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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Ruth Gledhill in The Times June to December 2011


TheRabbi and the Sikh who send each other Christmas cards

As the respected blogger Archbishop Cranmer put it, the Prime Minister has decided he does 'do God'. In a speech that was politic, respectful and clearly honest, David Cameron spoke at Christ Church, Oxford on the importance of Christianity for Britain and of the King James Bible for Christianity.

Thousands of children in Netherlands were abused in Catholic institutions

  • The Times
  • Published: 17 December 2011
  • Europe
Tens of thousands of children suffered sexual abuse in Roman Catholic institutions in the Netherlands, according to an independent investigation. The Church failed to help the victims or take action against the abusers even though it knew abuse was taking place, the inquiry found. Of 800

Stressful Christmas? Jesus had it rough too, says Archbishop

  • The Times
  • Published: 16 December 2011
  • Faith
If there is one place in the country where Christmas should be perfect, it would be the episcopal palace that is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and his family. But even Dr Rowan Williams, it seems, finds it hard to get all the presents wrapped and cards sent in time. Dr Williams

They presented unto Him gifts . . . Fabergé, Hirst and Swarovski

  • The Times
  • Published: 13 December 2011
  • Faith
As the world slides towards recession, and the Pope meets the Chief Rabbi in Rome to debate how to restore morality to market economies, British churches are inviting the nation to join in celebrating what they are billing as the blingiest, most consumerist Christmas yet. In posters

Archbishop seeks new ‘social covenant' to care for elderly

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 December 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has called for "urgent" reform of the way care for older people is funded in England, stating that the system is no longer fit for purpose. The significant intervention from the country's second most senior Anglican cleric indicates how seriously

Chief Rabbi urges Pope to work together to save soul of Europe

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 December 2011
  • Faith
Europe is in danger of losing its soul, according to the Chief Rabbi who will today tell the Pope that leaders of all faiths must help to restore morality to the world of finance in order to regenerate the economy and society. On a visit to Rome, Lord Sacks will also tell Benedict XVI that

Monday's TV: I Had the X Factor . . . 25 Years Ago

...courage and resilience. The youngest daughter of Anne and Jon Gledhill, four-year-old Amelie, was born with Russell Silver syndrome...resist a pun in the title. This film follows 25-year-old Ruth Ojadi, who was diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome as a young... 

Donor withdraws £15m offer to save historic Church paintings

A multimillionaire businessman has withdrawn his offer of £15 million to save a set of historic paintings that have hung in the Bishop of Durham’s castle for 260 years. Jonathan Ruffer, one of the country’s top investment fund managers, accused the Church Commissioners, who manage the 

Williams accuses Occupy London of grandstanding

  • The Times
  • Published: 06 December 2011
  • Politics
The Archbishop of Canterbury has effectively accused the Occupy London protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral of grandstanding, and suggested that Jesus would not be on their side. He has also criticised protests that are staged “for an audience” rather than for a principle.

Clergy seek to avoid civil partnership ban in church

  • The Times
  • Published: 06 December 2011
  • Faith
Liberal clergy are being urged to defy a Church of England ban on performing civil partnerships in religious premises. Some clergy and laity are planning to get round the new rules by applying for permission to host partnership ceremonies in church halls before having a blessing in the

‘Law on civil partnerships won’t apply’

  • The Times
  • Published: 03 December 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England is heading for one of its most divisive battles as it seeks to head off the possibility of ever allowing gay couples to celebrate civil partnerships in its premises. In a move condemned by campaigners as “mean-spirited”, the Church made clear that its clergy cannot take

Move to outlaw gay civil ceremonies in churches

  • The Times
  • Published: 02 December 2011
  • UK News
The Church of England is heading for one of its most divisive battles ever as it seeks to head off the possibility of ever allowing gay couples to celebrate civil partnerships on its premises. In a move condemned by campaigners as “mean-spirited”, the Church today issued new guidance

Victim of Irish paedophile priest wins payout

  • The Times
  • Published: 01 December 2011
  • Faith
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has agreed to compensate a victim of the paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth, as fresh details emerged yesterday of past cover-ups. The High Court in Dublin was told that Cardinal Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and primate of All 

Offer of space in St Paul’s for ‘symbolic’ tent

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 November 2011
  • UK News
The Occupy London protesters in front of St Paul’s Cathedral have been invited to set up a symbolic encampment inside the place of worship by the acting Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s. The remaining members of the chapter offered the protesters the space for one tent during a private

Women bishops should be ‘fast-tracked' into Lords, says Archbishop

  • The Times
  • Published: 29 November 2011
  • UK News
The Archbishop of Canterbury has proposed that women bishops should be "fast-tracked" into the House of Lords. Dr Rowan Williams, giving evidence to a committee looking at reform of the House of Lords, argued in favour of retaining the "Lords Spiritual" although indicated that he would

Chief Rabbi offers interfaith message by praising carols

  • The Times
  • Published: 25 November 2011
  • Faith
The Chief Rabbi has confessed that he loves listening to Christmas carols. Lord Sacks admits that he finds the songs and hymns celebrating the arrival of Jesus “uplifting”. “Jewish and other faith communities love the fact that Christians celebrate Christmas. When I go to Trafalgar

Clergy demand right to claim unfair dismissal

  • The Times
  • Published: 23 November 2011
  • Law
Clergy could find themselves granted full employment rights for the first time under two test cases currently going through employment tribunals. Clergy are often referred to, incorrectly, as employees of God but since records began they have been regarded in law as self-employed

Bishop of London and Roman Missal

...their trials, but there is one significant difference. Mackonochie, Tooth and others did not hide behind anonymity. Ruth Gledhill’s senior Anglo-Catholic source should have the courage of his or her convictions, and tell Dr Chartres that he...

Bishop tells clergy they must not use new Catholic rite

  • The Times
  • Published: 21 November 2011
  • Faith
The Bishop of London has warned clergy in his diocese not to use the Roman Catholic Mass instead of the liturgy of the Church of England. In a pastoral letter to parishes, Dr Richard Chartres who is vice-patron of the trust set up for this year’s 400th anniversary of the King James

Archbishop calls on monk to return and face child sex claims

  • The Times
  • Published: 18 November 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Westminster has issued an urgent appeal for the runaway monk Laurence Soper to return to his monastery in Ealing and hand himself over to police who are investigating claims he sexually abused young boys. The Most Rev Vincent Nichols said this was essential to “allow a

Payouts for metal thefts from churches expected to hit £5.5m

  • The Times
  • Published: 18 November 2011
  • Crime
Insurance claims for metal thefts from churches have reached record levels, a conference on the crisis was told. Payouts on metal theft from places of worship have increased by 70 per cent to £4.25 million nationally and are expected to reach £5.5 million by the end of this year.

