Religion news 2 March 2023

Daily prayers for the King in lead up to coronation

The Church of England has published prayers to be used each day in the month leading up to the coronation of King Charles III. Starting on Easter Sunday, the content covers the call to service, self-sacrifice, the idea of servant kingship and stewardship of creation.  The booklet offers a prayer, a short reading and reflection on a different theme each day and is “designed to help individuals, churches or groups who wish to use these days to pray for the King, the Queen Consort and the royal family and their calling to a life of public service”. In the final week, the prayers’ themes include faithfulness, self-control and on the day itself, praying for God’s help.

Holy Communion from chalices is back in the Catholic church from this Easter

The Independent Catholic News reports that Holy Communion from chalices is to be re-introduced into Catholic parishes in the Westminster diocese from Holy Thursday. The practice was suspended three years ago due to Covid and communion was taken instead “by intinction”, with the wafer dipped in the wine, the body imbued with the blood.  The report says each diocese and parish will decide whether to lift the restrictions altogether in time for Easter. It quotes a letter to priests from Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington, who says they can reintroduce both ways of taking communion at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper “given the theological significance of the celebration”. It says many parishes have yet to reintroduce the sign of peace during the Mass.

Appeal to cut down on fast fashion during Lent

Tearfund’s fast fashion campaign, urging people to live with just ten items of clothing for periods of time during Lent, is still ongoing one year after launch. Climate activist, Christian and ethical influencer Laura Young, or Less Waste Laura as she is known to her tens of thousands of social media followers, says the campaign against fast fashion should be a priority for conscientious consumers of fashion. Up to 8 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the clothing and textile industry, while 215 trillion litres of water are consumed by the industry every year. Full story on our website here

Durham’s £6.2 million grant for science and religion research to go global

A Durham University project to encourage Christian leaders to engage with science has been awarded a five-year £6.2million grant by the John Templeton Foundation, to expand abroad. Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS), based at St John’s College Durham, will use the money to create research hubs in four partner institutions beyond the UK, ensuring “research is grounded in local thought and practice, while in communication with the broader Church and society”. The project will arrange conferences, teach in local churches and theological colleges,  carry out original research and engage in public policy. The aim is to show how science and faith have worked together in the past and present, while charting the future. 

Christianity and science project founder, Tom McLeish, has died

News of the award came the day after ECLAS announced that its co-founder, Professor Tom McLeish, has died. He was appointed as the first Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of York, a scientist across physics, chemistry and biology. He and the Rev Prof David Wilkinson conceived the idea of ECLAS in 2013 “to change the culture among senior Christian leaders in their view of science – from fear to joy”. An Anglican lay reader, he was awarded the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship by the Archbishop of Canterbury  in 2018, ‘for his record as one of the most outstanding scientists of his generation, and the leading contemporary lay Anglican voice in the dialogue of science and faith’.

The entangled relationship between science and religion explored

Magisteria, a book about the entangled histories of science and religion, by Theos senior fellow Nick Spencer is published today. He charts the way science and religion were at one time intertwined, but then moved into conflict until now there are commonly held views that science and religion are at war. Reviewer Andrew Brown agrees with the book’s conclusion that it is authority and anthropology that are really contested in these arguments, not science and religion. Diarmaid MacCulloch review here

Chaplain loses appeal for dismissal in dispute over LGBTQ+ inclusion

The Rev Bernard Randall, former chaplain at Trent College in Derbyshire, has lost his claim for unfair dismissal after disagreeing with a programme on LGBTQ+ inclusion. He had given a sermon telling pupils they did not have to accept “LGBT stuff” but was suspended after complaints were made.  He said he believed sex should be between a man and a woman in marriage and the programme was incompatible with the school’s Christian ethos. The tribunal ruled that there was no evidence the inclusion programme would indoctrinate students. Mr Randall said he was disappointed with the outcome and would appeal.

£5.6 million for new Church of England clergy roles

The Church of England says it is providing £5.6 million in funding for additional clergy posts across the country from rural areas to inner cities. Roles including Team Vicar, Associate Priest and pioneer posts will be paid for from a £5.6 million grant as part of a five-year arrangement to ensure that no suitably qualified curate is left without a post. The money will fund the equivalent of 36.5 clergy posts working in parishes, housing estates, school chaplaincy, church plants, youth congregations and worshipping communities in deprived areas.

New Wine has a new leader

New Wine, a network of evangelistic projects and missions, has appointed a new leader – the Rev Rich Johnson, from Worcester. He has been a member of the national leadership team for several  years and inherits the role at a time when the organisation is still recovering from the pandemic. It was forced to cancel its summer conference events and suffered a financial crisis.

Mosque trustees in St Albans jailed for attacking a worshipper

Four trustees of a mosque in St Albans have been jailed after attacking a worshipper who complained they were using the building during lockdown. The BBC reports that the Jamie Masjid and Bangladeshi Mosque was closed during lockdown, but the four men continued to meet there. The man who complained was beaten up and spent two weeks in hospital. The four defendants, aged between 49 and 67, were convicted of grievous bodily harm and jailed for between three and five years. The judge said each man was an upstanding member of the community both in the Bangladeshi and within the wider community and it was extraordinary that they found themselves before the courts.

Hindu pipe band and peace vigil for earthquake victims

A pipe band from the Swaminarayan Mandir in Deane, Bolton, marched through Bolton Town Centre to raise funds for the victims of the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. The band has become famous in its 20-year history, for a fusion of cultures, performing Indian and Western beats and music. A peace vigil was also held at the temple which sent five volunteers out to Turkey to help in rescue efforts. They told the Asian News that they saw high rise buildings reduced to rubble and worked in pairs to help the survivors. Last year the volunteers went to Poland to help people affected by the war in Ukraine.

Bessie Venters

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Decentralized finance to be examined at inaugural CFTC tech advisory meeting

Thu Mar 2 , 2023
The United States commodities regulator is set to take a close look at the decentralized finance space at an upcoming meeting of its tech committee, where it has also invited crypto industry executives to present. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on March 1 that the agenda for the March 22 […]
Decentralized finance to be examined at inaugural CFTC tech advisory meeting

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