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Surprising Merrily - The Movie


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This delightful little movie about a crisis in the career of a television host answers the question “What is Anglicanism?” The night before a “must” performance she dreams about placating the Network’s tyrannical owner and saving the show from cancellation by dominating the guest appearance of “some religious guys.” The dream unfolds as a prickly interview of historical Anglicans Thomas Cranmer, Richard Hooker, and C.S. Lewis.

The renowned theologian and author J.I. Packer writes:  “Sound, Stimulating, Satisfying.  A first-rate introduction to real Anglicanism.”

Bishop Keith Ackerman adds: “All streams of Anglicanism will find this to be a film that will endure, as will the Faith that it represents!”

Anglicans comprise the third largest Christian group globally, yet very few lay people (and not all clergy) can explain Anglicanism effectively. How to get people up-to-speed about Anglicanism in reasonably short order? Even inspire one to dig deeper into it. Books? Teachings? Well, of course. But how about a little technology? A DVD perhaps. But not the infomercial sort of thing.

What if an entertainment answered the question “What is Anglicanism?” Helped people to tell others “Why I’m an Anglican?” What if there were, well, a one-act stage play? One that wasn’t “churchy” at all, though accurate and entertaining. Maybe add a little Gershwin music for good measure. And a prickly media lady – we’ll call her Merrily Inclement – to confront historical Anglicans C.S. Lewis, Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker. What if Hollywood got involved – filmed a great performance by professional actors, producer, director, cinematographers, film editors, sound people . . . the Hollywood cinematic works? Well, it’s happened! Surprising Merrily is now a 45 minute DVD that can be enjoyed by a Church congregation or by anyone at home or with friends.

Thomas Cranmer renovated the English Church during the Great Reformation, producing the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549. Richard Hooker (1554-1600) refined Cranmer’s legacy. C.S. Lewis came to faith some 400 years later. He wonderfully expounded the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith in our time.

Though Merrily Inclement and her Surprising Merrily television show are fictional, the four characters meet in a literary form called the supposal where – as they explore Anglicanism – we are reminded that a personal encounter with “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” has a way of producing its own surprises.

You may purchase a copy a DVD at Amazon.com -OR- Anglican House Publishers will gift one copy to churches that promise to screen Surprising Merrily for their congregation. 

To request your free copy, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Be sure to state your name, title, and your church’s mailing address.

View the Trailer:

Trailer for Surprising Merrily from Joe Russell on Vimeo.