St Paul’s loses lucrative concert as protesters stay for Christmas

  • The Times
  • Published: 18 November 2011
  • Faith
A leading London stage school has cancelled its carol concert at St Paul’s because of the Occupy movement outside the cathedral. Italia Conti, whose alumni include Patsy Kensit, Bonnie Langford and Pixie Lott, has spent years planning the carol concert to mark the centenary of its

‘People’s Bible’ makes its way to the Abbey

  • The Times
  • Published: 17 November 2011
  • Faith
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales led about 2,000 worshippers for a service at Westminster Abbey yesterday to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Many others in the abbey, where early editions of the Bible were presented at the altar, were from 

Archbishop warns of ‘alarming instability’

Ruth Gledhill, John Simpson and Fay Schlesinger
  • The Times
  • Published: 16 November 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of a drama of “alarming instability” being played out in cities across the world as the economic crisis deepens, and called for repentance as a way to restore trust or credibility. Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London to an audience that

Archbishop warns of ‘alarming instability’

  • The Times
  • Published: 15 November 2011
  • UK News
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of a drama of “alarming instability” being played out in cities across the world amid the deepening economic crisis, as legal action to evict the St Paul’s protesters was restarted. Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London to an audience that
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BT investigates reason for X Factor power cut

BT engineers are investigating an electricity outage on Saturday night which delayed the live X Factor show on ITV for 15 minutes and also disrupted a number of Asian TV channels. Insiders said there had been a “component” failure and that the stoppage was not caused by copper theft, as had been

Christians say that they suffer the most abuse

  • The Times
  • Published: 11 November 2011
  • Faith
Nearly three quarters of Christians in Britain believe that there is more discrimination against their religion than other faiths, according to a new report. This has increased from two thirds, two years ago. The study into the marginalisation of Christianity found that secularism,

‘Defenceless children were hurt by bad people. I can’t ever stop saying sorry’

  • The Times
  • Published: 10 November 2011
  • Faith
The Abbot of Ealing Abbey, Father Martin Shipperlee, said that he was so ashamed by the history of child abuse and failure to address it properly at St Benedict’s School in Ealing that he had considered resigning. “I apologise. I apologise to anyone. Actually apology is a feeble word but

Church is told to give up control of schools

David BrownRuth Gledhill and Sean O'Neill
  • The Times
  • Published: 10 November 2011
  • Crime
The Roman Catholic Church should give up control of schools if it wants to ensure that pupils will be protected from paedophile priests, an investigation into one of Britain’s worst clerical abuse scandals has concluded. A report into decades of child abuse at Ealing Abbey made clear 

Paid too much: City workers confess to St Paul’s

  • The Times
  • Published: 08 November 2011
  • Politics
Most finance professionals in the City of London believe that bankers, stockbrokers and senior FTSE 100 staff are overpaid, according to a long-awaited report by St Paul’s Cathedral on ethics in the City. But many admit also that money is their number-one motivation for working in the 

Most City finance workers think bankers are overpaid

  • The Times
  • Published: 07 November 2011
  • Faith
Most financial professionals in the City of London believe bankers, stockbrokers and senior FTSE 100 staff are overpaid, according to a long-awaited report on ethics in the City by St Paul’s Cathedral. But a similar number admits also that money is their No 1 motivation for working in

Power at St Paul’s

Sir, If Ruth Gledhill (Commentary, November 1) were to suspend her sniping at the Church of England in general and at Rowan Williams in particular...

Archbishop backs ‘Robin Hood tax' on financial transactions

  • The Times
  • Published: 02 November 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury has supported calls for a “Robin Hood tax” on financial transactions, saying it is time to challenge the idols of high finance. Dr Rowan Williams draws attention to a recent Vatican document on the present financial crisis and in particular its

‘We've smashed them': anti-capitalist protesters celebrate St Paul's climbdown

  • The Times
  • Published: 02 November 2011
  • Faith
Anti-capitalist protesters claimed a victory after 18 days camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday, as the church’s leaders decided not to pursue legal action and the Corporation of London announced a “pause” in its plans to evict protesters. Naomi Colvin, a spokesman for the 

Church struggles with protesters’ issues

...Swadlincote, Derbyshire Sir, Unlike Ruth Gledhill (Commentary, Nov 1), most people...compassion, though, was lacking from Ruth Gledhill’s commentary, apparently...relevance by its Bishop and clergy. Ruth Gledhill’s vitriol says nothing about...

You, the editor

...coverage you gave the problem yesterday. Your editorial, “Strange Occupation”, provides much food for thought and Ruth Gledhill’s Commentary on page 11 adds some useful ideas, although her suggestion that Giles Fraser might be made the next...

Analysis: CoE in disaster recovery mode

  • The Times
  • Published: 01 November 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England moved to reclaim its role as advocate for the poor and dispossessed by proclaiming that it would have nothing to do with legal action to evict protesters camped by the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. In a radical intervention designed to limit the colossal

After Arab Spring, lack of leadership brings Anglican autumn

  • The Times
  • Published: 01 November 2011
  • Faith
The resignation of the Dean of St Paul’s is the latest development in an unfolding disaster, not just for the cathedral but for the entire Church. The ineffectual statement in response from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will merely serve to sink the big ship “Anglican” a

Cathedral protesters will be served notice to quit in first round of legal battle

Fay SchlesingerRuth Gledhill and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 31 October 2011
  • Faith
The protest camp below the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral will today be served with a legal notice giving the occupiers 24 or 48 hours to remove their tents or face court action. The Corporation of London, the local authority in the City, confirmed that one of its lawyers will present a 

Cathedral staff fear peaceful camp may be infiltrated by violent activists

Ruth GledhillFay Schlesinger and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 31 October 2011
  • Faith
The protest at St Paul’s Cathedral risks being hijacked by hardline activists, including those intent on violently resisting eviction, sources warned yesterday as the Bishop of London appeared to echo the concerns. Addressing a crowd of hundreds on the steps of the cathedral, Dr Richard 

I can’t stomach use of force so I quit, St Paul’s cleric says

  • The Times
  • Published: 28 October 2011
  • Faith
The church official at the centre of the conflict over the closure of St Paul’s Cathedral told The Times yesterday as he fell on his sword: “I have no regrets.” Giles Fraser, 47, who resigned as Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s because he opposes the use of force to evict the 200 

Chancellor of St Paul’s threatens to resign if campers evicted

  • The Times
  • Published: 26 October 2011
  • Faith
St Paul’s Cathedral is so divided over the protest on its doorstep that its Canon Chancellor has threatened to resign if it moves to evict the encampment, The Times has learnt. Dr Giles Fraser, who is responsible for the cathedral’s relations with the financial institutions of the City 

