Bishop’s Gospel ‘show’ first night success

What would you do if a Bishop suddenly turned up uninvited at your house one night and initiated a chat about a ‘hot’ topic?

Well that’s exactly what happened on the first night of an imaginative new ‘chat show’ with a twist. A packed audience experienced ‘The Gap’ – a dramatised live chat show in the vein of ‘At Home with the Kumars’ at St Nic’s Church in the city on Weds 16th October. A mock TV studio created a sitting room in an ordinary house where a fictitious family live and the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham was a key guest.

‘The Gap’ is a fresh style of five weekly presentations which is being held in two city-centre churches – at lunchtimes in St Peter’s Church and St Nic’s in the evenings – in partnership with Footprints Theatre, the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham and Nottingham Workplace Chaplaincy. Every Wednesday until 13th November he and other guests will explore a particular issue from a Christian perspective. Food was the topic last night, and Image, Money, Life & Death, and Relationships are the topics which will be covered over the course of the series.

A former porn star will be the special guest next Wednesday at both venues in a session called ‘Skin Deep’ – when the Bishop will talk to an ex-glamour model turned Christian and novelist.

The ground-breaking new city centre Gospel series, sharing the Christian Faith in a modern and relevant way is a concept of Bishop Paul’s. “For some time now I have been working with our city centre churches – particularly St Peter’s and St Nic’s and the Workplace Chaplaincy on a fresh style for presenting the Christian Gospel,” he said.

On the first night, Steve Stickley of Footprints Theatre acted as a studio ‘warm-up’ and then fell into the role of floor manager ‘Derek.’ The drama unfolded around the family’s coffee table as special guest Jo Cox-Brown, marketing professional, Street Pastor and Director of The Malt Cross arrived with Bishop Paul to give their slant on food. Discussions followed on subjects such as famine, food banks, eating disorders, fair trade and the biblical story of the feeding of the 5000…

Each week, after a short musical interlude and refreshments which feature local produce, the audience are invited to be part of an animated discussion, having put their questions in the form of tweets and texts.

Speaking after the presentation Bishop Paul commented: “The first day of The Gap has been really encouraging both at lunchtime and in the evening. Footprints have been excellent. Hospitality wonderful and the hope of engaging with key issues that affect us all in a different style realised. The feedback from the first audiences has been really positive. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

The Gap continues on Wednesdays from 23rd October to 13 November 2013. The evening ‘shows’ take place from 7.30pm – 9pm in St Nic’s Church on Maid Marian Way.

The lunchtime events are taking place on the same days from 12.30 – 1.30pm, at St Peter’s Church in the city centre (near Marks & Spencer) including free lunch.

 the Gap

Radio Nottingham presenter Frances Finn, and biker, the Revd Paul Whitehead of the Territorial Army are among other guests being brought in to discuss some of the forthcoming weekly issues.