Swanage to feature in TV programmes to celebrate Easter

Filming has been taking place in Swanage, including St Mary’s Church, for Christian broadcaster TBNUK, who’s producing a series of programmes to be screened over Easter. 

The three half hour programmes of music and reflection will be broadcast on Thursday 1st April, Friday 2nd April and Easter Sunday (4th April) 2021.


This means that although church services can go ahead with a congregation under Covid rules, people will also be able to watch from home.

Aerial view of St Mary's church
Simon Lole outside St Mary's Church

Director of music at St Mary’s Church, Simon Lole

Broadcast “will be something special”

TBNUK’s Swanage programmes came about as Simon Lole, director of music at St Mary’s Church, had previously worked with the broadcaster – which wanted to do a show in an English location outside of London.

Reverend John Mann said:

“When I heard that we might be able to celebrate Holy Week and Easter from Swanage in a different way this year, with all the restrictions and sadnesses that have accompanied the pandemic, I was quick to say, “Yes”. We are not able to sing in church at the moment, but we could have some professional singers come and fill our lovely church with their voices. 

“We shall have services in St Mary’s with distancing and face coverings, but we can also go home and see Swanage and celebrate Holy Week and Easter in a way that we would not have been able to last year. So, the programmes will be something special.”

Filming taking place at St Mary's Church

Reverend John Mann with Simon Lole outside St Mary’s Church

Build up to Easter

The three broadcasts take place on some of the most significant days of the Easter cycle – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Each programme will feature Simon Lole discussing with Reverend Mann the significance of each of these days and how they fit into the Easter story.

They will also feature choral music sung from St Mary’s Church and Bible readings from Major Katrina Greetham of the Salvation Army on Thursday, Jeanne Lejuene of St Edward’s Church on Good Friday and the Reverend Karen James of Swanage Methodist Church on Easter Sunday.

Choir inside St Mary's church

The socially distanced professional choir inside St Mary’s Church

“Look forward in hope to better days to come”

Reverend Mann added:

“I know that I speak for all church leaders across Swanage when I say that in these difficult days we hope and pray that this may be an Easter upon which we can look forward in hope to better days to come, whilst remembering the many who are tired, with working so hard to keep us safe and cared for throughout our town, also, of course for those who are ill, those who have lost loved ones, and for all who are in any kind of difficulty. 

“If these uplifting programmes can be of help then I am more than happy that we have been asked by Simon Lole and TBNUK to be part of them, and help to celebrate this most important time of the Christian year.”

Preview of broadcast

TBNUK has released a preview of the upcoming broadcast.

Watch the show

TBNUK can be found on Freeview channel 65 or Sky channel 582.

The Swanage programmes are on at the following times:

  • Thursday 1st April 2021, 9 am, 3.05 pm and 8 pm
  • Friday 2nd April 2021, 9 am, 3.05 pm and 8 pm
  • Sunday 4th April 2021, 8.30 am, 12 pm, 5.30 pm and 9.30 pm

Further information

To find out more about the churches across Swanage, visit the Swanage Churches Together website.

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