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All articles in category News

News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Prince Charles speaks up for persecuted Christians

Prince Charles has spoken out on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, claiming he has been ‘moved and humbled’ after meeting some victims. Writing in The Telegraph, the Prince of Wales stated he had been overwhelmed by the knowledge that approximately 245 million Christians worldwide have faced persecution. He wrote, ‘The most vulnerable are the women and children. Many have been attacked and made homeless. I have been immensely moved and humbled by the courage and dignity of those I have met’. Prince Charles commented that, this Easter, persecuted Christians were ‘especially in my prayers as they follow in the footsteps of our Lord who died...

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News

June 2019
News > Religious liberty

Christian school worker sacked for Facebook posts questioning sex education

A Christian school worker is to challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. Kristie Higgs was dismissed after she shared two Facebook posts that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village, her own child’s Church of England Primary School. Kristie, mother of two who had been working at the Gloucestershire academy for six years as a pastoral assistant, was told following an investigation and a six-hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice. Earlier last year, her child’s Church of England Primary School sent out a letter informing parents it was...

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News

June 2019
News > Ethics

Abortion report undermines Northern Ireland devolution

A report on abortion law in Northern Ireland makes recommendations that will undermine devolution and bypass the Northern Ireland Assembly, public policy charity CARE has warned. At the end of April, the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) Report on abortion law in Northern Ireland recommended that devolution be by-passed, and abortion legalised in Northern Ireland in cases of so called ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. However, CARE warned that abortion is a devolved matter and has been the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly since 1921. Moreover, none of the MPs on the committee represent Northern Ireland constituencies, and the Committee was not even unanimous in recommending...

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News

June 2019
News > Religious liberty

Street preacher arrest prompts petition

Christian Concern is petitioning the Home Secretary asking him to review the guidance to police officers regarding street preachers following yet another arrest in London earlier this year. So far, thousands have signed the petition, but Christian Concern has urged for more names to ‘add pressure’ on the Home Secretary and the police to force a change in police practice when it comes to questioning and arresting street preachers. The petition came after street preacher Oluwole Ilesanmi was forcibly arrested on Saturday 23 February outside Southgate Tube station. According to video footage, Mr Oluowole was preaching on the streets as he often does. The police...

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News

June 2019
News > Ethics

Pro-life speech shut down across Scotland

A pro-life student university group has launched a legal challenge against the University of Aberdeen after its attempts at affiliation were repeatedly rejected by the Students’ Union, based on their policy barring pro-life societies on campus. According to the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society (Ales), the case is emblematic of a ‘disturbing trend across over 100 UK universities’, where reportedly 43 per cent have implemented speech codes and policies that limit religious expression. It also claimed at least 108 universities in the UK have actively censored free speech; or have done so through over-regulation. On the abortion issue, there...

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News

June 2019
News > Ethics

Beware of plans to regulate the internet, groups warn

Government proposals to police the internet by imposing fines on websites which fail to tackle ‘online harms’ have come under criticism from free speech groups. Five civil liberties organisations have written a joint letter to the press saying the plans, if enacted, would make China’s state censors proud. The five groups are English PEN, Big Brother Watch, Article 19, Open Rights Group, and Index on Censorship. They said there are fundamental problems with the government’s proposals. ‘Firstly, the white paper proposes to regulate literally the entire internet, and censor anything non-compliant. This extends to blogs, file services, hosting platforms, cloud computing; nothing is out of...

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News

June 2019
News > Society

Parents ‘undermined’ by sex education plans, say Lords

Peers in the House of Lords have expressed their deep misgivings about government plans to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools. During a debate, a number of Peers said that the plans undermine parents and must not ‘indoctrinate’ children. However, despite the concerns, the House of Lords approved the proposals. During the debate, Lord Curry said that ‘the responsibility for children’s moral and religious education lies first and foremost with parents’. He added, ‘That is not a role that the state should be taking to itself. We in this place should not be cutting across or undermining the influence of parents’. He also...

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News

May 2019
News > People > Obituaries

Geoff Cox (1946-2019)

‘If any reference is made to me then my faults and failings must be faithfully mentioned, and any qualities and achievements must be attributed to the grace of God.’ With these words, Geoff Cox instructed those who would conduct his funeral and thanksgiving service. It was truly characteristic of the man who over 200 family and friends gathered to remember and thank God for on 14 March. Welcome Hall Evangelical Church in Catshill, near Bromsgrove, was packed as those leading the service gracefully pushed the boundaries of Geoff’s request! John Parker, Geoff’s brother-in-law, reflected on his family and work. Geoff had experienced two careers: one...

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News

May 2019
News > Church news

Dewsbury Connected conference focuses on the role of apologetics

The Connected conference is an annual gathering of church officers, workers and future leaders of independent fellowships in the North, taking place in Dewsbury Evangelical Church. Apologetics was the theme, specifically engaging with the secular beliefs of modern society. We were well served by Dan Strange, our speaker for the day. Dan is director of Oak Hill Theological College and elder of East Finchley Baptist Church. Starting from Peter’s exhortation of the believer to be ‘always prepared to give an answer’ (1 Peter 3:15), Dan talked through various texts which help us to give answers which are both faithful and effective. He spoke with wisdom...

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News

May 2019
News > Church news

History lectures on Joseph Herrick and the Primitive Methodists

The Christian Heritage Centre in Rowley Regis recently hosted two lectures on church history. The first, by Martin Wells, focused on Joseph Herrick: a 19th century dissenting minister in Colchester. Martin highlighted Herrick’s bravery in the face of opposition, even from his own congregation. Herrick ministered to his church for 51 years, despite ambitions to oust him. Once, the chapel’s trustees even had the roof removed in order to precipitate Herrick’s departure! The ploy worked and Herrick was forced out of the building. However, his congregation remained loyal and they secured a new building. Opposition persisted. Herrick’s detractors sought to regain control of the trust...

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News

May 2019
News > Church news

Three lectures on men of the Reformation held near Leicester

Little Hill Church, near Leicester, recently held the first of a series of lectures on the Reformation. This follows the well-received series which took place in 2018. Three talks will focus on different men living between 1560 and 1660. Their responses to being within the ‘partially reformed’ Church of England will be explored. The first lecture took place on 25 February; Dr Lesley Rowe spoke on Arthur Hildersham and his sufferings for conscience’ sake. She began by contextualising Anglicanism in late Elizabethan England. The queen had insisted that no further reformation was permissible. However, many godly ministers took issue with Archbishop Whitgift’s ‘Three Articles’ –...

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News

May 2019
News > Church news

Middlesbrough church may pull out of needy area unless funds are raised

An FIEC church serving four social housing estates in Middlesbrough may pull out of the area unless money can be raised to buy the building it currently rents. New Life Church, Middlesbrough, has been meeting in Ormesby Methodist Church Hall since 2014 but the owners no longer need the site and are putting it up for sale. New Life’s pastor, Ian Williamson, said: ‘Apart from the local library, the hall is the last remaining public building in the area. Although our church is quite small, with around 25 regulars on Sundays, we have contact with almost 100 people each week through our outreach activities.’ If...

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