Rev. Adam Smallbone is a priest at a small country church. That is until he's promoted and handed the reins of the larger St Saviour's in London. He inherits a small congregation, which suddenly expands in size when more and more newcomers arrive through the doors. Delighted, but confused, Adam eventually discovers it is due to the rumour of a good Ofsted report for the church school. The new members of his flock are keen to bribe him to secure a place for their children.
An added problem comes in the expensive form of a vandalised stained glass window, for which Adam has to find the money to fix.
Adam is feeling the pressure, as Archdeacon Robert informs him his measly collection plate takings are not enough. To try and solve the problem he lets Darren Betts, a fellow priest, have the use of the church while his own is being renovated. Soon St Saviour's is being overrun with trendy evangelicals and their money, leaving Adam in a fix when Darren wants to move in permanently: Does he take the money, keeping the Archdeacon happy, and risk losing his own congregation, or say no and have to find funding from elsewhere?
Meanwhile, wife Alex is feeling alone and tells Adam that she thinks it's time they rejuvenated their love life.
At the request of wife Alex, Adam sets up a study area in the church for a local Muslim children's prayer group to study the Koran on a Saturday, despite fearing prejudice from his own congregation.
Meanwhile, Adam is also worried to learn that a lap dancing club has asked for planning permission to open opposite the school, and sets out to stop them. First by starting a petition, and then, along with Headteacher Ellie, visiting a club himself to gather information, hoping it will help stop the plans.
There is also trouble in store for Colin, when he is arrested for attacking the thief who stole the lead from the church roof, meaning Alex has to defending him in court.
Envy and jealousy rear their ugly head, as Adam hears an old colleague, and rival, on the radio, airing their views on Thought for the Day. Determined not to be outdone, Adam secures himself a spot on BBC programme The One Show, but when asked about homosexuality and it's place in the church, he puts his foot it, coming out with an ill-judged comment. Archdeacon Robert is appalled and tells Adam he must have some training before going in front of the media again - and he knows just the person to teach him.
Colin, meanwhile, becomes taken with the Rastafari religion, as he tries to find meaning to his life.
Adam meets a man called Leon, who informs him that he wants to marry in St Saviour's. This news cheers the vicar up immensely, after he was starting to feel left out by the community. The two form a friendship, even going jogging together regularly, but all that falls apart after a dinner party at the vicarage, where an embarrassing revelation comes to light - Alex and Leon had a one night stand during their college days.moreless
When one of his recent sermons gets a bad review on a Christian website, Adam frets about his life in the church. Having seen her husband have similar worries before, wife Alex is not unduly concerned - until Adam starts hanging around the house in his underwear, watching daytime television. While all that is happening, someone is going around town pretending to be a vicar, just so they can get the free perks that come with it.
With Adam now in the grip of a depression, he gets drunk at a party being thrown to raise money for the library, and Alex isn't pleased when he makes a pass at Headteacher Ellie.