Church turns to television to get bums on pews

The Church of England is ready to make an historic commitment to advertising by taking its message on to TV for the first time.

The Church of England is ready to make an historic commitment to

advertising by taking its message on to TV for the first time.



The attempt to extend its influence beyond the pulpit and into thousands

of homes begins with a commercial which will run in the Central TV

region over the Easter period.



Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other senior

churchmen, are aware of the local initiative, which may be extended

across the country if it proves successful.



The mould-breaking move, a joint initiative by the neighbouring dioceses

of Birmingham and Lichfield, is being co-ordinated by Christians in

Media, a group of London agency personnel who have donated their own

time to the project.



The finishing touches are now being put to the commercial, which aims to

draw on one of the most holy periods of the year to focus people’s

thoughts on the Christian message.



The film comprises a series of vignettes showing ordinary people going

about their daily lives - driving, waiting for a bus or visiting a

hairdresser.



A voiceover says: ’These people are doing something that’s never been

seen in a TV commercial before.’ It later becomes apparent that all the

people, none of whom are actors, are silently praying. The voiceover

ends by saying: ’If you would like to find out more about Christianity,

why not try a church this Easter.’



Nick Drummond, one of the creatives responsible for the commercial,

said: ’It’s not a hard sell, but very stylish and gentle and is directed

towards people who perhaps have never thought about going to church

before.’



The car maker, BMW, provided one of its latest models for use in the

film, while Adidas and the designer retailer, Paul Smith, offered

products free of charge.