News from Britain and Ireland

CATHOLIC teachers have criticised academically ranked league tables, claiming they fail to represent the good work that faith schools do with children from less privileged backgrounds.

THE LEADER of the Irish Church is hoping to establish a network of Catholic family support groups in dioceses and parishes in the run-up to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018.

AN INQUIRY has been launched into the murder of Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death while teaching at a Catholic college in Leeds in 2014, after her family claimed that the council withheld information about the attack, writes Liz Dodd.

SHREWSBURY Cathedral is to undergo a £750,000 renovation that has been part funded by the Government.

A Vatican diplomat this week met the British Government Minister with responsibility for the Middle East on the eve of a conference in London on Syria, writes Christopher Lamb.

A SERVING bishop is among a group of prominent Anglicans to launch a group to campaign for more rights for gay people within the Church.

A PROMINENT free-speech campaigner has claimed that recent legislation intended to stamp out football-related religious abuse has created a new sectarian divide in Scotland, writes Brian Morton.

AN APPEAL by the Christian-run bakery at the centre of a discrimination case over its refusal to bake a cake embellished with a pro-gay marriage slogan has been adjourned for three months, writes Rose Gamble.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS will be protected from vexatious complaints by humanist pressure groups under new government proposals.

CARDINAL Vincent Nichols (pictured right), is expected to urge Catholic secondary school leaders to join the fight against the radicalisation of young people by Islamic State (IS) through the internet, writes Paul Wilkinson.

ACADEMICS HAVE launched a study into how and why people convert to another religious or spiritual tradition, writes Paul Wilkinson.

DIOCESES ARE to be encouraged to provide thousands of pounds to support Syrian refugee families under a new private sponsorship scheme which the Government favours to handle the 20,000 Syrian refugees being admitted to the UK.

BRITONS will soon be able to revere a relic of St Thomas of Canterbury that has been kept in Hungary for the past 800 years, writes James Roberts.

Iain Duncan Smith has commiserated with a Catholic charity facing an unexpected VAT bill for £1 million, but said he is unable to intervene.

THE VATICAN Secretary of State for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, has weighed into the EU membership debate saying that Britain is “better in than out”, writes Megan Cornwell.

Christianity in Britain has reached a tipping point, with young people increasingly having no religious beliefs and feeling alienated from the Churches, Britain’s leading sociologist of religion has claimed.

The number of priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin is forecast to decline by 70 per cent by 2030, according to new research produced for the Council of Priests.

Bishop Patrick Lynch met this week with the government minister responsible for refugee resettlement to discuss the role the Church could play in the ongoing crisis.

The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh met with Pope Francis on Monday to update him on his work in the archdiocese in a discussion that included the topic of his predecessor, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was...

A relic of St Thomas Becket will arrive in Britain from Hungary later this year in a pilgrimage organised by the Hungarian Embassy, the Church of England and the Catholic Church, writes Elena Curti.

The Catholic Church has welcomed Anglican primates’ decision last week to avert schism in the Communion by temporarily excluding the US Episcopal Church.

Church Sunday schools could face inspection by Ofsted under proposed rules designed to eradicate the kind of extremist religious teaching exposed by the 2014 Birmingham Trojan Horse affair, according to the head of Ofsted, writes Paul Wilkinson.

A PRESSURE group intent on ending faith-based selection in state schools is responsible for a huge increase in the number of complaints referred to the Schools Adjudicator.

ATTENDANCE at Church of England services has fallen to a record low, according to figures published this week, as the Archbishop of Canterbury warned primates meeting in Canterbury of an emergent anti-Christian culture, write Rose Gamble and Stephen Bates.

Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia has announced a major restructuring of his archdiocese, writes Brian Morton.

A leading Catholic ethicist has warned that a new technique for growing human organs by implanting human-animal chimera embryos into mammals could create a part-human hybrid.

The Papal nuncio to Ireland has been strongly criticised by censured Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery (pictured), over his continued refusal to meet representatives of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), writes Sarah Mac Donald.

