Monday, 19 May 2014


What seems to be the final series of Rev has now finished, to wide, but not universal, acclaim. For example, the Guardian article was noted by a few people, with the argument that Rev doesn't portray the truth, as it is seen by insiders.

Now I am the first to accept that Rev is not a complete portrayal of the state of the Church of England today. There are parts of the church that are growing, lively, busy congregation. There are those within the church who are spiritual, hard-working, devoted people making a big difference. I have had some feedback from a bishop who complains about Rev being unrepresentative, and because he represents London parishes, he probably knows something about the range of parishes there are.

And yet, I think Rev represents an important aspect of the church. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it represents the majority of churches, in its own way. It is urban, and many parishes aren't, and it is parodied because that is the nature of drama. And yet the struggles of Adam to maintain a faith, the pains of the church to continue, the challenges of finding spiritual reality in - or despite - the church are the reality for many people.

What struck me through this series is that Adam is finding spiritual truth and reality. In fact, more than anyone else, he is the one who is representing The Christian, the person who finds God, the person who represents the life of faith.

And he does this, normally, despite the church. In fact, in the last two episodes, he is engaging with God almost in opposition to the church. I find this interesting, because it reflects so much of my life, and many of those I know of and hear from.

Rev is a TV show. Middle class suburban England is not entirely like The Good Life. Middle management despair is not entirely like Reginald Perrin. But both of these shine a light on their particular situations, and have been successful because they represent their situations exaggerated, but well.

Rev does just this. It exaggerates the situations and the environments. But in doing so, it also sheds some genuine light on the real issues and situations that face the church today. It does this in a way that I find very encouraging - it does not dismiss faith, but it does show that church-going is not all that represents faith.

So is it a positive show? Well, it doesn't show the church in a particularly good light, although it is truthful of many areas. But it does show faith in a good light. And it shows the struggles with faith, the pain of faith, the difficulties of believing, sometimes against all the odds.

And it does that superbly.

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