The BBC is marking Easter and other major faith festivals under the Faith and Hope for Spring 2023 banner with a vibrant mix of new commissions, live programming and content on flagship strands across TV and radio channels.
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.
In a new two part series 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.
On BBC radio, the Revd Kate Bottley hosts an evening of music, personal stories and reflections to mark Good Friday in At the Foot of the Cross on BBC Radio 2; the Right Rev James Jones reveals the little-known story of Easter Saturday in The Day When God is Dead on BBC Radio 4; and BBC Radio 3 brings Choral Evensong live from Chester Cathedral on Easter Sunday.
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 for BBC One and iPlayer under the banner, Love Faith & Me, looks 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.
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.”
Tim Pemberton, Head of Religion & Ethics, BBC Radio says: "Highlights across radio this Easter include the welcome return of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Radio 2 favourite Kate Bottley as they join us in a time of reflection and hope. Meanwhile, Radio 4 will shine a light on the lesser known story of what happened on Easter Saturday and Radio 2 will welcome a host of special musical guests to provide an uplifting seasonal soundtrack for all."