The Bishop of Lichfield’s police incident

My old boss, Jonathan Gledhill, yesterday announced that he will retire from his post as the 98th bishop of Lichfield later this year after 40 years in ordained ministry. So I thought it may be an appropriate time to shed some light on a certain police incident! Before I returned to the purer (or darker, […]

Church of England considers moving the north-south divide

The precise location of the north-south divide has been difficult to pinpoint with any clarity. Manchester is in the north, of course; unless you’re in the Highlands, in which case it is very much in the south. The midpoint of the longest north-south axis in Great Britain is in the village of Haltwhistle in Northumberland […]

Am yow alright?

In the Church of England, it is customary during a General Synod debate for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to be called to speak whenever they stand, jumping the queue ahead of bishops, clergy and laity (they usually let the debate proceed for a while before availing themselves of this opportunity). Last night the […]

“Embarrassing security failure” or embarrassing lack of religious literacy

A man was arrested yesterday morning (Sunday) after two people were assaulted at York Minster. You can read about it on most UK news websites (but if you’re particularly discerning you can read my report for the Church Times here). An unusually high number of journalists were inside the Minster when the assaults took place because […]

Strasbourg to hear religious-discrimination cases

The European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, will next week hear the cases of four British people who claim that they lost their jobs as a result of discrimination against their Christian beliefs. Two of the cases concern the right to manifest religious belief, and whether this extends to wearing a cross or crucifix […]

Anglican mission agency USPG defends name-change

The chief executive of the Anglican mission agency USPG, the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, has issued a strong response to claims that its recent name-change means that it is embarrassed by the gospel. The society announced last month that it would become known as “Us” from November, saying: “The original title […]

Board of Deputies of British Jews slams General Synod debate on Palestine-Israel

A senior Jewish leader has described the language used in Monday’s General Synod debate about Israel and Palestine as evoking “nothing but simple anti-Semitic themes from history”. The Synod approved a Private Member’s Motion moved by Dr John Dinnen (Hereford), endorsing the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), despite objections […]

General Synod Digest – summary of just about every speech

Last week I was with Church Times reporter Madeleine Davies; reporter and deputy news editor Ed Thornton; and deputy editor Glyn Paflin; at the General Synod in York for the Church of England’s General Synod. We were there to produce a number of reports for the paper and the Church Times new website; but also to […]

Church endorses Israel hate agenda

In the worst rift between Anglo-Jewry and the Church of England in recent years, the president of the Board of Deputies has accused the Synod of “riding roughshod” over the Jewish community. The attack by Vivian Wineman follows a vote by the General Synod this week to endorse the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment […]

Synod postpones final decision on women bishops

THE General Synod has voted to send the draft women-bishops Measure back to the House of Bishops, and not to vote on final approval until November. An adjournment motion, moved by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, was carried by a two-thirds majority, after about two and a half hours of debate. […]

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