The Anglican Church in England has jumped into the fray of reality TV in the hopes of reviving a dying church.
The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Lundwood in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has a congregation of only nine, mainly aging, regular worshippers. It hopes that by participating in a new reality TV program on Channel 4, called Priest Idol, it will be able to attract a new vicar who can fill up the church pews.
A selection process will attempt to find the right candidate, who is likely to be younger than the average vicar, according to Channel 4. The chosen vicar will receive a sum of cash to spend on whatever he or she thinks could turn things around.
Cameras will then follow the church community over 12 months.
The program is being made with the full cooperation of Bishop Stephen Platten of Wakefield, who considers this program a last-chance attempt to revive the church and an opportunity to encourage other churches that find themselves in a similar situation.
Priest Idol is scheduled for broadcast at the end of next year.