To seek forgiveness, first show repentance

  • The Times
  • Published: 25 October 2011
  • Faith
Setting up an apostolic visitation is not done lightly. It shows that there is a serious matter that needs investigation and that the Church has decided to confront the issue and take action. The rules for apostolic and other canonical visitations were established by the Council of

Protesters threaten to keep St Paul’s closed for Christmas

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 October 2011
  • UK News
St Paul’s Cathedral could be closed for three months as the anti-capitalist Occupy London protest camp continues to grow in size, expanding into nearby Finsbury Square. The protest puts at risk Remembrance Sunday and the Lord Mayor’s Show next month and services in the run-up to 

Protesters unmoved by plight of St Paul's

  • The Times
  • Published: 22 October 2011
  • Politics
St Paul’s Cathedral has closed its doors indefinitely because of the Occupy London anti-capitalist protest on its steps. The protesters said yesterday that they were staying. The Right Rev Graeme Knowles, the Dean of St Paul’s, cited health, safety and fire risks for the first shutdown 

Dean of St Paul's a reluctant figure in the spotlight

  • The Times
  • Published: 21 October 2011
  • Faith
The Right Rev Graeme Knowles was an unusual appointment when he was moved to St Paul’s in 2007 because he was already a diocesan bishop, of Sodor and Man in the Isle of Man. It is more usual for deans to go the other way and become bishops but it is a mark of the prestige of St Paul’s

St Paul’s asks anti-capitalist protesters to go

  • The Times
  • Published: 20 October 2011
  • UK News
St Paul’s Cathedral could be closed for the first time in memory because of the anti-capitalist protest taking place on its doorstep. Cathedral authorities asked the growing number of Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters who have pitched tents outside the main entrance to move on last 

Sarandon condemned for calling Pope a Nazi

Catholic and Jewish groups have united in condemnation of the actress Susan Sarandon after she described the Pope as a Nazi. Speaking at the Hamptons Film Festival on Long Island in New York state, the Oscar-winning Ms Sarandon was being interviewed by the actor Bob Balaban when she

How it happened : Gilad Schalit freed

Jenny Booth and Nico Hines
...are giving speechs and demonstrators are chanting and ululating to mark the release of 1,027 prisoners. 1653 BST Ruth Gledhill, The Times Religion Correspondent, has spoken to Terry Waite, a former hostage, who offered his advice on dealing... 

Sixty-Six Books at the Bush, London

  • The Times
  • Published: 16 October 2011
  • Theatre
...streamed in, creating a truly luminous set. Other writers include Jack Thorne, Carol Ann Duffy and Wole Soyinka.The production runs until October 29. Watch out for the special overnight performance at Westminster Abbey on October 21. Ruth Gledhill 
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Rowan Williams victory as Zimbabwe court backs Anglicans

  • The Times
  • Published: 14 October 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s mission to Zimbabwe paid almost immediate dividends yesterday when the country’s courts came down on the side of the legitimate Anglican church and made key rulings that threatened bishops in the breakaway church with jail. Dr Rowan Williams was in the 

Egypt's junta accused of using ‘rabble force’ against Christians

Nate Wright and Ruth Gledhill
Egypt’s ruling military council faced accusations yesterday that it orchestrated attacks on minority Christians in weekend clashes that left 26 people dead in the worst sectarian bloodletting since the revolution in February. The Catholic Church in Egypt accused the country’s rulers of 

Williams hands dossier of abuses to Mugabe

  • The Times
  • Published: 10 October 2011
  • Faith
...The Zimbabwean bishops receiving personal death threats by phone, in person and at gun point. More details on Ruth Gledhill’s blog thetimes.co.uk/articlesoffaith

Williams demands that Mugabe end violence

  • The Times
  • Published: 10 October 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued an unequivocal demand to President Mugabe that he put a stop to a campaign of “violence and intimidation” against Anglicans in Zimbabwe. In a statement issued today with fellow primates from African provinces after a meeting with Mr Mugabe, Dr Williams said

Extremists misunderstand Islamic Caliphate, says Faith Matters

  • The Times
  • Published: 09 October 2011
  • Faith
Extremist Muslims who campaign for the return of an Islamic Caliphate are deluded in their understanding, and in fact the true Caliphate was a model of secular reform, according to a report. Faith Matters, the respected interfaith think-tank, debunks extremist claims about the 

The Church must get a grip on its finances

...inappropriate for clergy. Paul McCombie Warminster, Wilts Sir, Lore Chumbley’s response (letter, Oct 3) to Ruth Gledhill’s report (“Vicar shortage may leave Church ‘little more than a sect’ ”, Sept 30) makes a valid point...

Archbishop calls for end to health inequality

  • The Times
  • Published: 07 October 2011
  • Politics
The Archbishop of York has called for action to address the “social inequalities” of the National Health Service, saying that decent healthcare should not be the sole preserve of “those who can afford to purchase it”. Dr John Sentamu, writing in the Yorkshire Post, described how this year he spent

Israel and the Day of Atonement

The Palestinian Authority has won a significant diplomatic victory in its quest for statehood. Unesco's executive committee has voted in favour of its bid to become a member. The general assembly of the UN cultural body will now consider the bid at the end of the month. This comes as the Jewish

Archbishop defies rebel priest over plan for Mugabe meeting

Ruth Gledhill and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 03 October 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s meeting with President Mugabe in Zimbabwe is expected to go ahead in spite of criticisms of Dr Rowan Williams by Nolbert Kunonga, the renegade Anglican bishop and Mugabe acolyte. Dr Williams leaves this week for a visit to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. His 

Church ‘volunteers’

Sir, Ruth Gledhill reports that senior clergy are concerned that in the future the Church of England may be run by “unpaid volunteers” (report...

Vicar shortage may leave Church ‘little more than a sect’

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 September 2011
  • Faith
Numbers of full-time clergy in the Church of England have slumped to their lowest levels for more than a century, according to the latest figures published yesterday. The Church now has little more than half the number of stipendiary priests that it had 50 years ago and a third that of

Iran to execute Christian who refuses to renounce faith

  • The Times
  • Published: 29 September 2011
  • Faith
The Foreign Secretary and the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened last night to try to save a Christian pastor in Iran who has refused to renounce his faith to escape a death sentence. An Iranian court gave Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, a third and final chance to avoid hanging, but he 

Hot under the collar? Vicars feel the wrath of Rowan Atkinson

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 September 2011
  • Faith
He is well known for poking fun at vicars in sketches on television and in films. Now the actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson has condemned the clergy of the Church of England for their “smugness”, “arrogance” and “conceitedness”. In an interview with Ginny Dougary in The Times Magazine 

Bid to stop bishops’ castle sale

The future of a Grade I-listed 13th-century castle on a site that has been home to Bishops of Carlisle for 800 years lies in the balance as Church of England officials meet today to consider selling it. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save Rose Castle, near the city.

