Today’s Media Coverage
Article on how the vision of “active service” mentioned in the bishops’ pastoral letter works out in practice. It looks at the city centre café, run by St Stephen’s church,Norwich, where 10 per cent of its users have mental health and drug issues. It says they are drawn in by the guarantee of a warm welcome and by the cafe’s “only-pay-what-you-can” policy. The other 90%, in effect, cover the cost of their free lunch, often their only hot meal of the day. It quotes priest-in-charge, the Rev Madeline Light and the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James.
Observ/Sun/Sun Tel/Sun Times
Further articles referring to the bishop’s pastoral letter. Comedian David Mitchell says the letter is brave, based on the conviction that society is better if our first instinct is compassion, not anger. Another columnist says don’t condemn the Church as the bishops are compelled by faith to spell out the need for politics to recover the language of serving the common good. Sun says there is a Labour bias in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office which employs with former Labour spin doctors and staffers and Justin Welby’s son Peter, works for Tony Blair. Christopher Howse’s column looks at Henry Smith Charity in the light of the letter and considering the poor. Times columnist says under Justin Welby, the church is developing an increasingly powerful description of what is wrong with society.
Article on the working costs of the office of the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, in the light of the bishop’s pastoral letter, listing his salary and allowances. A spokesman for the church commissioners is quoted saying: “Working costs and expenses relate mostly to running an office staffed by four people. The work of a diocesan bishop is comparable to that of a chairman of a medium-sized regional enterprise combined with national responsibilities.”
Report on modern slavery bill saying the government is blocking attempts to abolish the system that ties domestic workers to their employers by not supporting an amendment and leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. The Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, a supporter of the bill, said the amendment will provide necessary protection for domestic workers from overseas and restore some flexibility with regard to their employment.
Article on a clash between bishops and Mrs Thatcher, from God and Mrs Thatcher: The Battle for Britain’s Soul, to be published by Biteback. It says she told Richard Harries, then Bishop of Oxford: “I listen to you on the radio. Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes you make me mad.” Article says the details of Thatcher’s clashes with the bishops come only days after a pastoral letter — or manifesto — from the Church of England in advance of this May’s general election angered the Tories.
Article looking at the forgiveness and peace of Coptic Christians in the face of violence. It says such healing is indeed a long and difficult road but it is our only hope of dealing with such appalling violence and its roots. It is the road of the People of the Cross who, as St Paul writes, are not “overcome by evil but overcome evil with good”.
Mail on Sun
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey writes on his support of the Commons Bill passed earlier this month to allow a third person’s DNA to be used to create an embryo in order to prevent potentially fatal genetic disorders. He says the idea of ‘three-parent babies’ is a distraction because the mitochondria are a mere fraction of what makes us human and the procedure is much more like an organ transplant.
Article on extremism and radicalization of young people in light of two schoolgirls leaving UK for Syria to join IS fighters. It mentions John Cass’s Foundation and Redcoat Church of England School, where Ofsted inspectors found children had been exposed to the extremist teachings via an online page set up by the school’s Islamic society. Ofsted placed John Cass in special measures and is continuing to monitor the school.
Report that a Church of England judge has approved the exhumation of the remains of a mother and daughter are to be exhumed after the younger woman’s coffin started to resurface from their shared grave at St Nicholas churchyard at Codsall, near Wolverhampton. It stated the mother’s coffin had not been buried deeply enough.
Article on 10 greenest communities lists the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group (WFEG) which helped to fit solar panels on the roof of the hall at St Giles’ Church in Whittington, Staffordshire.
Report that a depiction of a red haired Jesus in a 19th century stained glass window was released by the Churches Conservation Trust to coincide with National Ginger Awareness Day tomorrow. The east window of Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland is believed to be the only image of Jesus Christ with red hair in the UK.
Ind on Sun
Further report of bubonic plague survivors’ graffiti uncovered at Norfolk church.
Advice not to take too much notice of web visit stats in response to question from member of small Anglican Church in Leicestershire, who fears the church website is under surveillance.
Report that the Rev Simon Harvey, the vicar of St Mary’s Church, in Upper Street, Islington, alerted the council to a botched road sign job, and tweeted: “When you cross Provost St at jn with City Rd in Islington please LOOK RLIEGFHTT.”
Letters on the church and community engagement and the bishops’ pastoral letter.
Archbishop Cranmer: #pastoralletter (1): the patronising episcopal should
William Taylor: A piece of Lenten reflection reminds us how provisional political parties are.
Law and Religion UK: Face veils and citizenship oaths: Ishaw v Canada
Trinity Bristol: 4 things young leaders bring to the Church
The future of faith schools: a continuing story