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All articles in category News

News

January 2019
News > Church news

Derby Cathedral ‘bans’ evangelical preacher, Melvin Tinker

An evangelical Anglican minister says he was banned from preaching at a carol service in Derby Cathedral because he had criticised the Archbishop of York for liberalising the church’s approach on gay and transgender issues. The Rev. Melvin Tinker, 63, who had been lined up by the University of Derby Christian Union to give a sermon at the event, was told that permission had been refused because of his relationship with the diocese of York. Rev. Tinker said this could only refer to a dispute between his church, St John Newland in Hull, and the archbishop, John Sentamu. Derby Cathedral has attracted controversy in the...

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News

January 2019
News > Society

BBC accused of distorting news and promoting a liberal agenda

A new book by a man who worked at the BBC for more than 25 years asks whether the broadcaster is a fair arbiter of the news, or a conduit for pervasive and institutional liberal bias. In his book, The Noble Liar: How and why the BBC distorts the news to promote a liberal agenda, Robin Aitken doesn’t pull any punches. He writes, ‘The BBC has wholeheartedly thrown its lot in with the liberal reformers; there has been no “impartiality” on any of the big moral issues of the past half-century. ‘In every instance, the socially conservative argument has been depicted as callous, reactionary and...

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News

January 2019
News > Education

Faith schools top primary league table

Faith schools account for almost half of the top 500 state primary schools in the UK, latest league tables show. Out of the top 100 state primaries 48 are faith schools. The good performance comes in the face of pressure from humanists to end the Government funding of faith schools. Professor Alan Smithers, Director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research, said faith schools were doing so well because they shared a set of religious values, based around a moral work ethic. He said, ‘Faith schools are our best schools as these tables show and it would make no sense to dismantle some of...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Young woman with Down’s syndrome campaigns against disability screening

Heidi Crowter, a 23-year-old woman from Coventry, has voiced her experience of life with Down’s syndrome and spoken out against disability screening, in an interview with The Christian Institute. Heidi said that parents ‘are being told lies’ about Down’s syndrome and she hopes that her example of life and faith will challenge the misconceptions. She is actively involved with ‘Don’t Screen Us Out’, a campaign group highlighting that Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is likely to result in a large number of abortions in the UK. Latest figures for Great Britain reveal that around 92 per cent of pregnancies, where Down’s syndrome is identified, result in...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Government launches ‘safeguarding’ consultation for Sunday schools

The Department for Education has launched an open consultation to write a draft code of practise on safeguarding in out-of-school settings, Premier Christian Radio reports. This will affect various groups like the Scouts, but it will also include any religious settings which offer education in their own faith, such as Sunday schools. The Department for Education is asking for contributions of opinion to try to provide a sector-wide safeguarding framework for all out-of-school settings, saying, ‘While the majority do behave in a safe environment, there are some settings which do not.’ The department said, ‘We are inviting the views of out-of-school settings providers, staff and...

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News

January 2019
News > Society

School wanted boy to take part in ‘gay pride’ march. Mum told to ‘be quiet’

Christian mum, Izzy Montague, went to her child’s primary school to raise concerns that her five-year-old son had been asked to take part in a ‘gay pride’ march, but was confronted with a member staff wearing an insulting T-shirt. The T-shirt carried the slogan, ‘Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?’. Mrs Montague has since removed her five-year-old son from the school. She is taking legal action against the school, claiming victimisation. She is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre. Mrs Montague told the Mail on Sunday, ‘Given the nature of my complaints it was obviously a deliberate...

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News

January 2019
News > Society

Pro-life groups banned by Student Unions at two Scottish Universities

Pro-life groups at universities in Glasgow and Aberdeen have been banned from affiliating with the Student Unions, denying them access to facilities and resources available to other groups. Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) says it has a pro-abortion policy and will not offer ‘funding, facilitation or platform’ to the Aberdeen Life Ethics Society. Glasgow Students for Life applied to become a registered society, but were turned down by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC). The decision means the pro-life group will be denied funding, and barred from using meeting rooms, advertising events, and even having a stall at the Freshers’ Fair.

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News

January 2019
News > Society

Church of England begins new services for transgender people

The Church of England has issued new pastoral guidance, creating baptismal-style services to welcome trans people into the Anglican faith. The guidance urges clergy to refer to transsexuals by their new name and suggests presenting them with gifts, such as a Bible inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate. The guidance notes, ‘For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service.’ It says a special service would enable trans people to ‘renew the commitments made in baptism and in a public setting and provides space for...

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News

January 2019
News > Society

Government closes consultation on no-fault divorce

A public consultation on the government’s ‘dangerous’ new proposals to introduce radically liberal no-fault divorce laws was closed last month. The government wants to change the law in England and Wales so that married couples no longer have to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Instead, the government proposes to replace the current ‘fault’ system with a notification scheme which will make divorce quicker and easier. This would mean that one spouse would be able to unilaterally end their marriage whenever they wanted by notifying the court. Then, after a short period of time, a spouse would receive a final divorce decree. This amounts...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Assisted suicide appeal denied at the Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to legalise assisted suicide. The ruling by Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal, which rejected the same arguments in June 2018. The Supreme Court’s decision means that Mr Conway’s case cannot proceed any further in the British courts. Right to Life spokesperson, Clare McCarthy said, ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. ‘Our current law protects people with disabilities and vulnerable people from being coerced into ending their lives. This ruling upholds previous decisions by Parliament and judges making it clear that the current protections provided by the current...

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News

January 2019
News > Society

Consultation launched on plans to criminalise smacking in Scotland

A proposal in Scotland to criminalise parents who smack their own children is being put out to public consultation. The consultation, which ends on 25 January, asks people for their views on the ban which has been proposed by Green Party MSP, John Finnie. The government says it will support Mr Finnie’s bill — The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill — meaning it stands a prospect of becoming law. The Scottish parliament’s equalities and human rights committee wants to know what the public thinks about the plans. Under the proposals, the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ would be removed from the law and parents...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics > Uncategorised

Peers criticise PM over failure to grant asylum to Asia Bibi

In a letter to The Times, members of the House of Lords have strongly criticised the UK government over its handling of Asia Bibi’s plea for asylum. Asia Bibi was convicted in Pakistan of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to death, but was recently acquitted. However, there are fears she will be killed by hardliners unless she flees the country. Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Cox and other peers said in their letter that failing to offer her sanctuary here was a ‘serious betrayal’ by the UK. They wrote, ‘We are deeply concerned by reports that Theresa May is refusing asylum to Asia Bibi, who...

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