THE lives of county vicars will be the focus of a new TV series on BBC2 in the new year.

BBC camera crews followed two vicars and a new curate from Herefordshire over a six-month period as they ministered at the heart of rural communities.

The six-part factual series, A Vicar’s Life, will focus on Rural Dean of Abbeydore and Vicar of the Black Mountains Group, Revd Nicholas Lowton, Team Vicar of the West Hereford Team Ministry, Ruth Hulse and from the same team, assistant curate, Fr Matthew Cashmore.

The show also follows Rector of the Wenlock Team Ministry, Revd Matthew Stafford in South Shropshire.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd, Richard Frith, said: “I’m delighted that the spotlight is on the worship and faith in action in our rural diocese and on the incredibly valuable role our clergy and church members play in communities large and small.

“In these times of austerity cuts and a reduction in the voluntary sector the church is often the only organisation left helping those in need, particularly in our very rural parts where the church building itself is the only focal place where a community can gather together.

“Our clergy are there for each and every one of us whenever we need them, regardless of whether they have met us before, ensuring the Christian message of hope is available to all.”

The West Hereford team covers All Saints - Hereford, St Michael - Breinton, Holy Trinity - Hereford, St Nicholas - Hereford, and the Black Mountains Group includes St Clydog - Clodock and Longtown, St Mary - Craswall, St Beuno and St Peter - Llanveynoe, St Michael - Michaelchurch Escley, St John - Newton, St Margaret - St Margaret’s.

Revd Hulse said: “As clergy we are all about the people God has called us to serve and support.

“By taking part in this series I hope to show how God’s love touches people’s lives and how as a Church we help people to grow in their faith.”

The observational series was filmed from Whitsun to Christmas, shedding light on the lives of their parishioners and exploring how the vicar’s message of Christianity fits into an ever-changing 21st century.

Each episode of A Vicar’s Life will feature stories from across the county. The series will give a closer perspective on rural life, as seen through the eyes of the church.

The series starts on Friday, January 12 at 8.30pm.