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News in brief

Schools ‘will teach about other faiths’

LEADERS of the main faiths have promised to teach pupils about religions other than their own in faith schools, it was announced on Wednesday, writes Margaret Holness, Education Correspondent. Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh representatives have signed the pledge, as have senior Church of England and Roman Catholic educationists, in a move welcomed by the Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly, as an important way of promoting mutual respect between different faith communities. The RE curriculum in C of E aided and voluntary controlled schools has included teaching about other faiths for many years, said the Church’s chief education officer, Canon John Hall.

 PM Brown might pass on bishops

THE CHANCELLOR, Gordon Brown, is planning to allow the Church of England to choose its own bishops if he becomes Prime Minister, according to a Sunday newspaper report. The Sunday Times said that Mr Brown, who is a member of the Church of Scotland, is thought to believe that Downing Street’s control over episcopal appointments is anachronistic, and would leave the choice completely to to the Crown Nominations Commission.

 Bookshops discuss collaboration

THE Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and the Wesley Owen Retail Group announced on Friday that they had begun discussions that may lead to the combining of their bookshop networks later this year. The two organisations said in a joint statement that discussions were at an initial stage. Collaboration would produce a network of Christian bookshops in more than 60 cities throughout the UK.

 Tongan to be Lambeth 2008 chaplain

DR WINSTON HALAPUA, the Anglican Bishop for the diocese of Polynesia in Aotearoa, New Zealand, is to be chaplain of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, it was announced last week. Dr Halapua is Principal of the college of the diocese of Polynesia at St John’s College in Meadowbank, Auckland, and until last year was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council. His father was the first Tongan Anglican bishop.

 Archbishop condemns immigration facilities

CHAPLAINCY arrangements in detention centres are "all too often profoundly inadequate", the Archbishop of Canterbury said last week. Speaking in a House of Lords debate on immigration, Dr Williams said that, "despite the best efforts of many dedicated individuals", a lack of proper professional and pastoral support for those made vulnerable "simply aggravates the problem".

 Anti-Semitic incidents drop

THE Community Security Trust recorded 455 anti-Semitic incidents in 2005, representing a fall of 14 per cent on the 2004 total. But this was still the second-highest annual total since the trust began recording incidents in 1984, it said last week.

 Archbishop Luwum trust launched

THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, launched the Archbishop Janani Luwum Memorial Trust at Westmister Abbey, on Saturday. Archbishop Luwum was murdered 28 years ago in Uganda for criticising the dictatorship of Idi Amin, and is one of the 20 martyrs commemorated on the west front of the Abbey. Dr Sentamu, also a Ugandan, is president of the trust.

 Youth Council discussions

THE Church of England Youth Council discussed the Government’s Green Paper on young people and the situation in the Middle East at its first- anniversary meeting in Buckinghamshire last week. More than 30 members from 17 dioceses also discussed the C of E’s Mission Shaped Church report.

 Bishop’s call for fuel compromise

THE BISHOP of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd George Cassidy, called for compromise in the use of nuclear power in a House of Lords debate on energy policy and nuclear power on Thursday of last week. Bishop Cassidy said that he refused to be pessimistic about "what I believe is our growing energy debate".

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Ecumenical Chaplain

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Putting Passion into performance

Putting Passion into performance

Pat Ashworth talks to the originators of two home-grown Passion stagings, one musical and the other theatrical  Subscribe to read more

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Top comment

My faith in the Church of England

David Cameron expresses his pride in its openness, beauty, social action, and pastoral care  Read More

Sat 19 Apr 14 @ 10:57
RT @martindsewellPlease pray for Denise Inge http://t.co/SzGeeoek7a @BishopWorcester

Fri 18 Apr 14 @ 10:27
RT @seatroutExtremely long profile of Justin Welby (I wrote 3,800 words) in the Guardian today http://t.co/kDvwJoa6hW Not all nonsense.