This week’s edition

We lead this week with a clergy backlash to a letter from the Bishops of the Oxford Diocese to all clergy there stressing the importance of inclusion. Over 100 clergy have now questioned whether the bishops’ stance is compatible with Scripture.

 

And also on the front page we report on the forthcoming launch of ‘Red Letter Christians’, the US movement that focuses on the words of Jesus, often printed in red letters in some versions of the Bible. They believe that although the situation is different in the UK, there is still a need for the movement here.

 

The Government this week launched its 10-year plan for the NHS, and it has been welcomed by Christian charities. We also report on the new safeguarding guidance from the Church, the death of Benny Hazlehurst and a multi-million pound refurbishment for the church that was the centre of the charismatic renewal in the Church of England.

 

York Diocese is encouraging its parishes to help families affected by poverty, the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome has resigned after claims of sexual misconduct and church leaders have attacked the immigration plans unveiled by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

 

On our comment pages we look at the facts behind recent advice on young people and screen time; Alan Storkey suggests we should all be ‘non-conformists’ and Peter Brierley looks at the changing trends in cremation in England.

 

Andrew Symes pays tribute to the witness of Christians around the world while Andrew Carey rounds up some of the events over the Christmas break. One of those developments was the announcement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of a review into the persecution of Christians worldwide. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali writes this week, saying it is a much-needed development. And also this week Paul Richardson reviews an important new book on the evangelical world.