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A Believer's Guide To...

Duration: 10 x 40'

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In this inspirational and heart-warming series, we explore what faith can teach us about life and what belief has to offer in times of change, challenge or crisis. 

Each film follows the story of a person or family facing a crisis or challenge. They are the typical kind of problems that we all face as we go through life; parenthood, settling down, dating, growing old and losing a loved one. Peppered with a ‘chorus’ of entertaining voices who share our characters’ faith, from Rabbis and Priests to social media influencers, their insight and overview injects a layer of wisdom, humour, and experience onto the main narrative, allowing us to take a deep dive into different faiths and belief systems. 

Series 1

Episode 1 - Becoming Parents
Muslims, Ali and Claire are expecting their first child. They're nervous about becoming parents but just days after the birth, Ali’s parents, sister and sister-in-law descend on them to practise their version of the Muslim tradition of “40 days”. Relatives and loved ones help the new parents, and especially the new mum, with the transition to parenthood by looking after them so they can be free to care for the baby. For Claire this practice is going to be especially valuable as she lost her own mother when she was a teenager and doesn’t have any maternal help from her side of the family.

Episode 2 - Settling Down 
Christians, Grace and Jess, are engaged to be married and are about to move into their first home together: a canal boat. Saying goodbye to family, friends and the church community they've been a part of for the last five years is a huge change and they're relying on their faith to help them make the move.  In the past, the pair have struggled with being gay and Christian, and they've not always found acceptance. Once settled on their new boat, they look to find a church and community that welcomes them.

Episode 3 - Growing Older
Ivor is celebrating his 83rd birthday in an unusual way. He's having a second bar mitzvah, which happens to coincide with his 13-year-old grandson, Zak's, first bar mitzvah. The preparations for this milestone event take Ivor on a trip down memory lane - to the area where he grew up, the market where he worked for 40 years, and the grave of his beloved wife. Now he's happily living with his new partner of 12 years, Rita, the barmitzvah is the perfect opportunity to take stock of his life,  make the most of growing older.

Episode 4 - Finding Love
33 year old Kiran is looking for a life partner. She's decided to lean on her Sikh faith and community to help her find "the one". Kiran's parents had an arranged marriage 47 years ago and are happy to put out feelers amongst friends and relatives.  Kiran also visits a matrimonial service at her temple, she visits two different types of Sikh matchmaker,  and goes to a Sikh speed-dating event. Will she find love?

Episode 5 - Living with Loss
Dipti lost her father a year ago to Covid-19. Although she's trained to help others deal with grief, the death of her father has turned her life upside down. Her Hindu faith has been an essential support in helping her cope with her loss, and to celebrate her father's life. She, along with her extended family, host a Hindu festival called Maha Shivratri, where they can pray, mourn, celebrate and also honour her dad.

Series 2

Episode 1 - My Hindu Coming Out Story

28-year-old Anish came out as gay at university ten years ago. For the past decade, he’s felt disconnected from his faith and the wider Hindu community, but now he’s starting to think about his future and one day would like to have a family of his own. He wants to find out if he can reconcile his faith and his sexuality and celebrate being both gay and Hindu. He also faces his greatest fear by revisiting the school where he experienced homophobic bullying as a teenager to speak to the students there today about tolerance and sexuality.

Episode 2 - Dating, Halal Style
Twenty-three-year-old Muslim convert Chiedza wants to find love. She converted to Islam three years ago and has changed much of her lifestyle for her new faith. Now she wants to find a husband and will be following traditional and modern Muslim dating rules. She tries a marriage introduction day at a mosque, a Muslim-only app and a live dating event with a difference. Will she find love, and will her mother approve?

Episode 3 - Our Supersized Christian Family
Tattoo artist Alex and social worker Amy live in Sunderland and have five children under the age of five, including identical triplets. Can their Christian faith, family and community help them juggle a chaotic home-life now that they're both back to work and the toddlers are getting more and more active?

Episode 4 - Married, Sikh and Wanting a Baby
Sarina and Vik have always wanted children, but after two miscarriages and three years of trying, they are seeking medical help to conceive while also drawing on their Sikh faith and community. Will their religion help them navigate this emotional time?

Episode 5 - The Highs and Lows of a Kosher Marriage
Saul and Shoshi are happily married, but like all couples, they face challenges. Can following their strict Orthodox Jewish faith, including sleeping in separate beds for 12 days of every month, and the sacred ritual of the Mikvah, help them overcome any hurdles they might face?

For BBC1

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