This is the Reverend George Hargreaves who thinks Britain is in a state of moral decline and that a return to a more ‘Christian’ way of life would stop the rot. He and his team of mentors aim to show how, by convincing a group of non-Christian volunteers to live by the teachings of the Bible for three weeks.
In this three-part series, a group of volunteers from around Leeds in West Yorkshire give up their normal lives and attempt to live like Christians for three weeks.
They’re not obvious candidates for such an experiment – there’s:
Martin, a biker who’s a tattooist and a militant atheist
Aaron, a young man who was brought up Christian until he was 12, and now has a girlfriend who is 10 weeks’ pregnant
Faye, a lap-dancing manager who can’t live without continually acquiring expensive designer shoes
Sarah, a middle-class mother who is so professionally busy that she and her husband have hardly any time to spend with their children
Kevin, a man in his 20s who, unbeknown to his girlfriend, goes out every week drinking and womanising
William, who found Christianity unfulfilling and has converted to Islam
Laura, a lesbian who sometimes sleeps with men.
This is reality TV. The result is not edifying. I find myself in some sympathy with those folks who are talked at, patronised and judged in such a dreadful way. Hargreaves is joined by Joanna Jepson, who is chaplain to the London College of Fashion, a Roman Catholic priest and an evangelical pastor. They move in on the group with the sensivity of a bull in a china shop. Biblical texts are thrown at the group – women are reduced to tears and questions dismissed. This is Christianity at its worst!
The result, shared by many other examples of reality TV – is a sickening helping of an evangelical picture of the Christin faith that is frankly sensational, irresponsible and contrived.
The Church comes across as sex obsessed – and deeply unintelligent. A lesson for this blogger? Stay clear of reality TV – there are better things to do before you die!