‘Miracle babies' pastor to be sent home to Kenya to face trial

  • The Times
  • Published: 21 September 2011
  • Crime
More than seven years after his “miracle babies” scam was exposed as fraudulent, a UK Christian pastor is to be extradited to his home country of Kenya to face charges of child abduction. Gilbert Deya is alleged to have stolen five babies from a hospital over five years. His wife Mary,

It’s time to believe in miracles, comedian tells Archbishop

  • The Times
  • Published: 19 September 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England needs to rediscover the “magic” of religion if it is to win back believers, according to top comedian Frank Skinner. In conversation at Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, Mr Skinner said the Church of England was guilty of

Church of England moves in favour of women bishops

  • The Times
  • Published: 13 September 2011
  • Faith
More than a third of dioceses in the Church of England have now voted in support of women bishops, with even the most traditionalist voting to admit women to the episcopate. Dioceses such as Gibraltar in Europe and Sheffield are among those that have voted in favour despite fears that,

Bishops line up to succeed Rowan Williams amid ‘quit’ rumours

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 September 2011
  • Faith
Bishops in the Church of England are placing themselves under starter’s orders in the race to become next Archbishop of Canterbury as speculation mounts that Dr Rowan Williams is getting ready to quit. Power struggles and lobbying to succeed Dr Williams have already begun behind the

9/11: A good time to ask, 'Could you be a Muslim for a month?'

By Ben Bowler, director, Blood Foundation NGO and founder of 'Monk for a Month' and 'Muslim for a Month' On September 11, 2001, I was working in Amsterdam as a head hunter. That particular autumn day unfolded like any other until the early afternoon when someone burst in from the corridor saying

Zimbabwe bishop is robbed after talking about persecution

Ruth Gledhill and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 10 September 2011
  • Faith
The Bishop of Harare was threatened with death, his laptop and mobile phones were stolen and his house was trashed by robbers hours after talking to The Times about the persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe. The Right Rev Chad Gandiya also spoke of his hopes that a forthcoming visit by 

You, the editor

...Canterbury’s proposed pastoral visit to Zimbabwe might well be akin to Daniel walking into the lions’ den, as Ruth Gledhill reports. It remains to be seen whether the visit will cure Robert Mugabe’s malice towards the Anglican Church in...

Freedom for Anglican priest clears path for Archbishop to meet Mugabe

Ruth Gledhill and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 09 September 2011
  • Faith
An Anglican priest arrested in Zimbabwe after being accused of stealing church property worth nearly £1 million has been released without charge. The Rev Julius Zimbudzana, vicar of St Mary’s in northern Harare, was set free hours after The Times disclosed yesterday that the Archbishop of

Archbishop seeks Mugabe meeting in Zimbabwe trip

Ruth Gledhill and Ruth Maclean
  • The Times
  • Published: 08 September 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to go ahead with a visit to Zimbabwe despite a brutal campaign of intimidation of Anglicans by Robert Mugabe’s police. Dr Rowan Williams plans to meet President Mugabe next month, when he will become the first prominent British representative to visit

Ennobled Sikh will be the first to wear turban in Parliament

  • The Times
  • Published: 06 September 2011
  • Faith
The most prominent member of Britain’s 340,000 Sikhs is to enter the House of Lords. Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, will sit as an independent. Recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, an independent body set up in May 2000, Dr Singh told The

Ten years on from 9/11: a new award for religious toleration

In The Times, we report the enoblement of Indarjit Singh, one of the nation's best loved religious ambassadors, who is to become the first turbaned Sikh ever in Parliament. The response of one of my Twitter followers was: 'Oh Singh unto the Lords.'Among those who welcomed this was David Ford,
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Three Brave Men: Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop of Canterbury

Ms Ruth Gledhill29 minutes ago
As Jan Raath and Ruth Maclean report in The Times, Rowan Williams is in Malawi and heading for Zimbabwe, where welcome from all is not assured, for many reasons. No wonder Lord Sacks, who spoke to him on the telephone the day before he flew out, considers him 'courageous' and the venture 'risky'.One event the Archbishop will not be attending is Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday party, taking place at exactly the time he is in the region. We broke the story in The Times that the Dalai Lama could not attend either, because although invited, South Africa has refused him a visa. For our own tribute to the great Archbishop Tutu, Articles of Faith has commissioned a guest post from Kate Robertson, co-founder One Young World and UK Group Chairman Euro RSCG.


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October 2011





Archbishop calls for 

end to health inequality


The Archbishop of York has called for action to address the “social inequalities” of the National Health Service, saying that decent healthcare should not be the sole preserve of “those who can afford to purchase it”. Dr John Sentamu, writing in the Yorkshire Post, described how this year he spent





October 2011

Archbishop defies rebel priest over plan for Mugabe meeting


The Archbishop of Canterbury’s meeting with President Mugabe in Zimbabwe is expected to go ahead in spite of criticisms of Dr Rowan Williams by Nolbert Kunonga, the renegade Anglican bishop and Mugabe acolyte. Dr Williams leaves this week for a visit to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. His
October 03 2011 



September 2011

Vicar shortage may leave Church ‘little more than a sect’


Numbers of full-time clergy in the Church of England have slumped to their lowest levels for more than a century, according to the latest figures published yesterday. The Church now has little more than half the number of stipendiary priests that it had 50 years ago and a third that of
September 30 2011 12:01 AM

Steve Jobs: 'Born out of wedlock, adopted at birth, dropped out of college, then changed the world. What's your excuse?'

Ruth GledhillYesterday, 6:03PM


Of all the many Steve Jobs tribute illustrations, this one by Jonathan Mak is my favourite. I switched to Apple products a few years ago. They are intuitive, beautiful and virus-free. They work. And in working, they transform the work of the worker. They truly do make work feel like play. There's not been much focus on the Apple creator's religion. So here are three points to illustrate a genius that extended to, and perhaps even derived from, his spiritual life.

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Israel and the Day of Atonement

Ms Ruth GledhillYesterday, 2:04PM
The Palestinian Authority has won a significant diplomatic victory in its quest for statehood. Unesco's executive committee has voted in favour of its bid to become a member. The general assembly of the UN cultural body will now consider the bid at the end of the month. This is a separate issue to the quest for full UN membership and is, as Hilary Clinton has said in the US, a little confusing. But when have Middle East politics been anything else? This comes as the Jewish community worldwide prepares for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Jerusalem Post has published an 'idiot's guide' which, in my confusion, I found useful as well as amusing. It is by the stand-up comic Benji Lovitt. He writes: 'We must repent for the sins that we committed over the past year. “Ashamnu…bagadnu…gazalnu….I unfriended my boss.”
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Youcef Nadarkhani with his son, a Christian pastor facing execution for apostasy in Iran, even though he never was a Muslim 



Persecution Index: Christian pastor faces death sentence in Iran

Ms Ruth Gledhill1 hour ago


Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor in Iran, is under sentence of death for apostasy, even though he never was a Muslim. Martin Fletcher and I report his plight in The Times: 'The Foreign Secretary and the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened last night to try to save a Christian pastor in Iran who has refused to renounce his faith to escape a death sentence. An Iranian court gave Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, a third and final chance to avoid hanging, but he replied: 'I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant.'

