Poldark comes to the New Room

Bristol New Room takes a leading role in Poldark series 2

Image result for poldark series 2 new room bristol

The New Room (John Wesley’s Chapel) in  Bristol, is the location for some of the most dramatic scenes in Poldark that returns to BBC1 next Sunday evening (September 4th.)

Top secret filming took place at the chapel, at the oldest Methodist building in the world, in October 2015. The 18th-century building was transformed into a courtroom, where Ross Poldark goes on trial accused of murder, wrecking and inciting a riot. Series 1, screened last year, ended on a dramatic cliffhanger when he was arrested (actually on the Cornish cliffs) by soldiers. The chapel is expected to feature in the first episodes of the series as Ross is brought to trial.

The team from production company Mammoth Screen had to completely hide all modern trappings in the chapel before filming could go ahead. Including removing electric light fittings and bulbs, covering radiators and removing all modern signage.

The chapel was then transformed into a courtroom complete with dock, tables for the prosecution and the defence, with the pulpit taking the role of the judge’s seat.

Stars including Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark), Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) and Kyle Soller (Francis) all featured in the dramatic courtroom scenes, as well as Heida Reed (Elizabeth), Phil Davis (Jud) and Beatie Edney (Prudie).

New characters in Series 2, Unwin Trevaunance, played by W1A’s Hugh Skinner and Caroline Penvenen, played by Gabriella Wilde, also feature in the scenes.

Manager of the New Room, David Worthington, said: “Poldark is set in the 18th century so even though we are in Bristol rather than in Cornwall, the building fitted perfectly as the location for Ross’s trial. “All the staff enjoyed meeting the cast and crew and we hope that everyone will enjoy seeing the New Room on screen, especially in such dramatic scenes.”

‘The Methodies’ of Cornwall are often referenced in the Poldark books by Winston Graham.  John Wesley, visited to Cornwall thirty-two times between 1743 to 1787 and preached   to miners, fishermen and their families.

Initially Wesleyan Methodism flourished in Cornwall – but in 1815 a distinctively south-west kind of Methodism emerged, the Bible Christians.  When the mining trade in Cornwall collapsed, many miners emigrated taking their skills, Methodism and Cornish pasties to mines worldwide, but especially Australia and Canada.

For more information about Methodism in Cornwall click: HERE

Keeping Safe at Church

SafetyThe funeral of French priest Father Jacques Hamel, who was murdered in his church by two Islamist extremists, takes place later today. We offer his family and congregation our deepest sympathies and prayers  at this time.

Whilst such attacks are rare, churches are vulnerable places because they are open places. Being alone in church, or locking up after or service – particularly if it is late at night – or allowing someone into your home exposes you to an degree of risk.

I remember the attack in 2012 and subsequent death of the Parish Priest in Thornbury,  Rev John Suddards who was stabbed as he opened the door of his vicarage, which  highlighted the “vulnerable nature” of  ministry in some communities.

We also need to ensure that our church buildings are places of safety, and whilst there is no current intelligence to suggest that specifically  they are in danger from a terrorist attack, we need to remain vigilant and have a common sense approach to church security. The key is to be alert, to avoid becoming alarmed and to foster communication networks with police and other agencies.  Any suspicious behaviour should be reported immediately through 999/101 or the anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321

In any situations in which you or others become vulnerable, the key is to take some common sense steps to protect yourself. Methodist Insurance and others have offered some advice:

Click HERE to watch the video and download a personal safety plan.

 Click HERE for the Methodist terrorists prevention checklist

Click HERE to download the Counter Terrorism Protective Security Advice
for Places of Worship booklet 

Watch the NCT Stay Safe Video film below