Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A non-religious civil funeral ceremony

Wrexham Council have appointed and trained a council official to arrange and officiate at funerals where deceased or their family want to have a service but do not want to use either a minister of religion or a humanist as officiant.

Read about it here

Saturday, 10 July 2010

A Spiritual Capital approach to values

Although a philosophical rather than a religious approach is taken, American hotelier Chip Conley speaks on Ted.com about reappraising what we value and how we go about valuing things that matter to us most, and its an approach that may well give religious leaders something to think about.

Watch his lecture here

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A Common Voice celebration

Cardiff City Hall last night hosted a dinner to mark the tenth anniversary of top level Muslim and Christian regional leadership in dialogue, with guests from the Welsh Assembly and the City Council. There's a press release here describing the occasion.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Archbishop Peter Smith on the social aim of faith

Former Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith was enthroned yesterday in Southwark Roman Catholic Cathedral at the heart of Britain's capital city.

His sermon contained this concise and pertinent account of the role of faith in society.

“The historic, present, and future value of religion to the secular and spiritual life of the country has come under increasing criticism, and is often summarily dismissed as irrelevant and even dangerous… However, the reality is that the Church is not a threat to the legitimate independence and proper role of the secular State ... The ambition of the Church is to see every person flourish and achieve his or her full potential, irrespective of race, religion, colour or creed ...the Church has a clear vision of what religion and faith can offer to a confused and fragmented society and world.”

Faith groups have lost the simple confidence of a large proportion of the population, and all are now faced, together or individually, with earning public trust in the genuineness of this intent.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Archbishop's move

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff has been appointed by the Pope to be the next Archbishop of Southwark after eight and a half years here in Wales. For him it will be a return to the area in which he was born to become one of the Capital's senior faith community leaders. He will be enthroned this coming 10th June.

Read about it here

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Secular Society to protest during Pope's visit

The National Secular Society has launched and on-line petition as part of a campaign of protest against Pope Benedict's state visit.

This had been stimulated by the Pope's recent outspoken comments on the UK Equalities legislation.

Read about it here

Full coverage of responses to papal remarks are to be found on the Thinking Anglicans blog postings for Feb 1st,

Monday, 1 February 2010

Pope criticises UK Equalities legislation

Pope Benedict speaks out about the impact on Catholics of the UK government's Equalities legislation. Controversy and contention surrounding his forthcoming visit is now guaranteed.

Read about it here

Friday, 8 January 2010

Inter-religious ignorance in KL

Here's a news report illustrating what can happen in a multi-faith and multi-religious society if government is pressured not to be even handed and require of all faith groups an appropriate measure of mutual understanding, respect and tolerance. Similar issues can arise, no matter what religious majority predominates.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

UK Government appoints panel of faith experts

The UK government has appointed a panel of thirteen representative from faith communities, to act as a sounding board on effective engagement with faith communities. The press release is here

There is already a Faith Communities Consultative Council, but it appears that Minister John Denham is looking for a range of expert advisors. He says:

"This new panel brings together an unprecedented wealth of knowledge and experience that will help advise on the big issues facing society such as the economy, parenting, achieving social justice and tackling climate change."

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A prophetic figure in troubled times

Cardinal Cahal Daley who died last week was an important public figure in Northern Ireland at the time of the Troubles. He was a passionate, outspoken advocate of non-violent reconciliation, unafraid of controversy. His life is celebrated in this account of his funeral today.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Civil society and religion in dialogue

The European Union's Lisbon treaty provided for "open transparent and regular dialogue with churches, religious associations and secular groups as part of the consultative processes at work within the life of the EU. This recognises the evolving role of religion in the diverse multi-cultural nature of the European population today. The same can also be said about developments in UK government policies of the past decade.

The growth of secular idealism envisaged the decline of religion as a major influence in the public domain and its retreat into the personal and domestic realm. The influx of Muslims into all the countries of the EU, sharing with Christians an understanding of the importance of citizenship in the life of faith, has led to a policy re-think, in the light of a desire to develop a more inclusive society, resistant to intolerance and internal conflict.

Reuters has posted a useful introductory article here

Friday, 1 January 2010

Archbishop Rowan's New Year message

The Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on a decade of global crises and suffering, speaks about the need for global solidarity.

Read about it here

Find the video and the text here