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has taken up his case, arguing that Iran is violating its obligations under the international  civil and political rights covenant. The religious literacy advocacy group Lapido is also lobbying hard to save his life. Paul Marshall, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute's centre for religious freedom, has written a blog post for Articles of Faith on Pastor Nadarkhani, giving some of the background.
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September 2011

Pastor faces execution in Tehran for apostasy


The Foreign Secretary and the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened last night to try to save a Christian pastor in Iran who has refused to renounce his faith to escape a death sentence. An Iranian court gave Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, a third and final chance to avoid hanging, but he
September 29 2011 12:01 AM
24
September 2011

Hot under the collar? Vicars feel the wrath of Rowan Atkinson


He is well known for poking fun at vicars in sketches on television and in films. Now the actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson has condemned the clergy of the Church of England for their “smugness”, “arrogance” and “conceitedness”. In an interview with Ginny Dougary in The Times Magazine
September 24 2011 12:01 AM
22
September 2011

Bid to stop bishops’ castle sale


The future of a Grade I-listed 13th-century castle on a site that has been home to Bishops of Carlisle for 800 years lies in the balance as Church of England officials meet today to consider selling it. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to save Rose Castle, near the city.
September 22 2011 12:01 AM
21
September 2011

‘Miracle babies' pastor to be sent home to Kenya to face trial


More than seven years after his “miracle babies” scam was exposed as fraudulent, a UK Christian pastor is to be extradited to his home country of Kenya to face charges of child abduction. Gilbert Deya is alleged to have stolen five babies from a hospital over five years. His wife Mary,
September 21 2011 12:36 PM



Ruth Gledhill interviews Prunella Scales and Timothy West about the King James Bible

Timothy West and Prunella Scales: Why every child should read the King James Bible

Ruth Gledhill


Marking the 400th anniversary this year of the Authorised Version, Timothy West and Prunella Scales are among the celebrities, churchmen and women, members of the Royal family and ordinary churchgoers who have recorded chapters of the Bible for The King James Bible Trust YouTube Bible. I've done a chapter from Ruth, Robert McCrum of The Observer read from Genesis and even the Prince of Wales has contributed. 
Read more…




It’s time to believe in miracles, comedian tells Archbishop


The Church of England needs to rediscover the “magic” of religion if it is to win back believers, according to top comedian Frank Skinner. In conversation at Canterbury Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, Mr Skinner said the Church of England was guilty of
September 19 2011 12:01 AM





Pic of Canon Jane Hedges of Westminster Abbey by Richard Pohle of The Times

13
September 2011

Church of England moves in favour of women bishops

More than a third of dioceses in the Church of England have now voted in support of women bishops, with even the most traditionalist voting to admit women to the episcopate. Dioceses such as Gibraltar in Europe and Sheffield are among those that have voted in favour despite fears that,
September 13 2011 10:52 AM
12
September 2011

Bishops line up to succeed Rowan Williams amid ‘quit’ rumours


Bishops in the Church of England are placing themselves under starter’s orders in the race to become next Archbishop of Canterbury as speculation mounts that Dr Rowan Williams is getting ready to quit. Power struggles and lobbying to succeed Dr Williams have already begun behind the
September 12 2011 12:01 AM
10
September 2011

Zimbabwe bishop is robbed after talking about persecution


The Bishop of Harare was threatened with death, his laptop and mobile phones were stolen and his house was trashed by robbers hours after talking to The Times about the persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe. The Right Rev Chad Gandiya also spoke of his hopes that a forthcoming visit by the
September 10 2011 12:01 AM
9
September 2011

Freedom for Anglican priest clears path for Archbishop to meet Mugabe


An Anglican priest arrested in Zimbabwe after being accused of stealing church property worth nearly £1 million has been released without charge. The Rev Julius Zimbudzana, vicar of St Mary’s in northern Harare, was set free hours after The Times disclosed yesterday that the Archbishop of
September 09 2011 12:01 AM
8
September 2011

The gift of hope makes daunting trip worthwhile

If this were the England cricket team going to Zimbabwe there would be an outcry. We would not send a football team. The nation frowns on business dealings with Zimbabwe. So questions are certain to be asked about the wisdom of Dr Rowan Williams in not only visiting Zimbabwe next month but also
September 08 2011 12:01 AM

Archbishop seeks Mugabe meeting in Zimbabwe trip


The Archbishop of Canterbury is to go ahead with a visit to Zimbabwe despite a brutal campaign of intimidation of Anglicans by Robert Mugabe’s police. Dr Rowan Williams plans to meet President Mugabe next month, when he will become the first prominent British representative to visit Harare in a
September 08 2011 12:01 AM






James Kidner, director of the Coexist Foundation and former   aide to the Prince of Wales

Ten years on from 9/11: a new award for religious toleration

Ms Ruth Gledhill1 hour ago
In The Times today, we report the enoblement of Indarjit Singh, one of the nation's best loved religious ambassadors, who is to become the first turbaned Sikh ever in Parliament. The response of one of my Twitter followers was: 'Oh Singh unto the Lords.'

Among those who welcomed this was David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University. And by coincidence, news of Dr Singh's elevation broke on the day that the Coexist Foundation launched its new Coexist Prize, a £60,000 award intended to honour an 'unsung hero' who has made 'an exceptional contribution to building bridges between people of different faiths.' The award is not restricted to Britain. Indarjit actually would not qualify as an entrant - because he is too well 'sung' already, known internationally for his contributions to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day as well as his many other public works and duties, not least as director of the Network of Sikh Organisations.

The Coexist Foundation is also working with The Times on this year's Cheltenham Literary Festival. Among the speakers it has secured for the Pathways series in the festival are Rabbi Julia Neuberger of the West London Synagogue, and Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain's Orthodox community. 


