Father Michael, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish who is Modern, maverick, and reassuringly flawed; must be confidante, counselor and confessor to a congregation struggling to reconcile its beliefs with the challenges of daily life.
Father Michael reaches out to a troubled parishioner, a single mother-of-three, who is badly struggling for money after a series of unfortunate events - but she rejects his attempts to help. The woman's mother then dies suddenly. Father Michael has to cope with his own frail mother, living 60 miles away, and as he deals with the effects of his own harsh, working-class upbringing and reflects on the conflicts within society at large, he questions how much of an impact he can really have on the ever-evolving spiritual landscape of modern-day Britain.
Father Michael counsels a desperate gambler, and a devoted mother witnesses the fatal police shooting of her mentally ill son - a tragedy the priest thinks he could have prevented.
With the community in shock, Father Michael comforts PC Powell, who is being pressured to back up his colleagues' questionable version of events.
Father Michael risks breaking the seal of confession as he tries to help Roz Demichelis, while his childhood flashbacks intensify as his mother's condition deteriorates.
Father Michael has to mediate when Helen's devout brother, Daniel, clashes violently with her gay neighbour, Carl, as all try to come to terms with Vernon's death.