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Posted on 30 July 2010, 15:55

Just found out that Rev, the BBC2 sitcom about a vicar running a shambolically run-down east London church, which I’ve been enjoying far too much the past few weeks, is about to reference the Mystery Worshipper. This coming Monday night’s episode, the season finale, features Adam (the vicar) having a crisis of faith when one of his sermons gets a bad review on an irreverent Christian website. Which sounds familiar.

I think Rev has been a breakthrough series in the way its humour treats religion sympathetically and on its own terms. I’ve especially loved the kitchen sink prayers, which are gloriously everyday, the shared smokes with Colin (‘hello, vicarage’) and the serpentine Archdeacon Robert. But for me the comedy is funny because it’s so rooted in the reality of church as it is now. The huge, dilapidated 18th century building, the 60s box-built vicarage, the few people struggling through the hymns, the night time knock on the vicarage door by lost souls… they give it all poignancy and the laughter of recognition.

Hoping to interview James Wood, Rev’s writer this afternoon, for Ship of Fools. So possibly more on this later.

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REV is the best! Can’t wait for this week’s episode – will the mystery worshipper be easy to spot I wonder?

Chorister, Sun 1 Aug, 18:13

I love this show. Can’t wait for it to come out on DVD. It’s just so true.

Julie Sinclair, Sun 1 Aug, 00:00

Some have bristled at the occasional sex and swearing interludes, others have pedantically picked holes in the Anglican fabric… but it was never going to be another Dibley, and praise be for that! Loved the episode where Adam’s church was invaded by the charismatic brigade. A second series? Bring it on!

david stuckey, Sat 31 Jul, 22:07

What I love about this series is that there are nuggets of serious and quite illuminating dialogue. Like many Anglicans I find that it can be difficult to give a quick ‘mission statement’ about our beliefs, in simple lay terms, especially to those of the newer Christian groups, but Rev has managed this so well, I am just running though some of the series on IPlayer to pinch a few gems! Especially from the one when he was accused of going a bit Abramovich! Classic.

Frederica Venn, Sat 31 Jul, 14:08

Quite agree – it’s a lovely gentle and realistic series, and all the funnier because it’s accurate. Anything that shows the clergy as normal human beings instead of plastic stereotypes has to be good. And yes, I love the kitchen sink (and loo!) prayers – it’s exactly what I do and exactly the sort of things I pray about. Well similar anyway, as I’m not a clergy person! I do hope they will make another series.

Linda Hall, Fri 30 Jul, 19:52

My husband and I have been following the series with much interest… I agree with what you have said about the show, we have found it very true to life in the church as it is today, and the different subjects have been dealt with, with gentleness and brilliant humour… my favourite episode to date is the one where Adam invites the Muslim children to use the church for prayer lessons! with the classic prayer about the ‘jazz mag’ LOVE IT

Heather Walters, Fri 30 Jul, 17:10

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