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October 2007
 
News in Brief
 
 
Moral decline
 
More than four in five people believe that Britain is in moral decline, according to a survey conducted for a new BBC programme, The big questions. Of 1000 adults asked, 62% said religion was important in guiding the nation’s morals, while 29% disagreed that faith had a role to play. Those in the age group 16-24 were more likely than those in older age groups to agree that religion had a key role to play in guiding the nation’s morals.
 
Fingers crossed
 
The national airline of Nepal sacrificed two goats to the Hindu god of sky protection after one of its aircraft developed technical problems. The animals were slaughtered at Kathmandu airport in front of a Boeing 757 plane, which then flew on to Hong Kong.
 
Charitable giving
 
A survey of over 2700 people suggests that more than half the population of England volunteered their services to charity in the past year and 81% donated to charity in the last four weeks. Those most likely to volunteer were those in the 34-44 and 55-64 age groups; women; the employed; and people of religious faith.
 
Planet Relief dropped
 
The BBC has cancelled a Comic Relief-style special about climate change, amid concerns that the Corporation should not be preaching to viewers. Planet Relief was intended to ‘raise consciousness’ about the effects of human behaviour on the environment. In June a BBC-approved report said the broadcaster ‘has many public purposes of both ambition and merit, but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them’.
 
Noah did not have this problem
 
Thousands of wooden toy Noah’s Arks made in China have been recalled across Britain after excessive lead was found in their paint. A batch of 2000 arks delivered this year from a factory in China was discovered to have lead paint levels above the British legal maximum. 
 
‘Regiment of women’
 
A report from Christian Research entitled Religious trends estimates that by 2016 one in every three priests in the Church of England will be a woman; by 2025 one in every two. Between 1990 and 2015 the number of women clergy will have doubled to 2200, while male clergy will have halved to around 4500. This year 47% of new priests have been female.
 
Mega-mosque no-show
 
The leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance, Newham Councillor Alan Craig, has accused Tablighi Jamaat of running away from a democratic public debate. The controversial Muslim group behind the proposed Olympics ‘mega-mosque’ failed to appear at a meeting in Stratford, East London, arranged by Islamic Circles, a Muslim education group.
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