CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

(Charcoal Records) Sometimes I wonder whether the really good Christmas albums – a rarity at any time – may have become so elusive that it is hardly worth trying to find them. Their pitfalls are many and well-known: cheesy remakes of American ‘50s crooners; reject songs buffed up with bells and seasonal lyrics; artists abandoning […]

Exploring the role of Christianity in our freedom

Exploring the role of Christianity in our freedom

Christianity and Freedom: Volume 1 — Historical Perspectives edited by Timothy Samuel Shah and Allen D Hertzke Cambridge University Press, £66, hb As the American Presidential election ends with forebodings of threats to religious freedom, this timely collection of 15 essays examines the contributions of pre-Reformation Christianity to the development of freedom (particularly religious freedom […]

A very British drama based on reality

A very British drama based on reality

By Revd Steve Parish In a year where overt racism has been a factor in western politics, A United Kingdom (cert. 12A) is a superb fictionalised telling of the true story of the heir to Bechuanaland’s throne marrying a white English woman. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star as the couple facing opposition from Britain […]

The campaigner who can’t stop talking about his faith

The campaigner who can’t stop talking about his faith

A Chat With Philip Baldwin “My Christianity is a never ending source of nourishment and I feel so enriched by faith,” he says. “I would like more gay men to experience the beauty of faith.” Philip Baldwin is certainly unusual, and a larger-than-life character. Young, Christian and gay. He knew his orientation when he was […]

Books for everyone

Books for everyone

A case can be made for arguing that Marcion, who tried to exclude the Hebrew Bible from the Christian scriptures, has triumphed in practice even though the Church rejected his arguments. Most clergy seem happier preaching on the New Testament Sunday readings than on the Old Testament. Companion to the Old Testament, edited by Hywel […]

CD Choice: Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

CD Choice:  Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

(Gingerbread Man Records) Keen to avoid fame, but respected by the cognoscenti in the music industry, Vance enjoys a career that works on his terms. That means a lot of live performances, but only a few albums over the last decade – which makes this one as special as it sounds. Vance doesn’t share his […]

Can JK Rowling pull off the magic again?

Can JK Rowling pull off the magic again?

By Rev Steve Parish Maybe there are no more Harry Potter stories, though I wouldn’t bank on it. Hogwarts spin-offs are certainly in the frame. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a book on Harry Potter’s reading list, and in 2001 it was published for charity as a book by JK Rowling, though […]

Celebrating the real nature of Anglicanism

Celebrating the real nature of Anglicanism

The Vocation of Anglicanism Paul Avis Bloomsbury, hb, £60.00   Paul Avis is a prolific and highly regarded theologian who from 1998 to 2011 served as General Secretary of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity. In his writing he has managed to combine ecumenical sensitivity with a readiness to defend Anglicanism. In this […]

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