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Sandford St Martin blog

Welcome to our blog, where we present ideas and debate about any broadcasting that deals with morality, ethics and religion. We encourage comments and discussion but we ask that you abide by our terms and conditions.

Latest posts

Ian Hislop

Broadcasters must have faith in religious TV

It’s only appropriate to begin a piece about religious broadcasting with a confession. I am guilty of the sin of pride. I won a Sandford St Martin Trust Award in 2012 for a documentary I made about Victorian bankers and am very proud of it – even though I did not actually think I was […]

Paul Handley

What Revs think about Rev

The plight of an inner-city vicar is being discussed openly and, for once, sympathetically. One of their number — admittedly, a fictional one — was on the cover of the Radio Times and, perhaps less surprisingly, the Church Times. So you’d expect the Revd Adam Smallbone’s real-life colleagues to be pleased. Not universally. This week […]

Rachel Viney

A dual reason to celebrate

This year’s Sandford St Martin Award winners will scarcely have had time to hang up their certificates before another religious broadcasting competition comes along. This time it will be the European Television Festival of Religious Programmes, taking place from 11–15 June in the Dutch city of Hilversum, home to many of the country’s broadcasters. Even […]

Tom Oxley

What’s so funny about Rev?

Some say it’s thin on jokes, others that the humour is gentle though “life affirming” (is that a whisper of faint praise?). I disagree. Little makes me laugh out loud on television – once a month I’d reckon if I was carrying out a time and motion study and I watch TV for a living […]

Mary Colwell

Songs of Praise or Call the Midwife? Is religious broadcasting about doctrines or doing good?

A Jesuit friend of mine commented that Call the Midwife is the best portrayal of religion he’s seen in a very long time. Why? Because it is non-judgemental, grounded in compassion and deals with real issues. Many think Secret Millionaire does a good job too in showing the world a glimpse of dedicated yet ordinary […]