With the Rector Peter Harris and his family back from Africa, the villagers of Turnham Malpas heave huge sighs of relief - everything seems to be back to normal. But Peter has other ideas, and decides to return to Africa to fulfil his promise of working there for a year. In Turnham Malpas, the family he leaves behind is a very troubled one - the twins, Beth and Alex, are still disturbed by their traumatic experiences in Africa, and Caroline is finding it hard to deal with the fact that they will not share their feelings with her.
The villagers are also missing Peter's guidance: newcomers Jenny and Andy are causing trouble; and Jimbo's store is the target of petty theft and violence. Closing it seems to be his only option; one which horrifies the villagers. As Beth struggles to lead a normal life again after her upsetting time in Africa, she finds there are further challenges to face at home.
Everyone is relying on Peter's return to help restore harmony and stability in the village. But will he make it back before things get out of hand?