Weekend media coverage

Here are the C of E’s media digest reports for this Saturday and Sunday. They make for fascinating reading, with an encouraging sense that the BIshops’ Letter has done its job in helping the debate about our values as a society to get going. To subscribe see the link at the very end – and apologies for a long post.

News from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Justin on a Good Lent
http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5503/archbishop-justin-on-a-good-lent
Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Birmingham
http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5504/archbishop-of-canterbury-to-visit-birmingham

News from the Church of England

Secretary General to step down
https://churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/02/secretary-general-to-step-down.aspx

Podcast

“No politician needs to feel under personal attack” Bishop of Leicester explains @c_of_e‘s letter for the General Election:
http://bit.ly/1DvzuE8

InReview and In Focus

The latest editions of newsletters InReview (A3 format suitable for church noticeboards) and In Focus (A5 for parish magazines insert) are available now. This month features the church’s rural report on mission and ministry, and more: 
https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/yearreview.aspx
March’s InReview is also available in an e-reader format, ideal for sharing on social media and online, which is available at:
http://issuu.com/churchofengland/docs/inreviewmarch15

 
Today’s Media Coverage

Ind
Article headlined that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the nation’s conscience. It says Justin Welby leads a church that is once again making headlines for its willingness to stand up and be counted in the public square. The launch of the book On Rock or Sand? and the 52-page pastoral letter are both cited as examples of how the church is speaking out. It also looks at the Archbishop’s background and experience and says he is helping make the church relevant.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/justin-welby-the-nations-conscience-10060544.html
BBC/Mail/Express
Reports that metal thefts have fallen by a third in England and Wales since a new law to tackle the trade in stolen metal came into force.They state thefts fell from about 60,000 a year to 40,680 in 2013/14 following the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).The new law requires dealers to hold a licence to trade and bans cash payments to mobile scrap collectors. An estimated £770m a year is lost in the country through that metal thefts – of materials including electricity cables, railway lines, war memorials, and church roofs.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31561871
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/559569/Legislation-cuts-scrap-metal-theft
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2962474/Metal-thefts-Act.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
Mail/Guard/Sun
Various views on the bishops’ pastoral letter ahead of the General Election. Guardian columnist, Zoe Williams, talks to voters and lobbyists about the content of the letter, columnist Amanda Platell complains about how “left-wing” bishops in the Church of England may lead her to convert to Catholicism, and Jeremy Clarkson mentions the letter in his column.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2962500/PLATELL-Left-wing-bishops-convert-Catholicism.html#ixzz3SMb00AIz
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/20/bishops-pastoral-letter-hard-left-propaganda-zoe-williams-saturday-sketch
FT
Article by William Taylor, a Church of England vicar in the London borough of Hackney and the first Labour councilman in the City of London. He welcomes the intervention of the bishops in the run up to the General Election and says the Pastoral letter shows the importance of the parish as the point where the global and the local meet and where people learn what it means to belong to a “community of communities”.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/684a8822-b863-11e4-b6a5-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3SMd28K9G
ITV
Report that the Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, will chair a hustings in South Thanet where the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage is standing. The event will be organised by local Anglican churches on April 24. Candidates from the main seven political parties have been invited to attend. Refers to the bishops’ pastoral letter on the General Election.
http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2015-02-21/church-to-hold-hustings-in-key-seat/
Tel
Article on Nadine Dorries MPs comments about “left wing” bishops and says she might be wise to write and publish her own version of The Bible – one that redresses the political balance by promoting free markets and wealth creation, and cuts out all the “very definite Left-leaning” stuff about driving the money-changers from the temple and excluding the rich from heaven. It includes spoof bible verses.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11426279/Just-what-would-a-free-market-Bible-look-like.html
Times
Article on the Archbishop’s comments on the anniversary of the Dresden bombings, includes comments from veteran member of Bomber Command.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4361241.ece
Guard
Article looking at blasphemy, asks if the statue of Pete Doherty posing as Christ on the cross should be classed as blasphemous.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/20/what-is-blasphemy-eyes-church-pete-doherty
Mail
Report that despite violently beheading their brothers and sisters in Libya, the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne says their followers should forgive and love the terrorists involved. At a memorial service for those killed was held in Melbourne’s southeast, Bishop Suriel said people needed to pray for those lost and their families and also for the terrorists, who they needed to forgive.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-2962581/Love-forgive-terrorists-Coptic-Church.html#ixzz3SMo8KGMu
Ind
Foootballer and philosophy student, Joey Barton, writes that if he were Prime Minister he would “privatise” religion.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/if-i-were-prime-minister-i-would-privatise-religion-10060100.html
Times
Report that the moderator of the Church of Scotland has issued a warning to the Kirk following the debate over the appointment of gay ministers, which he said has led to “cheap labelling” and sinful criticism of fellow believers. John Chalmers said members of congregations should learn to “speak well of each other”.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article4361401.ece
Mail
Report that Christian schools in Britain are under investigation by the European Commission for allegedly ‘discriminating’ against non-religious teachers.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2962482/Meddling-EU-probe-Britain-s-Christian-schools-discrimination-favour-Christian-teachers.html#ixzz3SMtEBHaR
ITV
Report that the future of Rose Castle is now uncertain as it’s to be put on the open market.
http://www.itv.com/news/border/2015-02-20/rose-castles-future-now-uncertain/
BBC
Item that graffiti uncovered in a Cambridgeshire church has revealed how three sisters from one family died in a plague outbreak in 1515. The Maddyngley graffiti was hidden under limewash near the door in All Saints’ and St Andrew’s church and was found by Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey volunteers.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-31459761
Times
Items on Lent include an article by Lucy Winkett, rector of St James’s, Piccadilly, saying Lent is not a time to be miserably self-obsessed, and an entry in Times Diary.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/faith/article4360974.ece
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4360931.ece
Letters
Tel
Letter from Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the CofE, refers to (leading article, February 18) suggesting that the Church of England should refrain from entering into the political fray. He argues that the pastoral letter from the House of Bishops does not indicate preference for any single political party or programme. It encourages Christians to vote and to value hard-won democratic freedom.

