The BBC are to air a host of Easter programmes across their television and radio output.
From an ambitious live re-telling of the Passion story set against the backdrop of the North-East coast and live worship from Leicester Cathedral on BBC One, to Archbishop John Sentamu’s personal meditation upon the crucifixion of Christ on BBC Radio 4, this Easter, the beeb hope to cater for all those who seek more than just a chocolate egg.
“Easter is the cornerstone of Christianity and our programmes across the BBC both mark and celebrate its significance. I am incredibly excited that this year we are telling the story of the Passion with the help of the North East community and building a cross to rival the size of St Paul’s Cathedral.” – Aaqil Ahmed, Head of BBC Religion & Ethics
At the heart of this year’s schedule on BBC One is The Great North Passion, hosted by Fern Britton: a large-scale outdoor production in partnership with The Cultural Spring that will mark the last moments of Jesus’ life, from his trial and suffering to his eventual death. Fern Britton will join local community participants including a 1,000-strong choir and 12 artists who have created new work inspired by the Stations of the Cross, housed in 12 shipping containers across the North East. These containers will join over 50 others in Bent’s Park, South Shields on Good Friday to form an iconic installation in the shape of a cross.
Other programmes include on BBC One Songs of Praise for Holy Week from Bradford Cathedral, Songs of Praise on Easter Sunday from Yorkshire, Easter Sunday Worship from Leicester Cathedral and the broacast of Pope Francis and his Easter Sunday Message.
Over on BBC Two the channel will air Easter From King’s is a candle-lit meditation that traces the Christian story from Holy Week to Easter Day, told in readings punctuated by music. Messiah at the Foundling Hospital looks at Handel’s Messiah and its story while on BBC Radio 2 Diane Louise Jordan introduces an evening of music At The Foot Of The Cross, Good Morning Sunday will broadcast live from Canterbury Cathedral on Easter Day with Clare Balding and its back to Diane Louise Jordan for The Sunday Hour with spiritually uplifting and inspiring music in a special edition for Easter Day.
BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4 are block booked with Easter shows as listeners can thrill to the sounds of Choral Evensong live from Chester Cathedral, also celebrating the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth the beeb go Live From the Guild Chapel, Afternoon On 3 will hear Sir Simon Rattle conduct JS Bach – St John Passion and on beeb 4 there are editions of Prayer for the Day, Thought for the Day, Good Friday Meditation with Archbishop John Sentamu, Sunrise Service from St George’s College Weybridge, Sunday from Belfast with William Crawley and Easter Sunday Worship from the Guild Chapel, Stratford Upon Avon again to mark the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare.