AWARD WINNING PRODUCER USES OUR CHURCH IN HIS FILM
Filming took place at the church of St Paul the Apostle Catholic Church,Tintagel,Cornwall,UK of the highly acclaimed film "Conspiracy of Silence". The film was written and directed by Internationally renowned Catholic writer John Deery. On 15th May 2001 John won the Hartley Merrill International Screenwriting Prize in Cannes for the film. He was awarded a golden statuette, £7,000 and a trip to the Sundance Institute in America. He beat off stiff competition to win the coveted prize which was founded by actress Dina Merrill and her husband, RKO Pictures CEO Ted Hartley.
The script was described as "a story about the fragile lines of faith and devotion that are tested as two men search to uncover the deadly conspiracy hidden deep within the Catholic Church". It is being developed by the film finance company, Future Film Group. The hard hitting contemporary drama is set in the small Irish Town of Galcranagh and is a co-prodution with UK producer, Davina Stanley and co-executive producers Heather Playford-Denman and Stephen Margolis. Filming of the controversial film took place at locations in London and Cornwall. The town of Callington was chosen to represent the Irish town of Galcranagh. Great interest has been shown about the film and Tintagel's official website had an excellent photo of the church lit up by the film crew. (www.tintagelweb.co.uk) (note added June 2013: probably this is the picture which you can reach by clicking here). For the film the church was renamed "Our Lady of the Rosary" with Father Sweeney in charge of the Parish and Bishop Quinn for the area.
Whilst filming was taking place on Sunday afternoon, the car park was so full that Father Bryan was unable to get out to take communion to the sick of the parish. He told us "The film crew gave me a driver to taxi me around. They have been extremely helpful".
Despite the controversial story line, Father Bryan says the large majority of parishioners are delighted with the filming even though they are not fully aware of the whole storyline.
Filming continued Monday 28th January at 0600hrs and the morning Mass was celebrated as usaul despite Garda (Irish Police) being everywhere! The Crew finally finished around 1700hrs and Geordie Davos told Father Bryan they were delighted with the filming and his hospitality.
The film stars Aiden Gillen, Brenda Fricker, Edward Woodward, Milo O`shea, Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Quarshie. The story focuses on a young man training to be a priest who challenges the Vatican on the issue of celibacy. Director John Deery said when winning the award for the film "I really hope this gives me the impetus I need to go on. My wife has seen me through the highs and lows of this project". He has come a long way since then and his story which is based on a true story,is coming to fruition. The suicide of Father Sweeney who is found to be suffering from AIDS and the removal of a young seminarian from training for the priesthood are the lynch pins of the story. A local journalist, Foley played by Aiden Gillen, is convinced there is a link between the suicide of Father Sweeney and the dismissal from the seminary of the young male student. The church closes ranks as he starts to ask embarrassing questions. The story also delves into the tensions and conflicts of the young seminarian. Homosexual activities were indicated and the young man fights between his love of his former girlfriend and his longing to be a priest. The full cover-up by Church authorities is brought to a climax in a live television debate. The film concludes with the young man in question turning to prayer and that is where he finds Divine inspiration to make the decision to continue on and become a priest.
John Deery has risen to challenge some of the issues surrounding the celibate priesthood. In the past he has been responsible for the Labour Party Short,"Things can only get better", this film has tested his abilities to the limit and we hope that the Catholic producer goes on to greater things in the future. Should he wish to give us a more accurate version of the script we would be delighted to print it.
CORNWALL CELEBRATES FROM ST PAUL`S
November 25th was a historic day in the parish, BBC Radio Cornwall broadcast their Sunday Religious programme "Cornwall Celebrates" from our Church.
Presenter Nina Davey interviewed six members of the congregation covering a broad spectrum of our parishioners. Nina did a very professional job in making all those interviewed relaxed and happy to tell the whole of Cornwall about their lives and faith.
One of the founder members of our congregation, Mollie O`Brien was interviewed first. She mentioned how she came to Cornwall with her husband, a tent, 4 dogs and a cat, back in 1956. The Church wasn't built then and Mass was said in the Social Hall with the Priests riding from Bodmin every week. Mollie mentioned her illness and how grateful she was to other church members who help her. She chose the hymn 'O Jesus Christ Remember'.
It was then the turn of Patrick Dell. He mentioned travelling as a boy as his father was in the army. He had been working in London dealing with stocks and shares and moved to Cornwall for a quieter life. He still deals in stocks and shares but only for himself. His travels enabled him to read many other religion`s holy books. This had only deepened his faith.His favourite hymn was 'Hail Queen of Heaven'.
Minni Baker a Swiss widow has lived many years in the Parish and enthralled the listening public with her memories of the hardships she went through in her early married life. Her first child was born blind, her husband was working away and she was later told she could have no more children after her second. Minni went on to have another baby which stunned the doctors and they couldn't understand her happiness. The thread running though all her interview was that God has always been the motivating force in her life. This had been due to her Catholic upbringing in her homeland and the love of God that her parents instilled in her.
One of our young servers, 8 year old Matthew Langthorne, told Nina Davey all about being a member of St Stephen's Guild. He had a few of us in stitches when talking about the sprinkler we have for Holy water, Matthew called it a "sticky thing" that Father held. He then mentioned what the Sunday school do. Matthew chose 'Bind us Together' as his hymn.
Dr. Miriam Rosenthal-English spoke about being brought up in Berlin by a Jewish Father and Protestant Mother. She talked about her father in the concentration camps and how the whole of the family apart from him were exterminated. During her childhood she was brought up a Jew and had many discusions with her family when she wanted to convert to Catholicism. She was baptised and confirmed in 1992 in Bavaria. She mentioned how she serves on the altar and plays the organ. Nina then asked her about her Miscarriage in 1995 and the support group she set up with Myke her husband.Great interest was shown in the annual Mass and Memorial book for the babies kept at the altar. Miriam also mentioned the website:http://beehive.thisisplymouth.co.uk/miscarriagememorialbook (note added June 2013: this website is now inoperative as is the online Miscarriage Memorial Book. For more information click here or see the page "About us").
Miriam chose as her hymn 'Es kommt ein Schiff geladen'. Nina mentioned she may not have this and asked her if she would sing it to the listeners. She accompanied herself on the organ as she sang this Advent hymn.
Peter Enright,a father of two teenage children mentioned how he came to the church for help and how he had been helped by Father Bryan our Priest in his spiritual and emotional dilemma, which was troubling him at the time. He spoke about bringing his children up in the faith.Peter chose 'Colours of Day' as his hymn.
Finally Nina moved outside the church and interviewed Father Bryan Storey about the new presbytery which is being built. Father told her that it would have the Cornish name "Chy an Pronter", which means "house of the priest".
Surprise and delight was expressed at the church being open for prayer all day. Father told her we had a good security system and that it was important that we keep churches open for prayer. "God must be an integral part of all our lives"he said. Father chose his favourite hymn 'He Who Would Valiant Be'.
Many phone calls and words of encouragement have been received about the programme and we thank Nina Davey and all Radio Cornwall staff involved in the airing of the programme. It was a chance to show that the mission to spread the Good News of the Gospel is alive and well in the north of Cornwall, despite New Age, witchcraft and paganism being all around us.
25th November 2001