PETER STANFORD writes of a Road to Damascus experience for EastEnders scriptwriter Tony Jordan in today’s Telegraph. BBC Wales were planning a follow up to The Passion broadcast in 2008. “I’d probably had a couple too many rums, but they asked me what I would do,” recalls Jordan. And one thing led to another. However …
Writing The Nativity may have converted him to the virgin birth, even to Jesus’s blueprint, but it won’t inspire Jordan to take his seat in the ancient church a few doors down from his house on Dec 25.
“I have a distaste for people who say to me if you come through these doors, walk down this aisle, sit on that wooden bench, and sing these hymns in this order, I have got God in a little bottle under my pulpit and I’ll let you have a look,” he says. “I don’t think that was God’s intention.”
The Nativity runs on BBC One for four consecutive nights from Monday Dec 20
I share Jordan’s distaste, even whilst I hate to admit that the kind of people he describes actually exist. They do, of course. WE do, of course. And we all hate to admit it. So I’m glad of the jolt from Tony Jordan. Glad of a chance to ask myself the question: “is that how the Church really comes across to some people?”. Let me not be too quick to jump to the defensive. And let me thank God for a really big “offering” from the BBC. “It’s about Joseph finding faith”, Jordan says. And I’d add that it’s about faith being a gift made available “to you and all mankind” – God-in-Baby. Not God in bottle. Anybody’s bottle.
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