Nicholas Lowton, Ruth Hulse, Matthew Stafford and Matthew Cashmore are taking part in a new series for BBC2 which goes behind the scenes in the lives of rural vicars in the Herefordshire countryside.
It will follow the ordained group through the ups and downs of parish life as they plan weddings, support congregation members through times of crisis and play a part in their community life.
But it will also address the problems many vicars face in the 21st century where rural churches, especially, are facing declining numbers at services and having to take on more than one parish.
It will show the crucial role that churches play in local life, particularly when they’re not located not in wealthy cities, when people struggle with homelessness and cuts to public services.
In a BBC statement, the broadcaster say the show explores: “how the vicar’s message of Christianity fits into an ever-changing 21st century” and will include “a heavy dose of humour, charity, and inspiring local leadership.”
Rev Matthew Stafford told the Shropshire Star: ““I really wanted to do the series for three reasons. Firstly, to raise the profile of Much Wenlock because it’s a beautiful part of the world, but under sells itself. Secondly, I want to people to see that vicars are also human beings who experience the same trials and tribulations as everyone else regardless of faith, even though having faith helps.”
Who are the vicars taking part?
1) Rev Nicholas Lowton works in the heart of the countryside in the Black Mountains.
2) Ruth Hulse is the Team Vicar in West Hereford.
3) Matthew Stafford is a vicar in Shropshire
4) Matthew Cashmore is a Assistant curate in West hereford also
Four clergy from the Diocese of Hereford will show the struggles and joys of being a 21st century in ‘A Vicar’s Life’ starting this Friday.