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Quotes of the week

31 March 2023


If you meet a far-right, neo-fascist bonehead who looks out of place here, the critical question you must ask that person is: ‘Would you like a Welsh cake?’

Edwin Counsell, Rector of Lllantwit Major, on the town’s non-violent resistance to right-wing anti-migration agitators, BBC 26 March


The SNP’s commitment to independence is nothing new, but maybe also it’s an opportunity to reset and seek a better way about how the devolved nations work, and how together we can seek to address critical issues of our time? I wish Humza Yousaf all the best in his new role

Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Newcastle, Twitter, 28 March

I’m not naïve to the challenges raised by the SNP, but the reinforcing of a border is not the only way of celebrating identity. Let’s have the debates but let’s also be realistic about the complex nature of nationhood and identity



We must hope and pray Mr Netanyahu will abandon the judicial overhaul which has caused such telling unrest in Israeli Civil Society. Democracy is built on respect for the Rule of Law not on short term political expediency

Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, Twitter, 27 March


The Government is proposing to change the status of children and family groups in the UK asylum system. And in doing so it will overturn 12 years of established cross-party consensus in the UK that we are not a country that detains children and families for solely administrative immigration purposes. This policy was agreed by senior Conservatives still sitting in Parliament. To overturn it would be a deeply, deeply regressive act

Anna Rowlands, St Hilda chair in Catholic social thought and practice, Durham University, The Guardian, 27 March


Great St Bart’s, the oldest parish church in the City of London, and the hospital that shares its name mark their 900th birthday today. John Rutter has composed an anthem for the occasion, though it needed a last-minute tweak after a few stray “alleluias” were spotted, something high Anglicans give up for Lent

Patrick Kidd, diary, The Times, 25 March

The church is best known to many as the final venue in Four Weddings and a Funeral and the rector, Marcus Walker, says Hugh Grant was good for business. The film “made it one of the most popular wedding venues in London”, he says. “We have 30 or 40 weddings a year, which is ironic since in the film the St Bart’s wedding was called off after the bride thumped the groom for falling in love with someone else.” It’s not a problem he often faces



Across the public and private sectors, ailing institutions are desperately seeking new ways to — in the appropriate corporate jargon — reach out to younger consumers. So often this leads to a patronising dumbing down: trendy vicars in designer trainers, insipid podcasts fronted by former Love Island contestants. But perhaps — and hear me out here — young consumers are just like old consumers: if you build something good, they will come

Charlotte Ivers, The Sunday Times, 26 March


Given a link between the high birth rate among practising Jews and the increase in attendance at Jewish services: Does this mean that vicars should change their sermons, and instead of commenting on the biblical text simply tell their congregants to have more sex?

Jonathan Romain, The Times, 25 March


It’s the small things that blindside you in grief and make you realise that you are always living in two worlds

Ann Treneman, The Times, 25 March


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