So, here we are, 8th January, the Christmas lights are gone, it’s dark in the morning, and dark in the evening, and we’ve got what looks to be an endless series of storms coming across. I’ve been back at work for five days, Beth only two, and it already feels like we’ve not been away… and I’m sure we’re not alone in feeling the same.
As in previous years, this is the time that the BBC start on a new series of Island Parish, showing the lives of people living on the Isles of Scilly and revolving in particular around the Church of England priest on the islands, the Rev Guy Scott. It’s probably the filming, but it has to be said that the programme even makes the bad weather on the Isles of Scilly look somewhat appealing – certainly more than the wind and rain outside the windows here.
The first programme reintroduced us to some characters from last year, and also some of the new people for the series this year. So we meet Rev Guy and his family again, and we also meet the new vet, who arrived towards the end of last year, and has been discovering the difficulties of making a life on the islands – the relatively small numbers of sick animals being the main problem. Looking at the opening credits, the policewoman who swapped life in Plymouth for a summer on the islands is going to be back – although she didn’t appear tonight. We also have some interesting new people in the form of the baker who moved to the islands fifteen years ago after his divorce. In tonight’s programme he and his daughter were making plans to buy the local pub – the commentary dangled the high cost of the pub and questions about they could afford it – it wasn’t until towards the end that you found out the twist – his ex-wife is selling her house in Brighton and moving down to the islands in order to go into business. It does on paper seem like one of these recipe for disaster type decisions – but then Island Parish is one of these gentle documentaries, not particularly hard hitting, so I suspect it will all work out reasonably well in the end.
From a Church point of view, there were a couple of choice moments. I mentioned in one of my postings on the series last year the slight bit of controversy there had been over the lack of acknowledgement given to the Methodist Minister on the island. This time around, the programme showed a joint Anglican/Methodist service, and even features the Methodist Minister saying something – unfortunately it’s the point where he bounds up to assist Rev Guy with his Mothering Sunday sermon, and makes a joke about a pair of waterproof pants… Hopefully they’ll do something to try and redress the balance over the rest of the series, as at the moment if I were the Methodist Minister I’d not be overly happy.
With Rev Guy in post, I suspect we’re not going to get as much of the Church politics as we did last year – unless of course the brief clip of the PCC was a pointer to something to come… We’ll have to wait and see.
If you missed it, the programme can be found on iPlayer for the next few days.