22 April 2020, The Tablet

Virtual belief



Heart and Soul: Faith in Lockdown France
BBC world service

On the outskirts of Paris the local wildlife is making a noisy comeback: owls, deer, foxes, all kinds of hitherto nervous fauna are using humanity’s enforced sequestration as an opportunity to make their presence felt. So this excellent World Service documentary (19 April), part of the long-running Heart and Soul franchise, began with its presenter, John Lawrenson, attending to a volley of hooting sounds. But the question was: reduced to silence, solitude and quiet reflection, how were France’s religious communities going about practising their faith? According to Lawrenson and his ecumenical collection of interviewees, the coronavirus crisis had inspired “brilliant new ways” of worshipping and communicating.

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