CHURCHGOERS have been rolling in the aisles during Lent after giving up their committee meetings to watch a BBC sitcom.

The Parish of the Ascension, Blackheath, has started weekly study groups using TV show Rev as a starting point for discussions ranging from the church’s approach to social issues and its involvement in education, to loss of faith.

During the 40-day festival, each one of Rev’s six episodes will be watched and discussed by the congregation while drinking a glass of wine.

Rev was shown last summer and starred Tom Hollander as an inner city reverand in East London.

Originally the parish’s rector Rev Trevor Donnelly planned to host informal sessions at the vicarage but the venue has now been switched to the Dartmouth Row church itself due to demand. News Shopper: Rev Trevor Donnelly with the projector

Rev Donnelly said: “While the script naturally exaggerates incidents for comic and dramatic effect, some of the events and attitudes it portrays offer striking modern-day parables.

“Lent is a time of examining our relationship with God and each other, and the series gives us some vivid examples of how challenging that call can be.”

He added: “We will be using Rev to explore what it means to be liberal Christians in a post-secular society, faced with indifference on one hand, the apparent rise of fundamentalism on the other, and, in the middle, our own desire to be needed.

“It's a comedy show, but it contains some important and painful truths.”

People interested in attending can find out more after any Sunday 10.30am service.