Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Christian Roots of the UK - Broadcasting House

BBC Buildings Portland Place

The BBC Buildings in Portland Place were dedicated in 1931. They were the first purpose built broadcasting studios of their sort. We do not know of the faith of its first Director General, Sir John Reith, but we do know that he had been deeply affected by the Christian faith. He was not ashamed to adapt words from the Bible and to have them inscribed over the entrance to the buildings. The BBC has long since rejected the principles put forth by its founders. A look at one day of its broadcasting now will easily demonstrate that it is no longer guided by concepts such as "good seed", "good harvest", "purity"or the passage quoted from Philippians 4:8. Complementing the inscription and just beneath it is a figure of "the sower" of Jesus' parable.
Below is a translation from the Latin of the wonderful words inscribed in marble in the entrance.

"This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director- General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness."