*** DEBUG END ***

Fortnight ahead

18 December 2015


The Queen’s Christmas broadcast: Christmas Day, 3pm, on BBC1, ITV, Radio 4, and Classic FM. A signed repeat is on BBC2 at 6.20pm. For a documentary about it, see BBC1, Monday, 7pm

The Queen’s Christmas broadcast: Christmas Day, 3pm, on BBC1, ITV, Radio 4, and Classic FM. A signed repeat is on BBC2 at 6.20pm. For a document...

TV HIGHLIGHT: The Real Star of Bethlehem: A Sky at Night Christmas special The team goes in search of the potential causes of the Star of Bethlehem, and reconstructs events in the night sky 2000 years ago.

9pm BBC4, Wednesday 30 December


RADIO HIGHLIGHT: Stars of Wonder Mark Ellen and Miranda Sawyer explore the ritual of the school nativity play, featuring a production at Northwold Primary School, Hackney.

11am Radio 4, Wednesday 23 December


TELEVISION: Friday 8.30pm (BBC2)An Island Parish: Falklands The Revd Richard Hines and his wife are leaving after seven years (6/6).

Sunday 10am (BBC1) Fern Britton Meets. . . The Apprentice star Karen Brady talks about her faith (4/4).

4.45pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise: Christmas Big Sing Carols and festive music from the Royal Albert Hall.

8pm (BBC4) Westminster Abbey A look at the people who work and worship at one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks (repeat) (1/3).

Monday 7pm (BBC1) Cue the Queen: Celebrating the Christmas Speech Kirsty Young explores the story of the royal annual broadcast.

9pm (BBC4) From Andy Pandy to Zebedee: The golden age of children’s TV The story of children’s TV through the decades.

Tuesday 6pm (C5) A Primary School Nativity Gascoigne Primary School, in Barking, prepares for the Year 2 nativity play.

11pm (C4) The Children Who Beat Ebola The story of five children from Sierra Leone.

Wednesday 9.15am and Christmas Eve 9am (BBC1) David Suchet: In the footsteps of St Paul The actor retraces the Saint’s footsteps (repeat).

Christmas Eve 9.30am (C5) The Real Face of Santa Claus Historical clues about St Nicholas are pieced together.

10am (BBC1) On Angel Wings An animated adaptation of the nativity story by Michael Morpurgo (repeat).

2.15pm (C4) It’s a Wonderful Life The classic James Stewart film.

5.15pm (BBC2) Carols from King’s The choir’s traditional celebration from King’s College, Cambridge (repeated Christmas Day, BBC2, 11am).

11pm (ITV) Christmas Carols on ITV Aled Jones visits St Elisabeth’s, Reddish, Stockport, for a candlelit service.

11.45pm (BBC1) Midnight Mass from St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. A Roman Catholic mass live from London.

Christmas Day 10am (BBC1) Christmas Day Service from Bath Abbey A live service led by Prebendary Edward Mason.

11.40pm (BBC1) Love Came Down at Christmas David Ogden’s new choral setting of the Christina Rossetti poem.

Sunday 8.15am (BBC2) A Man for All Seasons The Oscar-winning film about St Thomas More.

10am and 5pm (Premiere) Exodus: Gods and Kings Ridley Scott’s film of the story of Moses.

1.15pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise Stories from the past year.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8pm (BBC4) Royal Institution Christmas Lectures: How to survive in space Kevin Fong looks at how astronauts survive in space.


RADIO: Sunday 8.10am (R4) Sunday Worship from Methodist College, Belfast.

9.30am (World Service) Heart and Soul Bob Walker takes the Caminho da Fé pilgrimage route in Brazil.

1.30pm (R4) Chrismukkah and Other Cultural Mash-Ups Sharmini Selvarajah, who is British-Asian and married to a Jewish American, describes her “Chrismukkah” party.

3pm (R3) Choral Evensong A repeat of last week’s service from Chester Cathedral.

3pm (Classic FM) A Winchester Christmas with Charlotte Green A carol concert by the Quiristers of Winchester College (rptd Christmas Day, 3.05pm)

Monday to Friday 10.45pm (R3) The Essay: Religion in the North Guests, including the religious journalist Andrew Brown, describe their Scandinavian Christmas traditions (1-5/5).

Monday 11am (R4) The Disused Chapel on the Cornish Skyline Petroc Trelawny finds out what has happened to Cornwall’s Methodist chapels.

4.30pm (R4) Beyond Belief Ernie Rea and guests discuss the pagan festival of Yule (5/8).

Tuesday 4.30pm (R3) Words and Music Poetry, prose, and music inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary (repeat).

Wednesday 3.30pm (R3) Choral Evensong A service from St Thomas’s, New York, recorded in December 2007.

4pm (R4) Thinking Aloud Have Christmas rituals changed? Do we still need them?

Christmas Eve 3pm (R4) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Live from King’s College, Cambridge (rptd Christmas Day, 2pm).

6pm (Classic FM) Christmas from Buckingham Palace A broadcast of the annual carol concert given at Buckingham Palace.

8pm (Classic FM) The Story of Carols Some carols, and the stories behind them (part 2 on Christmas Day, 8pm).

Christmas Day 6am (R2) The Sunday Hour Diane Louise Jordan presents a special Christmas edition.

8am (R2) Good Morning Christmas Clare Balding’s guests include the Rector of St James’s, Piccadilly, Canon Lucy Winkett.

9am (R4) Christmas Service from Ripon Cathedral.

1pm (Classic FM) The Nation’s Favourite Carol John Brunning counts down a top 30 of carols.

Saturday 8pm (R4) Shhhhhhh Lucy Powell investigates the spiritual value of silence (repeat).

12.15am (R4) Christmas Meditation Dr Tina Beattie, Professor of Theology at Roehampton University, looks back over 2015.

Sunday 8.10am (R4 FM) Sunday Worship A celebration of 100 years of the organisation Toc H.

3pm (R3) Choral Evensong A repeat of last Wednesday’s service, recorded at St Thomas’s, New York, in December 2007.

9.30am (World Service) Heart and Soul Jo Fidgen travels to Sweden to explore the Christmas celebrations of Saint Lucy.

Monday to Friday 1.45pm (R4 FM) School of Thought The former universities minister David Willetts examines the education system (1-5/5).

4.30pm (R4) Beyond Belief Ernie Rea and guests discuss religious perspectives on heaven (6/8).

Wednesday 3.30pm (R3) Choral Evensong from St Gabriel’s, Pimlico, London.

8pm (R4) A New Life in Europe Manveen Rana travels with a Syrian migrant family as they make their way to Germany.

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.