Arts events can be reminders of powerful messages

March 16, 2023

The Oscars awards ceremony and World Book Day featured in two recent Thought For the Day broadcasts from Scottish Episcopalian clergy on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme.

After the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, where “bright lights, tinsel and glitter” dominate the annual showbusiness gathering, Bishop David Chillingworth (pictured above) gave consideration to the films and documentaries which might have less glamour, but can deliver important messages about life and creation.

“I’m not a great film buff, but there are important things going on here,” said the former Primus. “There is power in films like All Quiet on the Western Front with its message about the dreadful realities of war – and in the Banshees of Inisherin which explores a story of lost friendship.  And of course David Attenborough’s Wild Isles has the power to change attitudes and enlist people in the cause of protecting the natural world in its beauty and diversity.”

To listen to Bishop David’s full Thought For The Day, click here. Bishop David can be heard at the 1:22:25 mark.

A few days before Bishop David, the Rev Diana Hall marked World Book Day, by recalling a book she loved as a child – The Hobbit – and  the book she would choose today.

“Storytelling plays an important role in shaping cultures, beliefs and identities,” said the Rector of St Anne’s Scottish Episcopal & Methodist Church, Dunbar (pictured above). “There are stories we tell ourselves to divide and separate us from others, and then there are stories that bring us together or allow us see the world from the perspective of someone else. It’s incredibly powerful!

“Going on an adventure with Bilbo Baggins took me out of myself and into a whole new, imaginary, realm. On the way I learned important lessons about the fight between forces of good and evil, all while curled up safely beside the fire.

“But if I had to choose a volume for World Book Day, it would be the Bible. There are good reasons why the Bible is the best-selling book in the world. For Christians, this collection of volumes binds up the whole of history. Its texts range across many genres, covering thousands of years of writing… from love poetry to gory histories of war and biographies of Jesus, the best and the worst of human nature is all there. And beyond that, it tells the story of God’s relationship with the world, the promise of God’s love and of hope for the future. This is a story with power to transform-drawing us beyond ourselves and including us in eternity itself.”

To hear Rev Hall’s full Thought For The Day, click here and go to the 1:22:32 mark.