TV and RADIO
by Elizabeth Bano
THE current series of Seeds of Faith (Radio 4, Sunday 11pm) is examining religious communities. The first programme focused on Ronwin Goodsir Thomas who runs Nether Hallam Centre in Sheffield.
She was a theology lecturer at a Polytechnic and was made redundant. She is a Benedictine oblate and wanted to continue to contribute to the Church in a practical way after redundancy. At first she did this by helping out at the Chaplaincy, but then it was pointed out to her that her talents were merely being used to wash up coffee cups, so she set off on the Nether Hallam project.
She bought a large old house in Sheffield and has turned it into an ecumenical conference centre, while still retaining the feel and atmosphere of a home. In the basement there is a chapel, and on the first floor a large room, spacious enough to hold up to 40 people.
Her main interests are women's issues and peace and reconciliation, and she has had many Christian womens' groups to meet there. She only spends half her time on the conferences and meetings in her home, the rest of her life she devotes to studying and writing theological papers and attending conferences herself.
Those who were at the centre spoke with warmth and appreciation of it. Ronwin explained that she had been drawn to the religious life, but that she had a family. Now, however, she feels that it is better to be within the community in the outside world.
The excellent First Tuesday series (ITV) introduced by Olivia O'Leary presented a fascinating film this month. It had been shot in Canada and followed the; twists and turns of the negotiations surrounding the strike at General Motors. The cameras followed the Canadian union leader and his inner team, and played a "fly-on-the-wall" role, as events unfolded.
The union was fighting for the principle of an hourly wage rate and increase. The US union had already accepted a deal which only gave a rise when profits were good, and gave a loss when profits were bad.
The nail-biting bluff and double bluff was not just between the union and the management of General Motors, but within the union itself. The Americans could have refused access to the strike fund, and tried to double cross the Canadian union leader by holding separate negotiations in the US.
But the charismatic Canadian union leader, who had all the attributes of a first rate poker player, managed to beat the mighty multi-national General Motors Corporation. Their nerve failed as the strike bit, and the union held their ground. SUNDAY, August 16 — 6.32am Morning Has Broken Radio 4. 7.30am Good Morning Sunday Radio 2: Roger Royle's guest this morning is Su Pollard, best known as the dotty chamber maid in the TV series Hi-Di-Hi. She talks about her life, her work and comedy.
7.40am Sunday Radio 4: Weekly religious current affairs programme.
9.15am Free Church Rhyl live service on BBC1.
9.30am Morning Service Radio 4: From Kettering Salvation Army Citadelin Northamptonshire.
11.00am Morning Worship ITV: Family Communion from St Nicholas Church, Uphill, Weston-Super-Mare.
2.00pm Scribes, Scholars and Saints ITV.
6.40pm Songs of Praise BBC1: Christians from isolated hamlets, villages and small towns in South Shropshire and North Herefordshire gather in the ancient courtyard of Ludlow Castle for the first programme in this year's open-air series., 8.30pm Hymns on Holiday Radio 2: A hymn-singing festival in Prestatyn, North Wales, provides the fourth programme in the series during Sunday Half Hour's summer break. Frank Topping introduces English and Welsh hymns from Bethel Welsh Methodist Church.
10.15pm Choices BBC1: This week's programme is entitled "Lifespan" and Rabbi Julia Neuberger chairs a discussion on old age.