There is no truth in the rumour that I was thinking of Peter Sellers when I named my blog Heaven’s above although there is a synergy between the two in that Peter Sellers played a man of God and was also a socialist. The film plot was really quite clever.
A naive but caring prison chaplain, Rev Smallwood (Sellers), is accidentally assigned as vicar to the small and prosperous country town of Orbiston Parva, in place of an upper-class cleric (Carmichael) with the same name. His belief in charity and forgiveness sets him at odds with the locals, whose assertions that they are good, Christian people are belied in Smallwood’s eyes by their behaviour and ideas. He creates social ructions by appointing a black dustman (Peters) as his churchwarden, taking in a gypsy family, and persuading local landowner Lady Despard (Jeans) to provide free food for the church to distribute free to the people of the town. However, all his good works lead to trouble. Because he was a radical cleric the Church of England decided we’ve got to do something with this chap so we’ll make him a Bishop for outer space.
I actually think that we need more ministers like Rev Smallwood