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Make Me a Christian

Premier :: 2008-08-17

Airs :: Sunday 7:00pm on Channel 4

Genre ::

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The Reverend George Hargreaves thinks Britain is in a state of moral decline and that a return to a more 'Christian' way of life would stop the rot. He and his team of mentors aim to show how, by convincing a group of non-Christian volunteers to live by the teachings of the Bible for three weeks. In this three-part series, a group of volunteers from around Leeds in West Yorkshire give up their normal lives and attempt to live like Christians for three weeks.

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 3 - Week Three
Aired - 27 August 2008

Episode summary:

The volunteers are coming to the end of the experiment and most of them have been pretty resistant to Christian teachings so far. It's time for a change of scene, and the group's task is to clean out and revitalize a church that has not hosted a service for 10 years. For biker Martin, it's a step forward just being in a church but he says he's only here in body, not in spirit. Aaron's no more enthusiastic. 'It's a dead issue,' he says. Vicar Joanna believes he's lashing out because he can't articulate his fears about his mother, who is awaiting tests for cancer. She hands over to Father John, who arranges to meet Aaron's family in the pub they run. The participants have said prayers in different settings - in a grand cathedral, out of doors and in the privacy of their own homes. Now they are taken to an evangelical church. The music and happy atmosphere affect all of them except Martin, who has taken the opportunity to go to a cafe, saying: 'It's all cobblers as far as I'm concerned. Laura says she has found a gay church in London and thinks it may help her reconcile Christianity with her lesbianism. Rev George Hargreaves thinks this church is in error. Nor does Laura's visit to the church persuade her that they are doing more than interpreting the Bible in a way that suits them. At a crossroads, she goes to a convent in the New Forest to spend 24 hours in silence, walking, reflecting and praying. To draw him away from bad influences, George arranges for womanizer Kevin to spend an evening with a group of sober Christians. He is surprised by how much he enjoys himself. Sarah's family have been set the task of arranging a barbecue to share with others in their street because, says George, love is at the heart of Christianity, including the injunction to love your neighbor. The Christian barbecue is a great success. Neighbors previously in conflict are building bridges, and there's a discussion with a Hindu family about belief in an afterlife. Aaron's Mum receives a warm and supportive letter from Father John and he persuades her to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, which gives her some hope. She's terrified of dying and this, indeed, is the big issue in Christianity. Is there life after death? A visit behind the scenes in a crematorium faces the group with the reality and finality of what happens to the body, but leaves unanswered the question of whether our spirits live on. Martin has been the most resistant to Christian teaching and, in a last ditch attempt to persuade him to at least consider the arguments, he is taken to spend a day with the Salvation Army at a center for older people. Old people 'smell of wee and pester you', says Martin disdainfully at the start. But he soon gets into the swing of things, and goes down well with the clientele as he serves them lunch and banters with them. By the end he says he's met some 'right characters' and has grown to like these Christians who believe in helping people. George's last challenge, where Martin is concerned, is his appearance. Martin's phobia about dentists has resulted in a toothless grin. He is finally persuaded into the dentist's chair, and agrees to be fitted with dentures, saying that this would make his wife happy. The experiment culminates in a service in the church they have worked so hard to revamp. Each participant has prepared a testimonial about his or her experiences over the three weeks of the program. Martin is still an unbeliever but says he has made friends and learnt to open himself to other ideas. Laura now believes that there is a higher power. Faye feels more humbled in herself and wants to stay in touch with the others. Kevin has learnt to look at women differently and to take responsibility for his actions. Aaron's mum gives a moving performance of Amazing Grace. A week after the end of the program, she gets the results of her test for cancer - she has the all-clear.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 1

+ Episode - 3 Week Three Aired - 27 August 2008
+ Episode - 2 Week Two Aired - 17 August 2008
+ Episode - 1 Week One Aired - 17 August 2008

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