Read more…


Ennobled Sikh will be the first to wear turban in Parliament

  • The Times
  • Published: 06 September 2011
  • Faith
The most prominent member of Britain’s 340,000 Sikhs is to enter the House of Lords. Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, will sit as an independent. Recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, an independent body set up in May 2000, Dr Singh

Catholics go back to traditional basics with breast beating

  • The Times
  • Published: 05 September 2011
  • Faith
Thousands of Roman Catholics across Britain “beat their breasts” in acts of penitence yesterday. And, instead of responding to the greeting of their priest with “And also with you”, they replied: “And with your spirit.” The new translation of the English Missal has taken more than 30 years

Vatican hits back at Irish PM over child rape ‘cover-up’ claims

  • The Times
  • Published: 03 September 2011
  • UK News
The Vatican has hit back at accusations made by the Irish Prime Minister that the Church enabled an effective cover-up of child rape by priests in Ireland. In a 10,300-word statement published today, the Holy See denied the claim by Enda Kenny that it attempted to “frustrate”

A few last words: yclept, doryphore, thrawn

Sally Baker
  • The Times
  • Published: 03 September 2011
  • Feedback
...Westminster Academy cartoons; flink; “Mother who brought down the Fort Hood killer”; square brackets; thurible; Ruth Gledhill’s bog; yclept; the gender of blast furnaces; hefted; whomwatch; phone hacking; Daniel Craig’s swimming... 

Leading bishop hits out at Dawkins for reducing ‘faith into ignorance'

  • The Times
  • Published: 02 September 2011
  • Faith
A leading Church of England bishop has condemned the atheist Richard Dawkins for reducing "faith into ignorance" in his latest book. The criticism by Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield, who is regarded as a rising star heading for one of the top five posts in the established church, is

Fears in rise in Muslim extremism misplaced, US research shows

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 August 2011
  • Faith
Fears of a rise in Islamic extremism in the US and of increased alienation among Muslims in America are misplaced, according to new research today. Instead, Muslims in the US continue to reject extremism by greater margins than most other Muslim communities and many are concerned about

Richard Dawkins and the 'wandering Jewish preacher called Jesus'.

Ms Ruth GledhillAugust 31 2011 4:00PM

blog post photo

In his new book, The Magic of Reality, Richard Dawkins avoids the ranting tone that did so much to offend the faith communities in The God Delusion.

But he still risks their wrath, because of his undeniably patronising assesment of certain miracles held as sacrosanct by many believers as no better than fairy tales or make-believe. His criticisms include a swipe at the beliefs of Islam, as well as Judaism and Christianity.

Few, if any, readers in Britain, whether religious or not, will take issue with his assertion, as reported by our science editor Mark Henderson in The Times today and serialised in Eureka, that children should be taught the facts of evolution from primary school.
Read more…


August 2011




'Truth and righteousness': Networking with Chinese journalists

Ms Ruth Gledhill1 hour ago
My most recent story about China centred on the Vatican's fury at what Rome regards as 'illicit' ordinations of bishops. Read it here. The Vatican described the ordination as “a serious violation of freedom of religion and conscience” and a “painful wound” that would hamper further dialogue between the Holy See and Beijing. An earlier ordination last year was described by the Vatican as “a serious violation of freedom of religion and conscience” and a “painful wound” that would hamper further dialogue between the Holy See and Beijing. For many reasons, as well as the interesting developments in Catholicism, China is a country of great fascination to the West. I am particularly proud of one of my former students at City University, Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, who went straight into a job after her journalism MA ended - in China - working for Time Out over there. Read a recent blog by her at Prospect on the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party there. 

Read more…


Williams wants to see Mugabe in appeal for lost churches


After years of pleas for help from persecuted Anglicans in Zimbabwe, the Archbishop of Canterbury is to make an intervention by seeking a meeting with President Mugabe. Rowan Williams will attempt to meet Mr Mugabe when he visits Harare in October, in the hope of helping his flock regain access to
August 27 2011 12:01 AM
3
August 2011

'Why oh why am I going to World Youth Day?' A young Catholic explains.

By Jo-Anne RowneyI am an Intern, working for the Diocese of Westminster. I am 23 years old, and live in the London University Chaplaincy with other 62 young Catholics. I am a recent graduate having just finished studying English Literature and Journalism at University of Hertfordshire. This is my
August 03 2011 11:51 AM

1
August 2011

Persecution Index: Christian mum sentenced under Pakistan blasphemy laws remains under death threat

Pakistanis keep alive the plight of Asia Bibi as she languishes behind bars in Pakistan by Lizzy MillarHer story sparked an international outcry that even prompted Pope Benedict XVI to lambast Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. But Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, who was sentenced to death for
August 01 2011 5:16 PM


On the mailing list of a mass murderer

'This evil man had absolutely nothing to do with the real Knights Templar,' Andrew White, Anglican chaplain to Iraq, commented on a Times story about Anders Breivik. 'This is a body which supports the churches in the Middle East including mine in Baghdad. At its very heart is its work promoting

Sacred forests bear witness to religion’s unsung role in fostering a rich variety of life

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 July 2011
  • Faith
From the Garden of Eden to Avatar, sacred groves have been central to religion and myth. Now, for the first time, a global map of religious forests is being created by scientists at Oxford. The project reflects growing awareness that many of the ancient woodlands, still believed by some to be the 

Three-fold increase in Catholic abuse allegations

...TweetsFavoritesFollowingFollowersListsRuthieGledhill Ruth Gledhill Papal Nuncio 'withdrawn' from...1 minute ago RuthieGledhill Ruth Gledhill Why did the Blackburn chicken...ScotChristian16 minutes ago RuthieGledhill RuthGledhill For Times subscrbrs: The unforgettable...

Blogging bishop's diocese faces last rites

A Church of England bishop stands to be the first bishop of the established Church to be “deprived” of his living in more than a century.The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Rev Nick Baines, 53, is expected to lose his job in three years when his diocese ceases to exist. The three dioceses of

'His works will follow him to all eternity.' Exclusive appreciation of the great John Stott by Richard Bewes

...John Pollock, Mrs Hugh Orr-Ewing, Cecil Bewes. Billy Graham, Richard Bewes, Hugh Orr-Ewing, FRONT: Stephen Olford, Ruth Graham, Festo Kivengere Leaving London for a speaking trip, John’s indomitable secretary Frances Whitehead –“ beloved...

You can join Oxford’s Ancient Greek study — gospel truth

  • The Times
  • Published: 26 July 2011
  • Faith
Calling all armchair archaeologists: you could be the person who discovers the next lost Gospel. The University of Oxford is seeking tens of thousands of volunteers to help to transcribe the Greek letters on more than two million pieces of Ancient Egyptian papyri. More than 200,000 

Vatican withdraws ambassador to Ireland over new child sex-abuse row

  • The Times
  • Published: 26 July 2011
  • Faith
Relations between Rome and the Catholic Church in Ireland have plunged into an unprecedented crisis after the Vatican recalled its ambassador from Dublin. The decision was taken after the Irish Government issued a damning attack alleging that the Catholic Church had covered up the rape of 

The Times Book Club: A Game of Thrones

  • The Times
  • Published: 25 July 2011
  • Books
Every now and again it is incumbent upon a religious affairs correspondent to enter a new confession to the record and mine is this: I am addicted to fantasy and science fiction. It began with C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells as a small girl. The death of Robert Jordan four years ago,

