Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson
), the well meaning vicar of the parish of Little Wallop, is so obsessed with writing the perfect sermon that he is oblivious to his wife Gloria’s (Kristin Scott Thomas
) dalliance with her brash golf instructor Lance (Patrick Swayze
): neither does he notice that his daughter Holly (Tamsin Egerton
) has a different boyfriend every week, and his young son Petey (Toby Parkes
) is the whipping boy for the school bullies.
Gloria feels her life is spiraling out of control. She is sick of the incessant barking of the dog next door, her loveless marriage and her adolescent kids’ escapades – she prays every night for salvation. Enter Grace (Maggie Smith), the answer to the family’s prayers: a sweet grey haired old lady, the charming and the discreet new housekeeper, who has her own unique definition of keeping house – and a very unusual way of solving problems.