Daily Media Digest Friday January 8

News from Primates 2016

The Roman Catholic Church has loaned the head of the pastoral staff associated with Pope Gregory – who sent Augustine on his historic mission to England in the 6th century – to Canterbury where Anglican Primates will gather next week.

The carved ivory head of the crosier will be placed in the Crypt at Canterbury Cathedral, where the Primates will be meeting privately to reflect and pray about the future of the Anglican Communion.

Pope Gregory sent Augustine on a mission to England in 597, a date which the English recognise in relation to the formal foundation of the church in England.

The ancient crosier head is venerated by the monks of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome as that of St Gregory, who was an abbot at the monastery prior to becoming Pope.

This loan is not only symbolic historically, but also spiritually. It is accompanied by the promise of the prayerful support from many in the Roman Catholic Church during this important week in the life of the Anglican Communion


Media coverage

Report that a Roman Catholic service is to be held in Hampton Court Palace’s chapel for the first time in nearly five centuries. Hampton Court was one of King Henry VIII’s favourite palaces and he worshipped in the then-Catholic Chapel Royal with Catherine of Aragon before his desire for a divorce saw him split with Rome and create the Church of England. Next month Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, will hold a Catholic service of vespers, sung mainly in Latin, for the first time since the 16th century, The Daily Telegraph reported. He will be joined by the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, the Anglican Bishop of London, for the service which is designed to celebrate the music played in the chapel.

A petition to be brought by Christian groups under the European Citizens’ Initiative scheme, that would allow individual countries to continue to offer same-sex marriages, but would protect those that do not from not having to give homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, has prompted a review of the initiative. Since 2012, the European Commission has to consider proposed changes to EU law if campaigners collect one million signatures from across at least seven member states. Previous petitions include one asking the EU to phase out animal testing, which attracted 1.2million signatures, and one to stop EU money being used to fund abortions or medical research that uses embryos, which got 1.7million signatures.
St Peter's Church of England Primary in Bristol has been named the UK's Literacy School of the Year. Headteacher Livvy Sinclair-Gieben said the "recognition meant a lot" and it "felt very prestigious".  Assessors said they had been "impressed" by the staff who ensured no child "slipped through the net". The school, rated by Ofsted as outstanding, is located in Bishopsworth, an area with high social deprivation, and has almost 400 pupils.
Letter speaking up for excellence in choral music in parish churches, noting it is down to hard-working, musicians and teachers that bring a musical dimension to worship, ‘Choristers come and go but many will go on to develop their musical talents and, despite lack of funding, churches and cathedrals will hang on to these traditions’.

Giles Fraser examines the announcement made in October last year of the settlement of a legal civil claim concerning allegations of sexual abuse against George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958.
These date from the late 1940s and early 1950s and concern allegations of sexual offences against an individual who was at the time a young child.

Feature on the future of Christianity  and Anglicanism in Britain, which cites King’s Cross Church (KXC)  in central London as an example of growth. The article quotes Nick Spencer, of Theos think tank, Prof Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University and Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson.

Fin Times
Letters – further to David Cameron’s comments about the UK being a Christian country and contrary comment letter contends that our culture, art, literature, law, politics and ethical thought flow from ideas that find origin in Christian texts and traditions, ‘one does not have to even believe in a deity to know that the King James Bible had a profound and lasting effect on the use of our mother tongue in literature.’
And finally...
Northern Echo
Report on Gateshead priest Rev John Barron, who is to appear as a contestant on The BBC's Voice programme



CofE Comms: Out of poverty, they make us richer 

threads: Your faith as a masterpiece

Copyright © 2016 The Church Of England, All rights reserved.