The making of a modern parish

June 22, 2016 in Tutorials

The Making of a Modern Parish from Constellation Films on Vimeo.

The Brief

To create a film that celebrated the life of a Church of England parish in north London.


The key challenge was settling upon a narrative that exemplified the story of the parish. While they shared the same vicar, Father Andrew Cain, the parish was divided between two churches: St Mary’s in Kilburn and St James’ in West Hampstead, with different locations, congregations and services.


The initial idea was to film an event at a local school where residents from across the community prepared and cooked their favourite national dish. During the pre-production period Chris uncovered what the team felt was a bigger story; that against a general background of declining congregations and negative press surrounding the wider church, the parish in Kilburn and West Hampstead was thriving on a spirit of ‘come as you are’ inclusiveness, pro-active ministry in the community and forward thinking social enterprise.

With the agreement of the stakeholders, the team decided to eschew a linear narrative in favour of three mini stories: the ministry done by sponsored outreach worker Elizabeth Nyarko, Father Andrew’s emphasis on faith as a cornerstone of learning in the local school and the opening of a Post Office and café in St James’; the first of it’s kind in the country. In between each story Father Andrew gives the viewer a sense of his inclusive message, something that is celebrated and rewarded with shots of his own wedding celebration for the parish at the end of the film when the three stories come together thematically.


Working with Chris was great fun and he made the whole process easy and enjoyable. The video itself is just what we wanted and we are very pleased with the result – and the feedback has been entirely positive. Father Andrew Forshue-Cain