Modern day Saints?

Peter Owen Jones

Rev Peter Owen Jones lives without money for BBC series

Reverend Peter Owen Jones, the Anglican clergyman and television presenter, spent eight months living without money for a BBC series to be broadcast this year, it has been revealed.

The 52-year-old will be seen begging for food and shelter, bartering his skills for scraps and living off his own produce in the show called How To Live A Simple Life.

Rev Jones, who has previously presented the BBC series Around The World In 80 Faiths, said he felt as though he had been caught up in a pointless frenzy of spending prior to taking up the challenge.

The programme sees him following the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, who was inspired by Jesus’s sermon to live a life of ”voluntary poverty” as the key to deeper understanding and fulfillment.

The BBC2 series was filmed over a period of months in Jones’s Sussex country village of Firle and will be shown in the Spring.

As well as growing his own crops and raising chickens, he throws himself at the mercy of his community and also strangers as he takes to the road without cash.

Rev Jones said: ”All the great religions say don’t rely on the money – it is too much the measure of a life. And I’m addicted to the stuff.

”I want to see if I can wean myself off it and live a different life.”

The married father-of-four turned his back on a commercial life in London in his twenties to take up a career in the Anglican ministry.

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saints misfits and maryters

The following book I have perused through and have found very inspiring and look forward to reading further as time permits.

“For the saints begin and end as ordinary people, eager to know and live for God.” ~ James C. Howell, Servants, Misfits, and Martyrs. pg 94.

“Wherever God led them, that is where they wanted to go.” ~ Howell, pg 181.

“saints indeed are ordinary people who are transformed into heroes by what they have been taught, by what they teach.” ~ Howell, pg 94.

James c. Howell in his introduction asks this question: ” No one ever asks how our constant exposure to the rich and famous is supposed to make us good or wise or faithful. Even if we are trying to live faithful lives, our minds are always being reshaped, lust a little, all the time, into the image of what surrounds us. But heroes – saints – stretch our imaginations and stand as imperatives, calling, wooing us into a higher, holier life… As I listen and live in this world, I find it so easy just to slide downhill into the morass of our culture’s values, buying into its hype, squandering too much of myself trying to fit in. I need saints, exemplary women, and men, whose courage, faith, hope, and action inspire and reshape and encourage me to be the person God intended me to be, so that I may settle for no less than some measure of sanctity in my own life. Saints are never once-upon-a-time characters, stuck in the annals of history. They live and breathe when we retell their stories.” pg 11 Howell.

It is ultimately about being led by the Holy Spirit who leads and teaches and guides us into the truth we need in the present moment.

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