Move over Gogglebox. Forget Question Time. Ignore Everyday Ethics, The Big Questions and Loose Women. TGI Monday is here!
It has been many months in development, through creative tensions, scheduling traumas, job/family juggling and ecclesial diplomatic wrangling. But here we are at the official launch with (cue fanfare) Episode 1, in which a quartet of vicar-theologians discuss what it means to be a “real Christian” (or a “proper” or “true” Christian, as many commenters on this blog revel in judging/discussing day after day). The launch question being considered by the TGI Monday team derives from a decade (yes, 10 years this month) of the Archbishop Cranmer blog and the ensuing 100,000s of incisive and intelligent comments which each profound post precipitates..
The TGI Monday show has a ‘shop window’ website (still in development). The essential social-media mission is to reach out beyond the pulpits and pews to engage with people’s real-life questions about real faith issues. The team explains:
TGI Monday seeks to be a safe place for anybody to ask questions on Christian faith and spirituality wherever they are in their faith journey, from people who are curious about Christianity through to those with many years in the pew. On the show, we want to engage your honest questions with our honest reflections in order to deepen faith and open further discussion. We are not about church politics or arguments, but life following Jesus.
The Diocese of Lichfield’s Online Pastor, Ros Clarke, adds: “Just this week, former Chief Rabbi Lord Sachs won the £1.1m Templeton Prize and said: ‘We are trying to work out how we can speak to this You Tube short-attention-span generation which nonetheless have hearts of gold and are waiting for a positive altruistic message.’ Well, this is our answer.”
And so, every week, your questions on following Jesus will be considered by Ros, Hywel, Zoe and Dan, and each episode will be available for viewing every Monday morning only on this blog. There will be occasional eXtras (one already produced is an interview with Michael Ipgrave, the new Bishop of Lichfield) on the TGI Monday website, but the weekly episodes will only be available courtesy of His Grace. Yes, for your Monday morning spiritual cornflakes, you’ll have to munch right here.
So here’s Episode 1: What does it mean to be a “real Christian”? The ensuing comment thread will doubtless be replete with the usual theological humility and spiritual discernment to which readers of this blog have become accustomed.