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Cathedrals

Tue Nov 26, 9-10pm, BBC4

Cathedrals
By Gabriel Tate |
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Episode three
You don’t have to believe in the Almighty to be drawn in by this compelling examination of an institution undergoing no less radical change than the area surrounding it. Southwark Cathedral stands in the shadow of the Shard, but also nestles alongside areas of serious deprivation, serving a theoretical parish of many denominations and backgrounds.

Catering for all this is a considerable task, and one taken very seriously by a clergy who prove impressively realistic and switched on when submitted to the questioning of documentary-maker Richard Alwyn. There’s the odd excruciating attempt at community outreach (‘messy church’, anyone?) but equally, it’s hard to argue that a cathedral so vocally inclusive and in favour of gay rights and women priests isn’t on the side of the angels. Don’t bet against this worship site being around for another 1,500 years.

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