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Quotes of the week

17 March 2023


Throughout the war in Ukraine, we’ve repeatedly witnessed the Russian state broadcaster echoing and amplifying its government’s position. By contrast, a national public broadcaster should never succumb to political pressure, or fall meekly in line with government thinking. It carries a responsibility to facilitate a wide conversation about the political issues of the day without losing impartiality

David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, 13 March


However difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you

Gary Lineker, Twitter, 13 March


HIGNFY producers hoping BBC don’t find out that Ian Hislop also edits a satirical magazine occasionally critical of government policy

Have I Got News for You Twitter account, 11 March


We have never made a political statement on here before but this is a matter of truth, justice and human dignity. Above all, the policy goes against the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Carmelite Nuns of Great Britain, Twitter, commenting on the Illegal Migration Bill, 9 March


Note for the Government’s advisers: when the nuns mobilise, it’s time to think again

Paul Bayes, former Bishop of Liverpool, Twitter, 12 March


What happens when this duty [to asylum-seekers] comes into conflict with other responsibilities to our communities? . . . I don’t think there are clear rights and wrongs in such situations. Faced with dilemmas such as these, we need to juggle conflicting rights and divided beliefs, and we may have to forgo the luxury of being sure we’re right

Tina Beattie, Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, 9 March


My ministry brought me into contact with the true treasures of the Church. Not its silver plate or its pomp but its people: the strange, awkward, wonderful, holy people, who, despite all the Church throws at them, still come to it in search of love

Fergus Butler-Gallie, The Daily Telegraph, 12 March (extract from his forthcoming memoir, Touching Cloth)


[Kate] Forbes’s evangelical supporters appeal to plurality of thought, to liberty of conscience, even to protected characteristics, though they are not always known for extending these considerations within the church. How many Free Church members openly make the case for LGBTQ rights? None, so far as I know; most of them would see this as defining the limits of Christian profession

Fraser MacDonald, London Review of Books, 16 March issue


A Kew Gardens collection dubbed the Noah’s Ark for plants now has seeds from more than 40,000 species. The Millennium Seed Bank, set up to preserve threatened wild varieties, has gained a Guinness World Record for size. In total more than 1.4 billion seeds from 190 countries are kept at the bombproof site in Ardingly, West Sussex

The Metro, 10 March


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