Church-based youth projects win £30,000
TWO church-based youth projects, BoxUpCrime, which offers mentoring and non-contact boxing sessions, and the Primetime Project, which offers employment and life-skills sessions, have been awarded the Project Lab 2017 prize. The competition rewards community projects led by young people (16-25 years of age) which help to tackle poverty and social exclusion. The winners receive a development grant of £30,000, provided by the Mercers’ Company in London, to encourage other churches to replicate the model. A further £15,000 was pledged at a ceremony on Wednesday of last week to fund the runner-up projects.
Pharmacists rethink religion and work
THE Christian charity CARE has welcomed the decision by the General Pharmaceutical Council to review its guidelines and allow the religion, personal values, or beliefs of pharmacy professionals to influence the service they provide. The chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Council, Duncan Rudkin, said on Thursday of last week that religion and personal values were “often central” to the lives of its employees, and could “make a positive contribution to their providing safe and effective care to a diverse population”. It had previously stated that this influence was “not compatible” with “person-centred” care. The UK director of parliamentary affairs at CARE, Dr Dan Boucher, this week called the reversal “a great victory” for freedom of conscience.
Protesters object to Church House conference
A GROUP of Christians has accused the Church of England of profiting from arms dealers. The annual Land Warfare Conference, run by the Royal United Services Institute, took place at Church House, Westminster, this week. Church House has been the object of protests since it hosted the Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Conference in 2012, but has denied that the Church is profiting from or supporting arms sales by providing a venue (News, 27 June 2014). One Christian campaigner, Symon Hill, who was reportedly arrested on Wednesday after police were called to a disturbance outside the building, said that sponsorship was “never neutral”.