Blogs

Archbishop Cranmer: #pastoralletter (1): the patronising episcopal should
http://archbishopcranmer.com/pastoralletter-1-the-patronising-episcopal-should/
Financial Times
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
http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2015/02/20/face-veils-and-citizenship-oaths-ishaq-v-canada/
Trinity Bristol: 4 things young leaders bring to the Church
http://www.trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk/blog/kingdom-leading/4-things-young-leaders-bring-church/
Economist
Setting the Thames on Fire
http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/02/britain-london-and-christianity
Huff Post
British Values and Politics
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ian-linden/british-values-politics_b_6714516.html

News from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Justin’s speech at think, pray, vote conference
http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5505/archbishop-justins-speech-at-think-pray-vote-conference

News from the Church of England

In the news podcast
No politician needs to feel under personal attack” Bishop of Leicester explains @c_of_e‘s letter for the General Election:
http://bit.ly/1DvzuE8

 
Today’s Media Coverage

Obsv
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.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/22/norwich-capital-church-of-england-campaign-country-conscience-justin-welby
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.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/22/if-church-leaders-cant-complain-about-poverty-who-can-david-mitchell
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/22/church-of-england-language-common-good-listen
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11425886/An-overcoat-for-a-lonely-old-man.html
Times
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.”
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/Politics/article1522343.ece
Guard
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.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/21/slavery-bill-debate-government-refusal-abolish-tied-visa-attacked-campaigners
Sun Times
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.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Society/article1522309.ece
Sun Exp
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.
Sun Times
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.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/focus/article1522178.ece
Mirror
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.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dead-mum-daughters-bodies-exhumed-5203069
Sun Times
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.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/style/homes_and_gardens/Move/article1520774.ece
Sun Exp
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.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/559690/Jesus-Christ-ginger-stained-glass-red-head
Ind on Sun
Further report of bubonic plague survivors’ graffiti uncovered at Norfolk church.
Sun Tel
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.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/advice/11425078/Is-my-church-under-web-surveillance.html
Eve Standard
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.”
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/road-paint-urges-pedestrians-to-look-rliegfht-before-crossing-islington-road-10061327.html
Letters
Sun Tel
Letters on the church and community engagement and the bishops’ pastoral letter.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/11425229/Letters-Awareness-of-Russian-threat-means-that-Britain-must-be-prepared-to-act.html

Blogs

Archbishop Cranmer: #pastoralletter (1): the patronising episcopal should
http://archbishopcranmer.com/pastoralletter-1-the-patronising-episcopal-should/
Financial Times
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
http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2015/02/20/face-veils-and-citizenship-oaths-ishaq-v-canada/
Trinity Bristol: 4 things young leaders bring to the Church
http://www.trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk/blog/kingdom-leading/4-things-young-leaders-bring-church/
Patheos
The future of faith schools: a continuing story
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiansineducation/2015/02/the-future-of-faith-schools-a-continuing-story/

 

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