Shine finds kindred spirit in the church

The life of a senior account director at a PR agency has little in common with the life of a Dominican friar. No cassocks, no bible readings - and very few hymns.

But Father Tim Gardner - who has just finished shadowing Shine Communications' Dawn Newman for BBC Radio 4's Real World programme - noticed some parallels: 'A PR company aims to ensure that a message is heard, so maybe there are some similarities with St Dominic there,' he told the show.

Father Gardner spent a day with Shine and impressed Newman by having 'a couple of fags and a pint' over lunch.

He then had a nose around the agency's library ('Our library is bigger, although I don't think we have Attitude or Dazed & Confused'), and joined a brainstorm on how to encourage more young men to go to church.

Father Gardner seemed keen on a Shine idea that the Church capitalise on its history of beer-making by serving traditional ale at festivals. But one suggestion that confessionals be used for speed-dating is perhaps less likely to be used.

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