This week’s edition

We lead this week with a call from Church leaders for the Government to abandon its policy of limiting benefits to the first two children. The bishops have joined with the End Poverty Coalition and the Child Poverty Action Group to criticize the policy which has now been in force for a year. Andrew Carey also comments on this in his column.


On a happier note, the Archbishop of Canterbury was presenting the Lambeth Awards this week, with the Bishop of Egypt among the recipients. And we report on the special service that was co-hosted by Westminster Abbey and Christian Aid to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.


Another anniversary that was marked this week was the Good Friday Agreement. You can read what Church leaders had to say about it on page 3 this week. And we report on the meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. Among the items being debated was the place of the Church’s contribution in the political world.


We report on page 3 of a renewed effort by the Government to inspect out-of-school settings, such as Sunday schools. Since we went to press, the Government has rowed back on this.


On our comment pages we reflect on the shocking rise in violence, particularly in London, in recent weeks. We argue that officials dismissing the role of Christianity may have helped contribute to the rise in lawlessness. And with Facebook at the centre of a storm of controversy, Alan Storkey asks if our democracy is under threat.


The Mothers’ Union reports on their contribution at the United Nations, while USPG reports on the growth of the Church in Sri Lanka. Peter Brierley looks at the figures on older churchgoers and suggests ways the Church can help involve them in parish life.


In our book reviews we look at the latest contribution from Alister McGrath, whose books are always to be valued. And Janey Lee Grace interviews a man who has opinions not just on education but on how we can all find the recipe for wellbeing.