Wacky new vicar Father John aims to modernise St Martha's church in the delightful city of Hillford.
People love his fun gimmicks but cannot understand why he will not ever shake hands at the end of service.
Even the charming archdeacon, Babs, cannot get him to change his mind.
Until one day, the reason becomes crystal clear. Ambitious journalist Fred Vestal, on loan from a London tabloid, is trying to shake up the sleepy local paper.
He turns up to a service at St Martha's and sees an uninhibited children's play.
After getting a sniff of a story, he interviews the vicar and writes a vicious article, labelling Father John as a public menace.
When they next meet, Father John refuses to shake hands with Fred.
Soon afterwards a body is found in a pile of compost in the churchyard.
The little cathedral city of Hillford, where even the police seem off-beat, looks for an answer...