‘Wayward' Amy Winehouse set for a traditional burial

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 July 2011
  • Music
Amy Winehouse will have a funeral in the Jewish tradition once her body is released for burial after today’s post mortem. If the tradition is followed strictly her grave, likely to be in North London, will not to have a tombstone until a year has passed. Her place of burial is likely to 

Catholic Church in China plans more ‘illicit' ordinations of bishops

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 July 2011
  • Faith
At least seven Roman Catholic dioceses in China are to defy the Pope and go ahead with “illicit” ordinations of elected bishops. Bishop of Chengde, the Right Rev Joseph Guo Jincai, who is vice-chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, told the China Daily that local



Child sex cases ‘destroyed’ Church’s links to state

  • The Times
  • Published: 21 July 2011
  • Faith
Relations between Ireland, traditionally one of the most Catholic countries in the world, and the Vatican reached an unprecedented low last night after a row over the latest report on paedophile priests in the Republic. Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, launched a damning attack on the

Catholic leader in attack on coalition’s cut in benefits for ‘most vulnerable’

Rosemary Bennett and Ruth Gledhill
  • The Times
  • Published: 21 July 2011
  • Faith
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has condemned the Government’s welfare cuts, warning that vulnerable families will suffer most under the changes. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, singled out the cuts in housing benefit as particularly punitive

Exhibition will show wonders of the haj to non-Muslims

  • The Times
  • Published: 19 July 2011
  • Faith
The British Museum is to hold the first major exhibition dedicated to the haj, the pilgrimage that is central to the faith of Muslim believers. About three million pilgrims, including more than 25,000 from Britain, visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia each year to circle the Kabba, the cube-shaped

Syrian TV star flees to Britain after provoking a burka storm

  • The Times
  • Published: 16 July 2011
  • Faith
An award-winning television presenter described as the “Christine Bleakley of the Middle East” has fled to Britain after she was persecuted for speaking out against the burka. Halla Diyab, who was born in Syria, became the golden girl of the Middle East’s media and drew comparisons with the

Ex-Anglican priests need £1 million a year to survive

Madeleine Teahan and Ruth Gledhill
  • The Times
  • Published: 15 July 2011
  • Faith
A bid to raise funds for struggling ex-Anglican priests who converted to Catholicism and joined the new Ordinariate has been launched by its head, the former Church of England bishop Mgr Keith Newton. Mgr Newton calculated that the annual running costs of the Ordinariate will reach £1

Pope’s envoy reprimanded by Dublin over ‘disgraceful’ child abuse policy

  • The Times
  • Published: 15 July 2011
  • Europe
The Irish Government summoned the Vatican’s Ambassador for a rare face-to-face confrontation yesterday as anger over Rome’s advice to bishops not to report paedophile priests to police reignited the country’s child abuse scandal. The Roman Catholic “seal of the confessional” is also under threat in

Archbishop ‘shamed' by new report on Irish Catholic child abuse

  • The Times
  • Published: 13 July 2011
  • Faith
Ireland’s most senior Catholic cleric condemned the “grave errors of judgment” and “serious failures of leadership” after a fourth damning report into clerical sex abuse showed catastrophic failure to follow Church rules on reporting abusers as recently as three years ago. The

‘Church should hold its nerve and play key role in education’

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 July 2011
  • Faith
The world of education is “scrambling to keep up” with changes being made by the Government, a senior Church of England bishop has warned. The Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev John Pritchard, chairman of the Church’s education board, said that increasingly “sharp” questions were being asked by a

Rowan Williams urges Anglicans to help suffering Holy Land Christians

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 July 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams today launched an appeal for “suffering” Christians in the Holy Land, calling for Anglicans to do more to help with community projects and job creation. Dr Rowan Williams told the General Synod in York: “I returned from a visit to the Holy Land last

Church calls for more ethnic minority leaders

  • The Times
  • Published: 12 July 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England is to take steps to increase the number of people from ethnic minority groups in positions of leadership. The General Synod heard that the Church is falling increasingly out of step with Parliament and the general population in terms of representation of ethnic minorities. The


Church in government talks over right to express faith at work

  • The Times
  • Published: 11 July 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England has been holding talks with the Government on how to protect the religious freedom of Christians in the workplace. The talks follow a number of high-profile legal cases involving the wearing of Christian jewellery or statements of Christian faith in the workplace by

Anglicans consider Methodist alliance

  • The Times
  • Published: 11 July 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England is considering proposals for joint “dioceses” with the Methodist church because Anglican attendance has fallen by about half in the past 40 years. The fall among young people has been 80 per cent, the General Synod in York was told. There are 265,000 Methodists in Britain and

Church threatens to disinvest from News Corp

  • The Times
  • Published: 09 July 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England has condemned the behaviour of the News of the World as "utterly reprehensible and unethical" and threatened to disinvest from its parent company unless senior executives are held to account. In a statement released during this weekend's meeting of the General

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns “irregular” ordinations

  • The Times
  • Published: 09 July 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury and a leading evangelical group have have condemned the “irregular” ordinations of three conservative clergymen in Kenya to serve in England. The creation of the new Anglican Mission in England is among the new divisions over homosexuality that will dominate

Hindu organ donor campaign begins in London

  • The Times
  • Published: 08 July 2011
  • Faith
A campaign to persuade members of Britain’s Hindu community to sign up to organ donation and relieve a critical shortage of donor organs in the country’s Asian population was launched today in London. The Hindu Forum together with the Department of Health and other charities were

How the day unfolded: Murdoch closes News of the World

Jenny Booth and Philippe Naughton
  • The Times
  • Published: 07 July 2011
  • UK News
...and to give them the best of our journalism.” 1704 BST: A Tweet from our much-loved Religion Correspondent, Ruth Gledhill: “Now I am crying. sobbing. OMG. I cannot believe what I have just read in my inbox. oh it is so sad... 


Revelation, reason and church’s review

Sir, Before the assumptions in Ruth Gledhill’s article (July 2) become the new norm (that a review by the House of Bishops on civil partnerships and human sexuality...

Outcry over Church charity's £1m grant to Anglican defectors

  • The Times
  • Published: 05 July 2011
  • Faith
The Charity Commission has been asked to investigate a £1 million grant made to the Ordinariate, a new Roman Catholic organisation for defecting Anglicans, by a 150-year-old Anglican charity. Trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1862 as part of the High

Bishops to reconsider teaching against same-sex relationships

  • The Times
  • Published: 02 July 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England has taken a step towards liberalising its teaching on homosexuality with the announcement of a review of its teaching that active same-sex relationships are wrong. Its bishops admitted that they had spent “very little time” discussing the issue that has torn the 

King of Spain approves priest from Gibraltar as head of Catholic college

Graham Keeley and Ruth Gledhill
  • The Times
  • Published: 01 July 2011
  • Faith
King Juan Carlos of Spain is to approve the appointment of a priest from Gibraltar as head of a leading Catholic training college amid a downturn in relations between London and Madrid over the Rock. The Spanish monarch will formally approve Father John Pardo as the next rector of the

Church cannot provide public services, senior bishop tells MPs

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 June 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England cannot step up to the platform of David Cameron’s Big Society and become a provider of public services for “everybody”, a senior bishop told MPs today. The Bishop of Leicester, Timothy Stevens, told a parliamentary inquiry into the Big Society that religious

‘Who do you think you are?'

