A church will have the chance to reverse its flagging fortunes with the help of a new TV show – Priest Idol.
The church selected for the Channel 4 programme has a congregation of only nine, mainly ageing, regular worshippers.
The show, to be broadcast at the end of next year, will hunt for a new vicar who can attract more people into the empty pews at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Lundwood in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Backed by a small panel of advisers, the chosen vicar will receive a sum of cash to spend on whatever he or she thinks could turn things around.
Cameras will follow the fortunes of the church over 12 months as the new incumbent tries to make a difference.
A selection process will attempt to find the right candidate, who is likely to be younger than the average vicar, according to Channel 4.
A spokesman said the programme is being made with the full co-operation of the local diocese. [Source]
You just can’t make stuff up like this and Priest Idol is a real unfortunate name for a show theologically. I wonder if it will be a song and dance competition or will be reviewed on the basis of a homily performance. Minus points for any heresies but added points for style. Maybe they could have a Cassock competition where they strolled down a runway with someone singing "There he is, Mass Presider." All I know is I would love to play the part of Simon Cowell for this.
Now I wonder what could be next? Possibly Episcopal Survivor. Place a group of priests on a desert island and watch to see which one has the holiness and the administrative skills to become a Bishop. Or maybe "Who wants to be a Cardinal?" Well maybe not. Whoever wants to be a Cardinal probably should not be one. I do wonder if the questions were just taken from the Catechism how many Bishop contestants would need a lifeline?