IN 1982, the Revd Dr Richard Hines, his Ph.D. in plant pathology
in hand, was living with his wife among the indigenous people of
northern Argentina. It was at "rather short notice" that, after
hearing military music over the radio, they had to leave the
"We hoped and prayed that we would be able to return to what I
believed God had called us to do," he said on Tuesday.
The opportunity finally came, 25 years later, when he became the
Rector of the Falkland Islands (Features, 24 February
2012). Then, last year, cameras descended on his parish, the
largest in the Anglican Communion, when Tiger Aspect Productions
arrived to film An Island Parish for the BBC.
"I am a person who is relatively used to speaking in public, and
I was surprised that I found myself tongue-tied in front of the
camera to begin with," he said at a preview of the series in London
on Tuesday. "But I gradually got the hang of it."
The series shows Dr Hines ministering in Christ Church Cathedral
in Port Stanley, and travelling in tiny planes to visit some of his
3000 parishioners, who are dotted around an archipelago the size of
Viewers - whom he expects to be "riveted" - will meet a host of
"characters", including the island's most famous jockey, Ron
Binnie, who is shown making his 50th appearance in the Boxing Day
races, alongside his grandson. Also featured is Cedric, a penguin
who survived a sealion attack, and the Chaplain to the Armed Forces
on the Islands, the Revd Al Nicoll, who is shown leading a
Christmas service with the aid of an iPod bought in Baghdad.
Nigel Haywood, the Governor of the Islands during filming (who
is shown wearing his full ceremonial uniform, with plumed hat
topped with swan feathers), said on Tuesday that the producers had
not had to look far to find interesting subjects among the
population: "You have to be pretty independent of spirit to live
there at all. If you have that, you are going to turn out as a
Dr Hines, who retired this year and returned to the UK, said
that his time 8000 miles south of the mainland had been "the best
sort of work you can imagine."