This week’s edition

We lead this week with the new commitment from the Church to take the Gospel to urban estates. Bishop Philip North said that the Church in recent years has seemed complicit in making people living there feel marginalized, but that is all about to change.


Also this week we report on the retirement of the Archbishop of York, but it won’t happen until just before the Lambeth Conference. Archbishop Sentamu has been given permission by the Queen to continue in his ministry for a year past his 70th birthday, but making the announcement now will allow a successor to be in place for the once-in-a-decade conference.


Your views are being requested on a new document aimed at securing the health and well being of the clergy. Dubbed a church version of the Military Covenant, it will place duties and responsibilities on clergy as well as congregations.


In other news we mark the diamond jubilee of Cranmer Hall, a new church opens on a barge and the church that has been closed since it was bombed in World War Two finally reopens.


Prayers are being requested alongside the aid needed after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, and the Church as well as aid groups are rushing to help. We also report on the numbers of people who believe that miracles are still possible today and a pressure group has sought to reassure doubters over the Government’s no-fault divorce plans.


On our comment pages we reflect on the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in America, Peter Mullen questions the dictum that the Church is ‘counter-cultural’ and we hear about new resources churches can use in the run-up to Christmas.


Robert Song writes about a major conference planned in December that will explore the science of sexuality and Jody Stowell writes on the recent row over the gender of God, a subject that is also addressed on the letters page.


In our book reviews we feature an important new work on the nature of the Bible’s inspiration while Steve Parish reviews the new film The Wife. And Janey Lee Grace says it is time we were all good to our feet.