Network Norwich and Norfolk > Resources > Culture > Norwich Bishop's warning over Songs of Praise move

Norwich Bishop's Songs of Praise move warning

The Bishop of Norwich has warned that the BBC losing the right to make Songs of Praise could be “another nail in the coffin of the religious literacy of the nation”.

The popular worship programme has been made in-house since 1961. Under a new competitive tendering process, BBC Studios was required to pitch for the contract, which it lost to a joint bid by two independent production companies with much less experience in the genre.

The BBC said the alternative pitch offered better value for money and more innovative programme ideas.

Speaking out on the issue, Bishop Graham James told BBC Radio Norfolk: “It’s a worry to some of us that it will be another nail in the coffin of the religious literacy of the nation.

“I don’t think there’s any chance of us losing Songs of Praise; it will still go out and I hope it will maintain its standard.  Without it, it is difficult to see how the BBC will maintain its expertise in this genre which will have a knock-on effect on the broadcast of worship at other times.

“I am not unique in having anxieties for the future of the religion and ethics department and especially for those who are concerned with television within it.”

He went on to say: “It would be very odd if something in which tens of millions of people engage, and which is at the centre of their lives, disappeared from our television screens on a regular basis. Now that would be a real tragedy and place religion at the margins and in a box of 'too private and too difficult to deal with'."

Hear the full interview at: start listening at 1hr 10mins.
Pictured above is the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

Click here to fill out a standing order form and to add an extra 25% for free via Gift Aid

Click below to donate instantly via a credit or debit card or Paypal

 Recommended reading 
Not rated. Write the first review or comment
Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton


Sign up for our
free e-newsletter

Send us your latest local news and events