Page 1, 8th May 1964

8th May 1964
Page 1

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By Marian Curd THE dearth of good denominational speakers is this week blamed by the BBC's Head of Religious Broadcasting for unsatisfactory religious

discussion programmes.

In his first Press Conference since taking office six months ago, Mr. Kenneth Lamb said on Monday, "There is a desperate shortage of people with religious beliefs who have the great gift of communication with those who are indifferent to the Gospel".

Commenting that sn many speakers are unable to show the relevance of the Christian Faith in Britain in 1964, Mr. Lamb added:

"It is said that we are not dealing with people who have not heard of the Gospel, but with those who have heard and who have rejected it either because they are unwilling to face demands or because the Gospel is presented in a way which is not acceptable to them."

In face of recent criticism regarding controversial religious programmes, Mr. Lamb came quickly to the defence of his Department: He was not satisfied, he said. Mistakes were made, and they were put right as soon as possible.

But, he emphasised, religious programmes should he judged as a whole. The controversial programmes represented only some five per cent of the Department's total output. Output at present totals 11 hours per week on domestic, sound and television: five hours on Overseas services.


It was stated that there would he a "substantial contribution" to BBC-2 by the Religious Broadcasting Department.

One contribution could so far be publicised, An encounter between David Frost (offensive to some viewers in TW3) and Billy Graham. This is the first of a series of three such confrontations to take place on Saturday nights in June.

One change was announaed for the Home Service. Devotional programmes would replace the "Way of Life" on Sunday evenings, though "Way of Life" programmes would be interspersed with the general output of the Home Service.

Programmes on Christian Further Education, with a first series on the Authority of the Bible, are planned for the Third Programme next winter.

Experiments with the "Five-toTen" programme (five million audience) will continue, as will "Lift Up Your Hearts" (three million audience).

And most encouraging: "Programmes of immediate topical relevance will be offered from time to time to all three domestic radio networks", said Mr. Lamb, and, he added, "this can of course include the Drama Department".

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