Bishop calls for action on gambling rise in young
A SHARP rise in the number of children with a gambling problem in the UK in recent years is a “generational scandal”, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has said. An audit by the Gambling Commission published last week states that 450,000 children — one in seven of children aged 11 to 16 — bet regularly on fruit machines, at bingo, and in betting shops. The number of 11- to 16-year-olds with a gambling problem has risen to 55,000 in the past two years. Dr Smith said: “We need to start taking the dangers of gambling seriously — 55,000 children classed as problem-gamblers is a generational scandal. However much the gambling industry says it is not targeting the young, it is clear that a significant minority of teenagers are still being drawn into gambling, and it is no coincidence that one in six children have seen gambling adverts on social media.”
Dr Walker warns against intinction of wafers
THE Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, has warned communicants against the intinction of wafers, which can contaminate the wine with both bacteria from the skin and gluten from the wafers, causing “severe” reactions. He wrote on the diocesan website: “We are becoming increasingly aware of the severe reaction some people have to gluten. As a result, churches are now used to providing gluten-free bread in services of Holy Communion. However, what is often overlooked is that dipping wafers in the wine can introduce gluten which others then drink.” He urged churches to reassure communicants suffering from colds that “to receive the sacrament in one kind alone (bread or wine) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety”.
Vigils held for mother and son found dead in reservoir
CANDLES have been lit, and a prayer-vigil held, after the bodies of a mother and her five-year-old son, believed to be those of Emma Sillett and her son, Jenson Spellman, were found in a reservoir near Tintwistle, Derbyshire, last week. The pair went missing on the Tuesday. Two days later, detectives confirmed that they had recovered two bodies from the reservoir. The police do not believe anyone else was involved in the deaths. Christ Church, Tintwistle, had a candlelit vigil last Friday, and was open every evening for prayers and reflection. A post on the church Facebook page last Thursday read: “I know that like me, many of you will be thinking of Emma and Jenson tonight. My prayers are with all their friends and family at such an incredibly sad time. I know that being so local their deaths will impact many people in our community.” Holy Trinity, Dinting, was also open for prayers; a post on its Facebook page, showing candles lit in memory of the mother and son, read. “We pray that people have been able to find solace as they seek to come to terms with what has happened.”
Be kind to ‘Generation Snowflake’, says bishop
THE suggestion that young people today are not “robust enough” to deal with life should not be tolerated in the Church, the Bishop of Tonbridge, the Rt Revd Simon Burton-Jones, has said. A report from NHS Digital, published last week, suggests that one in eight young children aged five to 19 had at least one mental disorder last year, including emotional, behavioural, and hyperactivity disorders. Speaking at a conference in Christ Church, Tunbridge Wells, “Understanding this Generation”, on the mental well-being of young people, Bishop Burton-Jones said: “Faced with such uncertainty, some people fall back on easy remedies or, better still, finger-pointing; so others take the blame. Chief among these is a tendency to criticise so-called Generation Snowflake for not being robust enough to deal with today’s world. We should not tolerate such talk in the Church.” It must instead “offer care across the generations”, using its place and space in the community, he said.