Tributes to David Bowie who died on Sunday have highlighted the power of his songs, his originality and his creativity. Here Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, finds evidence also of a struggle with faith

A GROUP of Roma refugees from the Czech Republic have been baptised as Anglicans after claiming they were turned away from their local Catholic church.

CATHOLIC teachers and charity heads were among those recognised in the New Year Honours list, writes Liz Dodd.

Visits to lonely and isolated people by volunteers from the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) saves the economy in England and Wales at least £11 million a year, according to research by the economic consultancy, Oxera, writes Paul Wilkinson.

BRITAIN’S cathedral choirs are facing a crisis as they battle stretched finances and problems recruiting and retaining young choristers.

Scotland's bishops have been accused of monumentally failing to reach out to the victims of abuse.

The Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) called on Britons to disarm extremists with love and to welcome refugees in his New Year’s Message.

The Catholic shrine at Walsingham in north Norfolk has been granted minor basilica status by Pope Francis, writes Rose Gamble.

Glimpses of Eden

07 January 2016 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The apple barrel stood in the corner of the garage. I switched on the torch and eased myself past the car and bikes towards it.

Lucky break

29 December 2015
Baroness (Karren) Brady of Knightsbridge, speaking on BBC1’s Fern Britton Meets…, spoke about her days as a boarder at The Faithful Companions of Jesus school near Ware in Hertfordshire.

THE BISHOPS’ Conference of England and Wales rejected calls to ordain married men and permit services of General Absolution during a private session of its November plenary meeting.

The parish priest of a church devastated in the Boxing Day floods has vowed that his community will rise again, write Joanna Moorhead and Rose Gamble.

Black, Asian and minority ethnic clergy are to be fast-tracked into senior positions within the Church of England.

Schools will not be forced to teach atheism and will highlight that Britain is mainly a Christian country, writes Rose Gamble.

Senior religious figures have condemned violence in the name of God and spoken of the threat to Christianity posed by so-called Islamic State (IS) in hard-hitting Christmas addresses.

THE BISHOP of Clifton, Declan Lang will next week lead a delegation of bishops from across the globe in a visit to Christian communities in Gaza, Bethlehem and refugees in Jordan, as part of the annual meeting of the Holy Land Coordination, writes Rose Gamble.

A CAMPAIGN to persuade the government to recognise Islamic State’s (IS) persecution of Christians as genocide is gaining momentum, according to Lord (David) Alton, the Catholic peer behind it.

THE PRINCE of Wales (pictured right) has warned that the future of Christianity is in jeopardy in the Middle East, writes Catherine Pepinster.

Catholic primaries are among the best-performing in England in the latest school league tables for achievement at Key Stage 2, write Rose Gamble and Liz Dodd.

BARONESS Warsi, a former Conservative Party chairwoman, has strongly criticised the Government’s counter-extremism policy as grounded in religious illiteracy, writes Liz Dodd.

Anxiety over public reaction to refugees Free

17 December 2015 | by Charlotte Whistlecroft & Abigail Frymann Rouch
The government is not saying when the 20,000 refugees Britain is taking in from Syria will arrive because it is worried about local reactions, according to the head of a group working to resettle them in the UK.

The Anglican Communion has followed the lead of the Vatican and withdrawn its support from the anti-slavery group, the Global Freedom Network (GFN) after the Pope’s representative signalled his uneasiness about the involvement of an Australian philanthropist, writes Paul Wilkinson.

A call for a national programme to eliminate child hunger during school holidays has been backed by CSAN, the Church’s social action network, writes Paul Wilkinson.

Enter into the spirit of mercy Free

17 December 2015 | by Vincent Nicols
To all staff and readers of The Tablet I send my Christmas greetings.

Why Christmas is as good as a chilled lager Free

17 December 2015 | by Leo Cushley
Which movie best captures the essence of Advent and the spirit of Christmas? Miracle on 34th Street? It’s a Wonderful Life? White Christmas? Well here is my suggestion: Ice Cold in Alex. Let me explain.

Bishops in Ireland have spoken of their concern over the increasing numbers of individuals and families registering themselves as homeless, writes Sarah Mac Donald.

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