Church ‘needs to change’ to welcome LGBT people
THE Church “needs to change” and “do better” to welcome LGBT people, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, said at the launch of the Ozanne Foundation, in Westminster, on Monday. The Foundation was set up by the General Synod member and LBGT campaigner Jayne Ozanne, “to tackle prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender” in religious organisations. Bishop Bayes continued: “We need, then, to look intelligently together at what change might look like in the practice of the churches: for example, in our approach to those who ask us for recognition and affirmation of their relationship, or in the advice we give to the churches on welcoming and fully including LGBTI+ people in their lives. . . In the Church we seek to move together, which is why we often move so glacially slowly. But the aims of this Foundation are clear, and we bring them before our friends in the churches with a sense of real urgency.”
Christians more likely to donate to charities than others
CHRISTIANS are more likely to donate to charities than other people in the UK, a new survey suggests. The Christian Opinion Panel, commissioned by a marketing agency, TMH, surveyed 587 Christians, of whom 87 per cent said that they gave money to charitable causes regularly. This was higher than the results of the UK-wide sample of people surveyed by the Charities Aid Foundation last year (61 per cent). The Christian Opinion Panel report suggested that 92 per cent of Christians who donated to charity also gave to their church. Of the 13 per cent of UK Christians who did not give to charity, 72 per cent donated to their church. www.christianopinionpanel.com
Young people more lonely than the elderly, survey suggests
CONTRARY to common perceptions that elderly people are more prone to loneliness, levels of chronic loneliness are decreasing with age, new figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest. Its survey of more than 10,000 people, Loneliness: What characteristics and circumstances are associated with feeling lonely?, released on Tuesday, states that five per cent of adults had reported feeling “often” or “always” lonely. “The 25-to-34 years, 65-to-74 years, and 75-years-and-over age groups were all significantly less likely to be lonely more often than the 16-to-24 years age group,” it says. Higher levels of loneliness were also found among women, single or widowed people, and people who did not trust or find support in their community. It also notes: “Those who have caring responsibilities were found to be 37 times more likely to report loneliness than those who do not.” A survey conducted in February by the Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England suggested that loneliness and mental illness were by far the most common community issues being addressed by parish priests (News, 9 February).