New TV drama set in North Country parish

Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan

Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan

Broken - a new six-part drama on BBC One, starring Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan was due to begin this week, but because of the terror attack in Manchester, the first episode will be screened on Tuesday 30 May, at 9pm.

Set in a Catholic community in the north of England Broken tells the moving stories of its priest and parishioners. The poverty, grief, crime and family troubles that afflict the people of the parish all evoke the compassion of Fr Michael, who seeks to help those around him while he faces his own personal struggles. Writer Jimmy McGovern is in no doubt about how he wants the audience to feel about his main character: "He’s a fantastic priest. He totally believes in the power of prayer… but he also believes that God helps people who help themselves."

Much of the series was filmed in the Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier in Liverpool, known locally as SFX, and Parish Priest Fr Denis Blackledge SJ was on hand throughout the filming to act as a religious advisor.

"Fr Denis stood right by Sean Bean the whole time," said producer Colin McKeown, and the attention to detail adds an air of authenticity to the scenes that take place in the church. This was clearly important to McGovern, whose own Catholic upbringing (he even considered a vocation to the priesthood) informed the creation of the series.

To read the full report on Jesuits in Britain click HERE

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