|The Bishop on a pilgrimage to Corrie|
In return we're donating £25 to The Bishop's favourite charity, which is DePaul and their work with homeless young people in the North East.
And now, it's over to the Bishop of Jarrow. You can follow him on twitter @BishopMark1
"I simply cannot remember when I first started following Corrie. But I think I have been following it on and off – sometimes more “on”, sometimes more “off” for well over twenty years.
So some of my most memorable episodes include:
Hilda Ogden leaving on Christmas Day 1987 to “Wish me luck as you wave me good-bye”. A couple of weeks later I left a church in Wiltshire to move to the West Midlands and I made sure the organist played “Wish me luck…” at my final service. As a homage to Hilda.
The Duckworths getting the Rovers in 1995. I remember Vera, who of course did not have a clue how to cook, cutting a tomato in a fancy way and telling us she had learnt it from Delia “on the telly”. The Duckworths are the patron saints of those who never quite make it and always feel a bit left out. I preached about them getting the pub at Midnight Mass, Christmas 1995. The congregation was full of different people – some were always there, some were there just because it was Christmas – and I just had that sense that talking about the Duckworths just brought everyone together that Christmas night.
Bet leaving the Rovers. As Bet waits for the taxi she puts the keys on the bar. The camera zooms in on the keys and, I later discovered, the next morning the phone for the key makers in the Black Country was red hot with people wanting Corrie keys. To cut a long story short I have a key to the Rovers Return – but I did not phone up to get one!
And of course Roy and Hayley - especially Hayley’s last illness and the visit to Blackpool. What was so moving was not Hayley dying – though that was moving – but the way Roy changed and became so loving and gentle. Soaps can unite a nation and that is what Hayley and Roy did in those final episodes. It made me wonder how I could cope if I was in Roy’s shoes. I used to go round talking to clergy about just that; soaps, at their best, make us think about the things in life that really matter.
Most recently Anna Windass going to the Foodbank. This was a brilliant portrayal of the courage and desperation that drives people to Foodbanks. In the part of the North East where I work, this is a daily occurrence. I was so glad Owen was alright about her going and the tender scene that followed was Corrie at its very best for my money; portraying the everyday lives, mistakes and lives of ordinary people.
I went on the Corrie tour the other week. The Pope used to kneel and kiss the ground every time he arrived in a new country, so what else could I do on setting foot on those famous cobbles for the first time but...
So thanks to Corrie for all those stories – and no doubt many many more to come.
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