Peter Owen Jones to Live A Simple Life for BBC Two

by Lisa McGarry

Anglican priest, Peter Owen Jones, goes back to basics to try and live a simple and more meaningful life, inspired by the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, for a major new BBC Two series – How To Live A Simple Life.

The series was filmed over an eight-month period in Pete’s small Sussex country village of Firle. Like millions of others Pete felt caught up in a pointless frenzy of spending.

St Francis was inspired by Jesus’ sermon in the Gospel to live a life of “voluntary poverty” as the key to deeper relations with both nature and your fellow being.

Pete must grow his own crops, raise chickens, barter his skills for cuts of meat and even live without money.

He has to throw himself at the mercy of his community in the village of Firle, and ultimately at the mercy of total strangers, as he takes to the road without money, begging for food and accommodation.

After living a simple life, will Pete find that real meaning comes from helping one another rather than from mindless spending?

And are the best things in life really free?

Speaking in the programme, Peter Owen Jones says: “I want to see if there is another way.

“All the great religions say don’t rely on money – it is too much the measure of a life. And I’m addicted to the stuff!

“I want to see if I can wean myself off it and live a different life.”

The series is executive produced by Jean-Claude Bragard, produced and directed by Graham Johnson and Rob Cowling and is being made by the BBC’s in-house Religion & Ethics team. The Head of Religion and Ethics, and Commissioning Editor for TV Religion, is Aaqil Ahmed.

How To Live A Simple Life is due to broadcast in Spring 2010.