20 June 2018, The Tablet

Hoveton’s Catholics are certainly more in evidence than those of Ambridge


WHY ARE THERE no Catholics in Ambridge? The village in the long-running reality radio drama The Archers is not in a particularly unCatholic part of England. It must fall in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. There should be some old recusant house like Coughton or Baddesley Clinton that would have given succour to the humble faithful.

It is not that Ambridge is uniformly C of E. The vicar’s wife Usha is Hindu. Kate Madikane, née Aldridge, runs a business called Spiritual Home, which for some reason entails the use of yurts. Several of the actors who voice the villagers come from a Catholic background, but of the villagers themselves, perhaps the most likely candidate is the feckless, drunken, sexist pigman “Jazzer” McCreary from Glasgow. Perhaps Ian Craig, an Ulsterman, the husband of Adam Macy, is a Catholic too, if fairly deeply lapsed.

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