The BBC is marking Easter and other major faith festivals under the Faith and Hope for Spring 2023 banner with a mix of new commissions, live programming and content on flagship strands.

To mark Easter, there will be live services, worship and reflections on Easter Sunday from across the country: on BBC One there will be a live service from Southwell Minster; on BBC Radio 4 the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, shares his Easter message live from Canterbury Cathedral; there will be worship and reflections on BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In a new two part series from Big Circus Media for Easter on BBC One and iPlayer, My Life at Easter with Sally Phillips, Sally interviews writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth for Good Friday and Britain’s first black female bishop, the Right Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, for Easter Sunday.

Airing across the Easter weekend, Easter from King’s on BBC Two and iPlayer shares beautiful choral music and readings from the fan-vaulted Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge; Urbi et Orbi on BBC One and iPlayer brings Pope Francis’s Easter Message and Blessing live from Rome; and Songs of Praise marks the holiest day of the Christian year at Chester cathedral.

Pilgrimage returns to BBC Two and iPlayer with a new cast of well-known faces embarking on a pilgrimage route through Northern Portugal, following in the footsteps of miraculous events reported to have taken place over 100 years ago.

In addition, a series of five single films, produced by Milk and Honey, for BBC One and iPlayer under the banner, Love Faith & Me, look at the role faith can play in our love and family life: My Hindu Coming Out Story; My Halal Dating Story; Our Big Christian Family; How to Have a Kosher Marriage; and Sikhism, Fertility and Us. Digital cut downs of the films will be made available across the BBC’s social platforms, to reach a wide audience with these films.

There will be a special edition of Celebration Kitchen to mark Eid with Matt Tebbutt joined once again by special guests to prepare a feast for Eid, available on BBC One and iPlayer; music and conversation to mark Ramadan on BBC Asian network, including a new series of Not Even Water presented by Mehreen Baig; as well as coverage on BBC News and the World Service.

The Faith and Hope page on BBC iPlayer will bring a range of content together in one place, creating a central hub where audiences can find recent highlights.

Daisy Scalchi, Head of Religion & Ethics, BBC Television, says: “The BBC is passionate about joining up across our networks to provide a rich mix of content, bringing people together to worship, reflect and celebrate at this special time of year.”

My Life at Easter with Sally Phillips

In two special programmes for Easter weekend, Sally Phillips goes to meet two well-known guests to discover what Easter means to them, how they celebrate it and how it has marked significant periods in their careers, families and faith.

Writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth reveals a life full of love, passion, faith, politics and pantomime – from tales of childhood Easter egg hunts and searching for the secrets of happiness, through to the paradox of combining his love of frivolity and light-entertainment with the seriousness of a political career. The Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin tells of how childhood rejection strengthened her faith and led to a life fighting for the rights of women within the clergy. A true trailblazer, she eventually became Chaplain to the House of Commons, Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and ultimately Bishop of Dover, Britain’s first black female bishop.

My Life at Easter (2×60) is being made by Big Circus Media. The Executive Producers are Elliot Falk, Gareth Collett and Matt Baker.

Love Faith & Me

A series of five films for BBC One and iPlayer exploring the role faith can play in our love and family life.

My Hindu Coming Out Story

Twenty eight year old Anish came out as gay at university 10 years ago. For the past decade he’s felt disconnected from his faith and the wider Hindu community. But now he’s starting to think about his future and one day would like to have a family of his own. Anish wants to find out if he can reconcile his faith and his sexuality and celebrate being both gay and Hindu. He also faces his greatest fear by revisiting the school where he experienced homophobic bullying as a teenager to speak to the students there today about tolerance and sexuality.

Dating, Halal Style

Twenty three year old Muslim convert Chiedza wants to find love. She converted to Islam three years ago and has changed much of her lifestyle for her new faith. Now, she wants to find a husband and will be following traditional and modern Muslim dating rules. She tries a marriage introduction day at a mosque, a Muslim-only app, and a live dating event with a difference. Will she find love? And will her mother approve?

Our Super-Sized Christian Family

Tattoo artist, Alex and social worker, Amy live in Sunderland and have five kids under five, including three identical triplets. Can their Christian faith, family and community help them juggle a chaotic home-life now that they’re both back to work and the toddlers are getting more and more active?

Married, Sikh and Wanting a Baby

Sarina and Vik, have always wanted children. But after two miscarriages and three years of trying they are seeking medical help to conceive. But they’re also drawing on their Sikh faith and community. Will their religion help them navigate this emotional time?

The Highs and Lows of a Kosher Marriage

Saul and Shoshi are happily married but, like all couples, they face challenges. Can following their strict Orthodox Jewish faith, including sleeping in separate beds for 12 days of every month, and the sacred ritual of the Mikvah, help them overcome any hurdles they might face?

Love Faith and Me (5×40) for BBC One and iPlayer are being made by Milk and Honey Productions Exec where the Executive Producers are Lucy Pilkington and Jo Woolf.


Pippa Considine

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