Rites Of Passage

A new poetry series presented by Ian Mcmillan, travelling the length and breadth of the country meeting ordinary people who turn to poetry for inspiration or solace at key moments in their lives.


Genome: [r4 Bd=19930829]

Earth from Israel. First in a six-Dart series. Bel Mooney looks at how different funeral rituals have been integrated into British life. Tonight, the Jewish community of North London. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930829]

Unknown: Bel Mooney

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930905]

2: Ashes to the East Coast. The Hindu community of Leicester conduct elaborate funeral services to bid farewell to individual souls. Bel Mooney follows the flow of their philosophy in practice. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930912]

3: Always Facing Mecca. The tomb is a place of trial for Muslims. Bel Mooney joins the community in Bradford to discover how they bury their dead. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930912]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19930919]

4: Building the Promised Land. Bel Mooney discovers how the Rastafarians of Birmingham are building heaven on earth, where as God's chosen people they can live for ever. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930919]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19930926]

5: Feeding Hungry Ghosts. Ancestor worship and preparation for reincarnation are rites shared by Bel Mooney with the Chinese community in Manchester. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930926]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931003]

6: Fading Laments. In the final programme of the series, Bel Mooney joins the Greek Orthodox community in Glasgow in their adapted rituals and commemorations. Producer Penny Lawrence

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931003]
0101Baby Remembrance2004081520040821

Ian Mcmillan joins a service of remembrance at Manchester Cathedral for parents who have lost a child and speaks to a United Reformed Church minister whose son died at 28 weeks and who turned to poetry as a way of expressing her grief.


Ian Mcmillan joins a group of Druids to watch the sunrise over Stonehenge. Ian is himself initiated as a Druidic bard, listens to some poems and talks to his fellow celebrants about why words matter.

0103Hindu Wedding2004082920040904

Ian Mcmillan travels to Bhaktivedanta Manor, made famous in the 70s when George Harrison donated it to the Hare Krishna Movement, for a Hindu wedding. He talks to the wedding couple about the place of poetry in their lives, and to a Hindu priest about the poetic nature of Sanskrit.

0104Changing Schools2004090520040911

Ian Mcmillan visits Year 6 at Hoyland Springwood Primary School in Barnsley and creates much merriment as he encourages the children to write their very own ritual poem about going up to 'big' school.


Ian meets and discusses poetry with David Stewart, due to retire September 2004, and his wife Christine, as they take part in a workshop run by the Pre-Retirement Association. Tony Chivers, from the PRA, talks about its work and the importance of preparing for this new phase in life.

0106 LASTBaby Naming Ceremony2004091920040925

Ian Mcmillan travels to Dartmoor to attend the humanist naming ceremony Lou and Steve have devised for their daughter Imogen with the celebrant, Alison Orchard.