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Songs of Praise alienates viewers

October 2019

BBC Songs of Praise screenshot
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BBC’s popular Sunday show Songs of Praise has alienated many of its viewers after it featured a same-sex wedding.

In August, the programme, which promotes itself on Twitter as ‘Christianity in all its diversity’, filmed the same-sex marriage of Jamie Wallace and Ian McDowell.

The pair got married at Rutherglen United Reformed Church near Glasgow. The United Reformed Church is one of the few denominations to have accepted the redefinition of marriage.

Presenter Kate Bottley described the URC decision as ‘momentous’, receiving widespread accolades from many on social media.

But many other viewers were disappointed by the one-sided presentation of same-sex marriage on a supposedly Christian programme.

According to one Twitter user, ‘Apostacy is commonplace now … but at least it’s becoming clearer which churches respect the Word of God and which don’t’.

Another wrote, ‘They should rename it to “songs of we change our beliefs like the weather”’, while the Belfast Telegraph featured an interview by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council representative Gareth Wilson, who called the episode a ‘seismic departure’ for the show.

The Christian Institute’s Director Colin Hart said. ‘It is deeply offensive to see same-sex marriage celebrated in such a way on what is supposed to be a Christian devotional programme.

‘Those connected to the programme are boasting they are “not afraid of controversy”. In fact, they seem to delight in it.

‘But for many who are unable to get to church, Songs of Praise has been one of the few sources of orthodox Christian worship they may have had access to.

‘By featuring a same-sex ceremony, and for presenting those who may disagree as wrong-thinking, Songs of Praise has alienated this core audience’.