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All articles in category News

November 2018
News > Mission

Mission – Andy Banton to leave Open Air Mission

The Open Air Mission (OAM) has announced that General Manager, Andy Banton, will be leaving in February 2019. In a statement, the organisation said: ‘Following a lengthy period of ill-health, and further to discussions between himself and the OAM committee, Andy and the committee have agreed that it is for the best of both the Mission and Andy for him to be released from his employment with the Mission. ‘Following the notice period required in his contract of employment, Andy’s employment with the Mission will cease on 28 February 2019. A suitable financial package has been agreed, recognising the many years of sterling service that...

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November 2018
News > Church news

Church – Churches merge

Two Wigan churches, Jireh Baptist Church and Pemberton Evangelical Church (EC), joined together to become Pemberton Free Grace Church on 15 September 2018, following two years of discussions and planning. Former members of both churches, who are now members of the new church, were joined in the celebrations by friends and supporters, mostly from fellow churches of the West Lancashire Reformed Baptist Fellowship. Pastor Jon Davies of Cromer Baptist Church, a long-time friend of Jireh Baptist, brought the Word of God from 2 Peter 1.  Matthew Gray, formerly pastor of Jireh and now pastor of the new church, led the service, welcoming everyone.  Jim Mollitt,...

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November 2018
News > Church news

Churches – Church votes to quit Scottish Episcopal Church

St Thomas, one of the largest churches in Edinburgh, has voted to quit the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) over its decision to be the UK’s first Anglican body to endorse same-sex marriage. Rev. David McCarthy, rector at St Thomas, said the decision had been a ‘very painful’ one. ‘We have not done it easily. We have had many tears and many sleepless nights. It is a tragic necessity’, he told the Sunday Telegraph. ‘But it is the Episcopal Church who are leaving us. They are leaving orthodoxy’. The decision among St Thomas evangelical congregation saw around one-fifth leave since a vote confirmed the decision in May. Other churches...

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November 2018
News > Ethics

Churches – German RC child abuse

More than 3,700 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014, with one in six cases involving rape. Researchers from three German universities found that 1,670 clerics were involved. The head of the Catholic Church in Germany apologised ‘for all the failure and pain’ following publication of the report on 25 September, saying the ‘guilty must be punished’. The report is the latest in a long series of revelations that have uncovered decades of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests around the world. Only 38 per cent of the alleged perpetrators were prosecuted, with most facing only minor disciplinary procedures....

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November 2018
News > Conferences

Conference – Festival of Grace

Over 80 people attended the 19th Gaulby Festival of Grace at St Peter’s Parish Church, Gaulby, in Leicestershire, on 8 September 2018. The event was inaugurated in 2000 to proclaim and celebrate the gospel of grace, build up believers in their holy faith and encourage them in their Christian walk. It has become one of the most significant rural parish events in Leicestershire. Organisers say the Gaulby Reformed Evangelical Anglican Fellowship upholds the doctrines of the English Reformers, subscribes to the Thirty Nine Articles of the Church of England and uses the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. This year’s event theme was ‘Godliness in the Life of Christians’. Rev. Maurice Roberts...

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Event – English Reformation lecture
November 2018
News > Events

Event – English Reformation lecture

Dr Lesley Rowe, Associate Fellow in History at the University of Warwick, gave the third and final lecture in her series on the Reformation in England at Little Hill Church in Wigston, Leicester, on 17 September 2018. The lecture focused on Anthony Gilby, one of the most influential Leicestershire reformers, who was known as a detester of ‘popery’ (Roman Catholicism) and a preacher of the gospel, and who was exiled for some years in the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I. Dr Rowe spoke on Gilby’s early life, exile, his work upon returning to England, and his important contribution to the English Reformation. Anthony...

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November 2018
News > Events

Event – Portadown young adults retreat

The Baptist Youth Missionary committee organised a weekend retreat for young adults aged 16-25, with a special emphasis on personal evangelism, in the Faith Mission Centre, Portadown, from 28-30 September 2018. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives his followers an astonishing command: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’. This command wasn’t just for 1st century followers of Jesus but, by extension, for us as his 21st century followers. If anyone confesses Christ as Lord, they have a role in making his gospel known to the nations. For many of us, this gospel proclamation begins in the everyday encounters we regularly have, whether...

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November 2018
News > Society

Society – CAP in BBC documentary

Debt management charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) featured in a BBC Two documentary The Debt Saviours on 5 October 2018. This followed the lives of CAP clients and frontline workers in the middle of the current UK poverty epidemic, and showed the work being done through local churches. The BBC programme information read, ‘Across Britain more than four million people have debts considered unsustainable’. Responsibility for advising and helping these vulnerable people is increasingly falling to charities. One of the biggest is Christians Against Poverty (CAP), led by its charismatic founder, Dr John Kirkby CBE. ‘In this access-all-areas documentary, director Phillip Wood (Chasing Dad, Rehab),...

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November 2018
News > Society

Society – Guide leaders axed over trans objections

Guide leaders who objected to ‘transgender’ rules which permit men to join the organisation if they say they are women have been kicked out and their units shut down. The guidelines, published in January 2017, also said boys could share tents, changing areas and shower facilities with the opposite sex if they say they are girls. But Girlguiding says including people who identify as female to join or lead groups does not put girls at risk. ‘Keeping girls, young women and our adult volunteers safe is our number one priority’, the organisation said. It added that an investigation found that the volunteers had breached the...

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November 2018
News > Society

Society – Scottish ‘hate’ posters cause outrage

A series of posters backed by the Scottish government and the police have appeared in Scotland accusing people of faith as being bigots who spread hatred. One poster reads, ‘Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hatred here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland.’ Other posters target ‘homophobes’ and ‘transphobes’. Barnabas Fund issued a statement calling for the campaign to be removed. The group said, ‘Using the word “sermon” seems to target religious groups including Christians, Jews and Muslims. ‘Even the lettering used in one poster reinforces this association, being very similar to well-known typefaces used in some historic Bible imprints’. Barnabas’ CEO, Hendrik Storm, said...

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November 2018
News > Society

Society – Faulty divorce reform

Critics have blasted the government’s recent proposals for quicker and simpler ‘no fault’ divorce proceedings. In September, the government launched a consultation on removing the need to demonstrate fault or wait the relevant separation period if a couple wants to divorce. But crossbench peer Baroness Deech said the plans are so full of flaws she doubts they will get through Parliament and will instead need to be changed. Top family lawyer and senior Conservative Lord Farmer also opposed the change, saying liberalising the law was causing the breakdown of society, adding it would render marriage little more than cohabitation where a couple stays together as...

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November 2018
News > Society

Society – Six-year-olds made to write gay love letters

BBC Manchester filmed a school teacher in Warrington, Cheshire, instructing her class of six-year-old pupils to write gay love letters, and posted the video on its Facebook page, sparking a social media storm. The video shows teacher Sarah Hopson from Bewsey Lodge Primary School telling the children to imagine they were Prince Henry and that they should write love letters to his manservant Thomas. She said: ‘You’re going to tell Thomas why it’s a brilliant idea for him to marry you’. In its subtitles the BBC said approvingly: ‘This school teaches children about LGBT relationships from an early age. This class of six-year-olds is learning...

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