From the editor's desk

Milestone on the road

11 February 2016
A line from the Salve Regina – “after this our exile” – took on particularly poignant meaning for Catholics who heard it sung at Vespers in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday night. For it was the first time in 450 years a Catholic service had been held there.

Really making prison work

11 February 2016
How society treats those who break its basic rules is a litmus test for how genuinely civilised it is, a test that the British prison system has consistently failed to pass over many decades. Hence the newly announced government initiatives over prison reform, especially concerning young offenders, are as surprising as they are welcome.


The film Spotlight has just opened in many countries. It is one of the angriest films you will ever see.

One in six of all violent incidents reported to the police concerns domestic violence – an attack by someone with whom the person concerned is in a close relationship. It accounts for a third of all murders where the victim is female.

View from Rome

11 February 2016 | by Christopher Lamb
It looks bad. An outspoken abuse survivor and victims’ advocate leaves the Vatican’s child safeguarding commission. Peter Saunders, the founder of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, had been growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of change.

Glimpses of Eden

11 February 2016 | by Jonathan Tulloch
It was a long time before I realised the visitor was a goldcrest. For weeks I’d caught glimpses of a tiny, drab, olive-coloured bird in the garden. Shooting in under the cherry tree, feeding frenetically but briefly on the fat balls, materialising suddenly on the bird table before vanishing again.

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