We lead this week with new divisions over the question of abuse in churches. Last month an Oxford cleric was found guilty of the charge of spiritual abuse, and there are calls on the Government to formally recognize this phenomenon. However, the Evangelical Alliance has now issued a statement saying the term is ‘problematic and unhelpful’.
And we feature the new Bishop of Ripon on the front page. Coming from Waikato in New Zealand (although she was born in England), her welcome service featured a Maori presentation.
Inside we report on the response from conservative evangelicals over comments made by the Chief Inspector of Education. And we look at the latest document approved by the Church of England Evangelical Council. They want the term ‘visible differentiation’ to be on the lips of fellow evangelicals.
A new survey from Church Urban Fund has found that only half of Anglican clergy think that fighting poverty is an important priority for their parishes. We also report on the opinion of Lord Carlile on the latest developments on the Bishop George Bell case and we pay tribute to Bishop John Bickersteth, who has died aged 96.
In world news, there have been calls for prayer as violence in the Congo continues to rage, we welcome Brazil’s first female bishop and a new boost to funds for green finance loans.
That subject of ‘visible differentiation’ is addressed by Andrew Symes on our leader page this week while we have a major feature from two priests – twins – on the experience of Black Christians in the Church of England. Has much changed since the arrival of the Empire Windrush 70 years ago?
We also report on a lecture given in Oxford recently by the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olesegun Obasanjo. Not only did he talk about his own profound faith, but he set out a road map for future African leaders.