In October 2020, Bishop Alastair Redfern floated the idea of creating a new Lent Course for 2021, following the success of the County Lines Lent Course in 2020. Not only had the County Lines course been used by many churches in February, but the material has since morphed into a key training resource that groups across the UK have benefitted from. Since the March Lockdown, the County Lines material has been developed into an online course and more than 50 people have already attended online seminars, with more signed up for the coming months.
Because of the ongoing pandemic and people’s inability to meet face-to-face, we believed that an online Lent Course would be a welcome resource for time-poor clergy and churches and that we could use the power of film to bring the material to life.
We landed on the theme of Women in the Shadows and spent many hours brainstorming potential contributors and finding a film production team to work with. We were bowled over by the willingness of people to travel to London and be a part of the filming.
We organised one day’s filming near Peterborough and two in London. Film company, DH&Co, commissioned acclaimed writer, April De Angelis to transform various survivor stories into compelling scripts and actresses were auditioned and appointed.
We have more than six hours of incredible footage, including the actresses’ monologues and interviews with frontline workers. It is a mammoth challenge to boil this down into five mini-films but we can’t wait to see the final product. As soon as the edits are finished, we will make the mini-films and devotional booklet available to all. We also intend to use the films more broadly, beyond Lent and for secular audiences. Watch this space!