Catherine Pepinster, professional Catholic

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, I saw a programme on telly about Catholic monks. Their lifestyle was exactly like Easter, which by complete coincidence is tomorrow.

There is no other news today.


11 thoughts on “Catherine Pepinster, professional Catholic

  1. Well, I rather agree with Ms Pepinster that it’s a shame the Beeb are planning to drop much of the original programming from BBC4. I hope they can be persuaded to think again.

    But she needn’t fret too much about not having shows about monks to watch. The BBC has been working on a bonanza of faith-related programmes to help ‘people of all faiths and none’ (eh?) through these terrible times: I wonder how many will contain any non-religious or anti-religious views, or any portrayal of any religion that is not wholly benign. No prizes for the answer.

    Still, there are some treats in store. For instance, we are promised more of Three Vicars Talking on Radio 4, bringing together ‘the popular trio of Reverends Richard Coles, Kate Bottley and Giles Fraser to swap curate shoptalk’. I don’t know if anyone in this community has caught any of these cosy chats; I’m quite thankful to have been able to socially distance myself from them so far.


      1. That’s just depressing and a little bit scary. What can be the BBC’s thinking behind this? Does it consider the Corporation has a duty to bolster religious faith in this way? It’s not as though most organised religions don’t have the wherewithal to promote and support themselves. It’s a bit early for figures to emerge from the recent Census, but I for one await the results of the questions on religious faith with interest. Maybe these will give the Beeb reason to reflect on the validity of this appeasement of the listening and viewing ‘faithful.’


  2. Ms P. asserts that the Catholic monastery is in no way an escape from the real world because – what? The resident single-sex celibate community work hard praying for people who have asked for their intercession… Oh, and they also brew ale. There was a time when most institutions and households brewed (weak) ale as it was often a purer drink than water, and was daily fare. I guess the current monks would argue that manufacturing intoxicating liquors was a means of financing their life style. I would be surprised, however, if this establishment survives without a sizeable income from donations, investments and legacies. So… Pepinster’s monks may be more ‘of this world’ than she is telling us.

    Anyway, this wasn’t a TFtD according to the BBC guidelines, and – as already noted – made no attempt to deal with any real news.

    @StephenJP – Unfortunately I did hear the awful “Three Vicars Talking.” It was cringe-making in the extreme, and packed with jokey little anecdotes about their work which really ought not to have been aired in public. There was no evidence of the trustworthy, humble, sympathetic, independent minded, unprejudiced, self-effacing servant of the Church that used to be the hallmark Anglican churchman (for they were all men). These three have become the Beeb’s poster-boys and girl, the go-to people for a breezy, fresh version of the Church today. Unfortunately The (unctuous) Rev. Richard Coles makes my flesh creep, and the other two just want to be media celebrities. Sorry, but I just don’t like any of them, but can see why the Corporation does.


  3. Link to Three Vicars Talking, for those who feel like risking it [Trigger warning: The web-site photo alone may be too much for some. Three vicars desperately trying to look trendy is not a pleasant sight]:

    Yes Liverpudlian, I too find the unctuous, self satisfied “Reverend” Coles too much to bear. My Saturday morning ritual is to briskly switch from Radio 4 to 4 Extra as soon as his name’s mentioned.

    “packed with jokey little anecdotes about their work which really ought not to have been aired in public.” Sounds like there may be some ethical violations there? Something for “The Moral Maze” to sink their teeth into?

    So can we now look forward to other professional trios being given air time? Three Nurses Talking, Three Bus Drivers Talking, Three Solicitors Talking, Three Driving Instructors Talking. Sounds like the makings of an interesting series.


    1. Yes, indeed Graham. I used to look forward to ‘Saturday Live’ in the days of Fi Glover. But since Coles has monopolised it I’ve had to give it a wide swerve. It must be time for a change of presenter by now; can’t come soon enough for me.


  4. The most noteworthy thing about Pepinster’s TFTD was its lack of newsworthiness, as for most of this week’s dull entries. I’ve always thought most of BBC 4 is repeats anyway.
    I have never been worried that, as the national broadcaster, the BBC has religious programmes on for those who like them in the same way it does for say rugby, cricket, cooking or Eastenders. I never watch any of them as they don’t interest me. But there is always something else on another channel or on the radio, or nowadays on Iplayer or Sounds for me to get my money’s worth from the license fee. Or go and read a book.
    The most annoying thing about having a Reverend on a non-religious programme is calling them a reverend. If they aren’t there to represent their religion then they should simply be Mr, Mrs or Ms. I wouldn’t ask to have my job title stuck before my name if I was presenting Saturday Live.


    1. Yes, that’s what really irks me. Coles appears on many TV shows (he was on one about painting not so long ago); always in clericals and always introduced as ‘the Reverend…’ I just don’t know what the BBC thinks it’s playing at; Coles never provides any religious input. The church is always bemoaning its shortage of clergy, and how hard its parish priests work – you’d think Coles would have his work cut out visiting the sick, burying the dead and other parochial business to occupy him; but apparently not.


      1. Richard Coles has been across the media over the past few weeks plugging his latest book, which seems to be mainly or partly about the death of his partner (another vicar). Some of the bits I’ve heard have been quite moving, when Coles speaks from the heart about how he misses the love of his life (and doesn’t let his cassock get in the way). But some is pretty squirmworthy, such as his account of when he takes his partner’s sewing to him in hospital instead of his knitting. I absolutely agree that he’s in far too many programmes where he has little to contribute apart from his dog-collar, and I hope the Beeb eventually manages to grow out of him.


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