The Sandford St Martin Trust, which gives annual awards for excellence in programmes about religion and ethics have welcomed the BBC’s announcement of some of the programming it has planned for its ‘Year of Beliefs’ – an initiative the Director-General Tony Hall promised “will ensure the BBC better reflects the UK, the world, and the role that religion plays in everyday life”.
Responding to the announcement, Jan McFarlane, the Bishop of Repton and Chair of the Sandford St Martin Trust said:
“While the BBC’s commitment to its Year of Beliefs got off to a shaky start when Radio 4 cancelled new originations of its long-standing programme ‘Something Understood’, the range and ambition of the factual programmes across the BBC’s TV, radio and online channels is encouraging.
“The Trust particularly welcomes the BBC’s commitment to bring issues of faith, belief and ethics to as wide an audience as possible and to find ways of engaging with younger audiences through a new Youth Panel and its major new survey exploring attitudes to contentious issues and responses to ethical dilemmas. And, while, they were not mentioned, the huge popularity of series such as ‘Broken’ and ‘Call the Midwife’ clearly demonstrate that audiences are eager for such stories to be told.”