This week’s edition

We lead this week with a looming row over rules for the Confessional. The Diocese of Canterbury has issued new guidance, essentially meaning that priests hearing a confession will have to report claims of abuse. However, critics have said that the seal of the Confessional is sacrosanct. They have other concerns too. Find out more on the front page. And read Andrew Carey’s view in his column.


We have our own ‘Gay Cake’ row here in the UK, but a similar battle is being fought out in America. In a Supreme Court ruling, a Christian who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple had his right to freedom of expression upheld.


The Church of England, together with the Roman Catholic Church, has launched an app to help identify cases of human trafficking in car washes. We also report on the service of commemoration marking the first anniversary of the London Bridge attack. And a new report highlights the contribution of faith groups after the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower.


A Deanery in Manchester is believed to be the first in the country where all the parishes have designated themselves ‘Inclusive Churches’. Could this be the start of a nationwide trend?


We also hear from the Rev Andrew Ashdown, who led the recent controversial trip to Syria by Church leaders and parliamentarians. And the Church in Brazil has voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriages in church.


The subject of the Trinity is often one that confounds theologians, but this week Peter Mullen argues that the doctrine is actually at the heart of Western civilization. In our leader column we reflect on the recent debates over abortion. Marion Shoard, who has recently published a book on getting ready for later life, has compiled a list of the top 10 things church leaders need to be aware of to help their congregations.


Peter Brierley reports on the place of Muslims in Europe today and the Mothers’ Union reports on their new campaign that is being launched this summer. Hope UK also report on their new resources for the Talking Jesus campaign. It launches tomorrow and will be a great help to Christians everywhere.