point of the whole exercise is similar to that of the Art Group or any other community action we do. In meeting us as real human beings, people lose their ideas about what they think church is. More often than not when they see the reality of church they see it as a good thing and get involved.
So please pray for this new venture and send in your own questions too. You can see the TGI Monday’s show on our website www.christchurchlittledrayton.co.uk
Fr Hywel Snook, Parish Priest.