BBC TV and radio feature Scottish Episcopal Church

December 18, 2020

The Scottish Episcopal Church featured on four BBC broadcasts on the fourth Sunday in Advent.

The significance of the nativity was discussed by the Rev Diana Hall on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday Morning programme with Sally Magnusson.

Rev Hall, Rector of St Anne’s in Dunbar, told the programme: “The nativity symbolises one of the most important things about the Christian faith. We hear the word ‘Emmanuel’ at Christmas and Emmanuel means God with us, and so the nativity symbolises this belief that Jesus came to live among us.

“The crib service at St Anne’s Church is a highlight of the whole year. I’ve had all sorts of things happening at the crib service. I’ve had a 50-year-old playing Jesus’ granny flying down the aisle on a scooter, shrieking; I’ve had children’s faces light up as the light is dimmed and they see a tiny baby Jesus cradled in his mother’s arms; and I’ve seen me halfway down the high street in the middle of summer be approached by somebody in their 20s to tell me that they were once the baby Jesus at St Anne’s. They might have very little other church contact but they regard the church as home because it’s a place they really had an experience of community that is significant.”

She added: “In the end, the story of the nativity is a story of hope in the midst of hard times, a story of light in darkness; it’s the promise that God has come to us to be with us and that God never leaves us, and always offers hope for the future. I think hope is what many people are needing right now, and I hope that’s what the nativity will speak to people this year.”

You can hear Rev Hall’s full interview on the BBC Sounds website here at the 50-minute mark.

Earlier, the Rev Philip Blackledge led worship on BBC Radio Scotland programme New Every Sunday from Holy Trinity in Melrose. The broadcast can be heard on the BBC website, here.

New Every Sunday also came from Melrose last weekend, when Rev Blackledge welcomed Gaudete Sunday, also known as Rejoicing Sunday. You can listen again to last week’s programme here.

BBC One Scotland’s weekly worship programme Reflections at the Quay featured library footage of Once In Royal David’s City being sung beautifully at St Paul’s Cathedral in Dundee (shown above), as producers delved into the archives to add music to the programme at a time when we are not able to sing in church. Reflections at the Quay can be seen again here.

And later on Sunday, St Moluag’s at Eoropaidh on the Isle of Lewis, pictured above, featured on BBC One’s Countryfile. In a Christmas special of the popular programme, presenter John Craven explored the ancient tradition of Gaelic psalm singing, and as part of the item, renowned Gaelic composer Calum Martin sang inside St Moluag’s and was then interviewed in nearby Ness.

Countryfile can be watched again here.

(Main image of nativity characters, at top of page, was taken at St John the Evangelist, Aberdeen)