Poll suggests high levels of faith illiteracy
MORE than half (57 per cent) of people in England call themselves Christians, and 43 per cent believe in the resurrection, suggests a new poll commissioned by the Church of England, the Evangelical Alliance, and the charity HOPE. The survey, “Perceptions of Jesus, Christians and Evangelism”, was conducted online among a “nationally representative” sample of 3014 adults. About nine per cent of those who described themselves as Christians were defined as “practising”. About 40 per cent did not know that Jesus “was a real person who actually lived”.
Christians speak out in Stonewall publication
THE experiences of Christians around the world are included in a new 48-page book from the gay campaigning charity Stonewall. Christian Role Models for LGBT Equality features the testimony of people who believe that their faith is not incompatible with being LGBT or accepting LGBT people, the charity says. The foreword is written by a former Bishop of West Uganda, the Rt Revd Christopher Senyonjo (News, 3 March 2011). “Those who have been brave enough to stand up to this are exceptional Christian role-models because they have risked their personal safety to help others,” said Stonewall’s chief executive Ruth Hunter.
Charity faced with tax bill warns of risk to homeless
A CHARITY has incurred an unexpected bill for an additional £1 million in VAT, prompting it to warn that hundreds of homeless people will be put at risk. Caritas Anchor House, based in London, said that it incurred the tax after HMRC reviewed its description of services, determining it a “residential and life skills centre” rather than a “homeless hostel”. It will now have to “mothball” its plans to develop “move-on” flats, it said. It has appealed to the Government to reverse the decision.
First woman bishop for Anglo-Caribbean council
THE Revd Esme Beswick has been voted in as the first woman Bishop of the Joint Council of Anglo Caribbean Churches (JCACC). The organisation was founded in 1985, and Mrs Beswick is a founding member. She was ordained in the Pentecostal Church in Jamaica in 1961, and has worked for more than 47 years as a pastor in the London borough of Lambeth. She has also held a number of ecumenical positions, including that of a President of Churches Together in England.