The Good Samaritan in modern Britain?
A Baptist minister was secretly filmed in a busy town centre as part of study into the role of the Good Samaritan in modern Britain
Sam King (pictured above) of Calne Baptist Church, was initially filmed by Bible Society wearing a dog collar asking to borrow people’s phones.
With the help of make-up artist he later he dressed as a rough sleeper. Not surprisingly he discovered that many more people disregarded him.
The filming took place as part of Bible Society’s 'The Good Samaritan in Modern Britain' report.
Bible Society’s Rachel Rounds, a member of Sam’s church in Wiltshire, told Premier, 'It was amazing the change in people - people wouldn't look him in the eye.
'Because he's been a vicar most of his life, people have always treated him with respect.
'But he said the minute he got changed into the rough-sleeper disguise, if you like, he said his whole opinion about himself changed, he said he felt different.
'And it's not just about face-value, it's about issues like time - often if someone approaches us it's like I haven't got time I'm too busy.'
The report reveals 'a call for a kinder Britain' by adults and children, according to the organisation.
Using a YouGov survey, Bible Society found that:
Only half of us (55%) would stop and approach an older lady that we saw crying in the street, to try and comfort them
1 in 5 of us remember a time we needed help in a public place and no-one has stopped
2 in 3 adults (64%) and nearly 3 in 5 (57%) of children aged 8 to 15 are worried Britain is becoming a less kind society
Nearly a third (32%) of children said being educated about the parable of the Good Samaritan will help create a kinder Britain
Speaking about the findings, Paul Woolley, Interim Chief Executive of Bible Society said: "Our research indicates that for many people, regardless of personal faith, the Bible's engaging and timeless stories have meaning and significance today.
"Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan operates at two levels. It is a spectacular invitation to a life of self-giving that insists we roll up our sleeves and help no matter what it takes. It also challenges us to recognise that there are no limits to our neighbourhood or neighbourliness. It demands that even those who are hated and feared are to be seen as our neighbours.
"Cultures are shaped by the stories we tell. Our Pass it On campaign is about encouraging people to pass the Bible on to future generations. Stories likes the Good Samaritan can help us build a kinder Britain. We want to see everyone value the Bible for themselves, their families and communities."