SINCE lockdown, I have enjoyed watching the television series on “Father Brown” and the excellent acting of Mark Williams as Father Brown and Sorcha Cusack as Mrs McCarthy, Alex Price as Sid Carter, Nancy Carroll as Lady Felicia and many others.

I find G.K. Chesterton’s interpretation of Father Brown’s character fascinating. It was a real priest, Father O’Connor, who enlightened Chesterton concerning the real world around him.

Father Brown has a deep understanding of human nature that he blends with his Catholic faith. He does not hesitate to make his suspects face up to their situations and confess. It is never too late to confess, even at the hour of death!

There is no limit to God’s forgiveness. Father Brown is prepared to challenge the Law in order to see justice done and he sits along-side the condemned at their greatest hour of need.

In the “Blue Cross,” he replies to Flambeau – “Alone on earth, the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason.”

Father Brown demonstrates so many aspects of Christian teaching. Human nature can be weak and fallen but God does not condemn.

His love reaches out to all at all times and forgiveness is always available. Even when falsely accused, it is no use taking vengeance or retaliating but justice is of great importance.

The confessional demonstrates that God will always listen to our pleas and prayers and will intercede for us. He does not show partiality. We are all part of humanity and equal in his sight.

When Sid gets into trouble, Father Brown goes to great lengths to get him back on his feet. He says: “You are like a son to me,” reminding us of the great love of God, as seen in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Father Brown combines the high idealism of the Church with a profound compassion for humanity.

He set the tone for a host of other detective series including Columbo, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple

I am reminded of the hymn by John Keble (Cyf T. Davies)

Blest are the pure in heart,

For they shall see our God;

The secret of the Lord is theirs,

Their soul is Christ’s abode.


The Lord who left the heavens

Our life and peace to bring,

To dwell in lowliness with men,

Their pattern and their King.


Still to the lowly soul

He doth himself impart,

And for his dwelling and his throne

Chooseth the pure in heart.


Lord, we thy presence seek;

May ours this blessing be;

Give us a pure and lowly heart,

A temple meet for thee.


Gwyn fyd y gallon bur,

Ei braint yw gweled Duw,

A byw yn ei gyfrinach ef-

A thrigfan iddo yw.


Daeth bywyd in a hedd

trwy Grist a’I ryfedd ras:

Duw hollalluog er ein mwyn

A wisgodd agwedd gwas


Ymwêl efe o hyd

A’r truan yn eu gur;

Dewisol fan ei orsedd yw

Y gallon lân a phur.


O Arglwydd, yn dy ras,

A’th fendith arnom ni;

Glanha ein calon fel y bo

Yn addas deml I ti.


Eternal God and Father,

by your power we are created

and by your love we are redeemed:

guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,

that we may give ourselves to you

in love and service to one another;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Dragwyddol Dduw a Thad,

y crewyd ni trwy dy allu

a’n prynu trwy dy gariad,

tywys a nertha ni â’th Ysbryd,

fel gallwn ein rhoi ein hunain i ti

trwy garu a gwasanaethu’n gilydd;

yn Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd.


Rev John Powell

Retired vicar of Cardigan