  • The Times
  • Published: 30 June 2011
  • Faith
The national newspaper reviewer waxed lyrical about the film at the Folkestone festival: “We follow tankers and canoes, ferries and fishing boats – and there's the archbishop of Canterbury, helping out at an archeological dig along the coast, his hair a white, fluffy windsock in the

Church alcohol policy to focus on retailers

  • The Times
  • Published: 29 June 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England will attempt to crack down on cheap alcoholic drinks by selling their shares in supermarkets and manufacturers that fail to meet minimum standards on the sale of alcohol. A new ethical investment policy on alcohol has been adopted by the Church, which has assets

Paedophile priest Fr Kit and the Rosminians: 'I would prefer sad story to remain private.'

The Times has been forwarded a press statement from Father David Myers, leader of the Rosminians in the UK. Reports of this clarification have appeared at places such as Independent Catholic News. Damian Thompson at The Daily Telegraph blog Holy Smoke has been chronicling this scandal, exposed on

Church ad for senior communications post ‘excludes gay and divorced people’

  • The Times
  • Published: 27 June 2011
  • Faith
Liberals in the Church of England are protesting that an advertisement for the senior post of communications director is designed to exclude practising homosexuals and divorced and remarried people. The established Church advertised in yesterday’s Sunday Times for a new communications director to

Faith helped Jewish teacher to slimmers’ title

  • The Times
  • Published: 25 June 2011
  • Faith
A religion teacher who used the principles of his Jewish faith to help him lose weight has been crowned a champion slimmer after he halved his weight to 14 stone. Michael Drucker, 45, from north London, a father of four boys, said the Jewish teaching that God created humans with free will helped

Please God, make me slim!

...beard, no clothes would fit. I looked in the mirror and saw a truly fat person still. It was only when my late father Peter Gledhill, then a clergyman with the Church of England, told me how worried my parents were, and I saw from his face that he meant...

Religious education could disappear from school curriculum

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 June 2011
  • Faith
Religious education in schools is being marginalised and could soon disappear, according to a new report. The subject will vanish altogether from the curriculum of many schools as a result of being left out of the 2010 English Baccalaureate (E-Bacc), the report warns. According to a survey by the

Church’s plea over civil partnership ceremonies

  • The Times
  • Published: 24 June 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England has pleaded with the Government not to be forced to perform civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples until its own governing body, the General Synod, has sanctioned them. Responding to the Government’s consultation on civil partnerships in religious premises, the Church

Go for God, not for gold, Church of England tells Team GB

The Church of England’s new prayer for the Olympics sets new records for ecclesiastical political correctness with pleadings for the “health and safety” of athletes and supporters. And in deliberate obeisance to the PC mantra that taking part is more important than winning, even at the Olympics, it

St Paul’s Cathedral hits the 300-year mark

  • The Times
  • Published: 22 June 2011
  • Faith
Among the two million who visit St Paul’s Cathedral in London each year, the most frequently asked question is: “So, do you still hold services here8221; The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Rev Graeme Knowles, told a congregation of 3,000 at a service to celebrate the 300th

Is belief a balm for broken Britain? Listening out for the 'still, small voice of God' with the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

...On the panel wereRuth Gledhill –“ Religion Correspondent...Director of Aish UK. Ruth opened proceedings by asking...of other backgrounds. Ruth asked, are faith...Broken Britain?Address by Ruth Gledhill The title of this debate...

Chief Rabbi condemns ‘negative’ Twitter and other social networking sites

  • The Times
  • Published: 21 June 2011
  • Faith
The Chief Rabbi has condemned the internet as “the most effective disseminator of paranoia and hatred yet invented”. Lord Sacks also attacks the intolerance of the “new secularism” and the fundamentalism of the “new religiosity”. He says critics of religion are right and religion has done harm. But

Gay clergy will be allowed to become bishops providing they are celibate

  • The Times
  • Published: 20 June 2011
  • Faith
The Church of England has given the green light for celibate gay men in civil partnerships to become bishops. In a paper published yesterday, the Church acknowledged the impact of the Equality Act in requiring an update of its rules on the advancement of homosexuals. It paves the

TV dinosaur that dances on

The BBC orchestra struck up and we were off. One-two-three, one-two-three, turn again, turn again Viennese waltz. My legs trembled with nerves. Watching us was an audience of millions. No, this was not Strictly Come Dancing. It was a decade ago and Come Dancing was dead and, seemingly, entombed for

After 50 years of raising the roof, it’s up there among the BBC’s amazing greats

Fifty years from now, John Major once said, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on cricket grounds, invincible green suburbs and old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist. The former Prime Minister’s list of sturdy British stereotypes omitted Songs of Praise, but 

'Rebuke to Archbishop of Canterbury' in Times poll

...on my new public Times profile, which is outside the paywall.http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/profile/Ruth-GledhillIn the poll, 47 per cent say it is not the job of the Archbishop of Canterbury to criticise government policy regardless...

Moral journalism - does it exist?

Bess Twiston Davies
...Stationers and Newspaper Makers. The full version may be read at: http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/ Ruth Gledhill has also blogged on the sermon. Graham Kings writes: Richard Johnson, who bequeathed this annual sermon gave posterity...

Archbishop under fire for political interference

  • The Times
  • Published: 10 June 2011
  • Faith
The Archbishop of Canterbury was accused of jeopardising his position yesterday after the most partisan intervention since the Thatcher era led to demands that he should separate personal politics from his religious role. Dr Rowan Williams angered the coalition by writing an article in 

Never ones to shy away from controversy

  • The Times
  • Published: 10 June 2011
  • Faith
Although few have suffered the fates of Thomas à Becket or Thomas Cranmer, the political interventions of archbishops of Canterbury have long been contentious. The last three archbishops have been among the most politically controversial in history, according to a new report. Turbulent Priests? by 

Williams accused of political interference after damning attack on coalition

Roland Watson, Ruth Gledhill and Michael Savage
  • The Times
  • Published: 10 June 2011
  • Politics
The Archbishop of Canterbury was accused of jeopardising his position yesterday after the most partisan intervention since the Thatcher era led to demands that he should separate personal politics from his religious role. Dr Rowan Williams angered the coalition by writing an article in the 

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