I do not imagine that I would get much traction if I went to the executives of one of our TV channels and said, "Could you please do a sympathetic profile of one of our hard working rural priests, at least ten minutes long, and show it at prime time viewing?"
However there is another way to achieve the same end!
Imagine an interesting farmer, the interest of our world famous in New Zealand "Country Calendar" in that farmer and that the farmer was also a priest, and maybe ...
In fact, this past Sunday evening, Country Calendar featured Tracey Peters, a farmer on land between Taihape and Waiouru (central North Island).
For the first part of the programme we were taken on a televisual journey of her farms, her varied interests and the challenge of farming on her own account since her husband died many years ago. Then the Rev Tracey Peters emerged!
Among her "varied interests" it turns out that Tracey is 0.25 FTE priest in the Parish of Taihape (Diocese of Wellington) and the remainder of the programme sympathetically portrayed her shepherding of the flock in that parish.
The title of the programme is "Tending the Flock."
You can read about the programme (and some of its dialogue) here.
You can watch the whole programme "on demand" here.
Since the ministry of our rural priests does not get much airtime I think Tracey now qualifies as "NZ's Most Televised Rural Priest"!