FED up with staid sermons and spun-out services at Mass? Irishman Paul Connolly has the answer.
The BBC producer has teamed up with celebrity pal Adrian Chiles to produce humorous football-inspired punditry videos of Mass.
The Belfast man and the West Brom fan provide lighthearted pre and post-Mass analysis from different churches for the Facebook page Mass Mates.
After sparring with Roy Keane on ITV, Chiles now clashes with his co-host on controversial matters such as Communion lane etiquette and whether you should rest your backside on the pew while kneeling.
Connolly met Chiles when they both worked on The One Show and would go to Mass together, keeping their interest up by discussing what to expect from the service before giving a post-Mass critique.
“We were going to Mass in a serious way but we started to have a bit of fun, with the idea that we would treat it almost like Adrian would have treated the football,” explained Connolly of the Mass Mates project.
“It’s about people who want to go to Mass but aren’t afraid to have a bit of fun with it.”
Admitting sermons can be a bit boring, Connolly joked that Mass Mates could help bump up standards.
He said: “We’ll never announce where we’re going and might turn up at any stage so they better put on a good Mass.
“Because as we know in the Catholic Church, sermons are appalling — they’ve got nothing on Protestant churches who put a bit of effort into it!”
Although lighthearted, Connolly stressed there is nothing blasphemous about Mass Mates and he hopes it’ll get more Catholics interested in Mass.
“If you can wrap a bit of social media fun around Mass on Sunday then it might just engage people in a slightly fun way,” said Connolly.
“But it should be stressed there’s nothing anti-Catholic about it. We’re all Catholics, we just happen to be Catholics with a sense of humour.”
Followers have already started posting their own Mass Mates videos and old First Communion pictures, but Connolly admitted there’s a long way to go.
He said: “Out of 1.2billion Catholics, 225 does seem a bit poor at the minute, but Jesus Christ himself started with 12 disciples so we have high hopes!”