We lead this week with the new Church guidance on welcoming transgender people. To be incorporated into Common Worship, the bishop who oversaw the new guidance, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said that it was ‘rooted in scripture’.
And inside we report on two new surveys. One is being undertaken by the Ozanne Foundation and backed by interfaith leaders, that aims to examine the role religious belief has on people’s understanding of their sexual orientation. And Christians in Parliament is running a survey to find out how comfortable Christians feel about sharing their faith. They hope that the findings might influence Government policy.
As the nation watched events in Westminster this week, Church leaders offered their support for the Prime Minister, but a vigil led by the Archbishop of York was overtaken by events as the planned ‘Meaningful Vote’ on the Brexit agreement was postponed.
And we report on the service at Westminster Abbey that was addressed by the Prince of Wales. It was focusing on the persecution faced by Christians in the Middle East. The Prince said they were ‘an inspiration to us all’.
We also report on the latest developments at the Cop 24 climate change summit in Poland, a window of opportunity for Traidcraft and a warning on anti-Semitism.
On our feature pages Ross Hendry responds to comments made by the Children’s Commissioner while our leader column reflects on the importance of the Gospel message to reviving social justice.
We meet Guvna B, the Christian rap singer, who talks about his faith and work. His latest production, in conjunction with the Kingdom Choir, who found fame at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, is out this week.
Andrew Carey questions whether Church statements about Brexit could be putting the Church of England in a difficult place, while Steve Morris is inspired by the natural world. Peter Brierley examines the data on the number of men in church while Steve Parish reviews the new (and last?) film from Robert Redford. And as the festive season gets into full swing, Janey Lee Grace suggests that a new trend could be ‘meaningful drinking’. Find out more on the back page this week.