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In the News

  • Nigel and Sally Rowe said it was a major concern that led them to take their two sons of out of a Church of England primary school in the Diocese of Portsmouth and home-school them instead.

  • A couple are to challenge a Church of England primary’s transgender policy after removing their sons in protest.

  • Earlier this week, almost a quarter of backbench Conservative MPs put their name to a Manifesto to Strengthen Families and called on the prime minister to back the family as she plots a new social reform narrative to define her government as more than one long Brexit negotiation. In producing a comprehensive list of policy ideas to strengthen families, backbenchers in the Conservative Party have given the prime minister a much needed policy platform to help families growing up in our poorest areas.

  • A vote on legalising same-sex marriage in Australia will proceed after a court dismissed two legal challenges.The non-binding survey to gauge support for changing Australia's Marriage Act is due to begin next week. The High Court of Australia dismissed separate objections by same-sex marriage advocates, who had argued the postal vote was invalid.

  • Two very different articles about church decline catch my eye this week. First, Ruth Gledhill in Christian Today interprets the latest figures from the British Social Attitudes survey. Headlining with “massive collapse in numbers of Anglicans”, Gledhill highlights the main finding of the survey, that 53% of Brits now describe themselves as having no religion – the highest such figure ever – while only 15% describe themselves as Anglican or C of E, down from 30% in 2000. All of the other figures she selects are quite simply apocalyptic, for example 70% of 18-24 year olds have no religion. Bishop Paul Bayes of Liverpool is quoted being as positive as he can, suggesting that ‘no religion’ might mean a continued openness to God rather than a decision for atheism, and that the church can show the relevance of faith by making “a bigger difference” in society. The humanists of course are delighted, seeing the figures as evidence that state partnership with churches – for example in education – should be ended...

  • A 'Christian' girl who was placed with Muslim foster carers earlier this year may end up living abroad with her grandmother, a judge has said.

    The five year old, whose case has made headlines this week, could be allowed to live on a long-term basis with her mother's mother after being withdrawn from foster care.

    Judge Khatun Sapnara from East London Family Court said on Wednesday that social services staff at Tower Hamlets council considered the women a suitable carer. She wants to return to her country of origin.

    Read more.

  • Students, including those with pro-life values, feel increasingly limited in what they can and cannot about speak about on campus, according to an atheist commentator.

    Brendan O'Neill made the comments in a wide-ranging article for the Spectator magazine – in which he also slammed student groups for resembling "factories of conformism".

    O'Neill said freedom of speech and liberty was under threat as universities "socialise youths to think censorship is good and other people's opinions are bad".

    Read more.

  • A major new survey of recent research relating to the use of religious selection in faith school admissions has failed to identify any evidence supporting the Government's proposed move to end limits on religious selection by free schools.

    The report, published by the Fair Admissions Campaign, sets out the full range of evidence, information, and research on religious selection in schools admissions. Drawing on data and analysis from the last 15 years, the study explores the impact that religious discrimination in school admissions has had and continues to have on key issues such as social integration, community cohesion, pupil attainment, parental choice, and equality.

    Read more.

  • More than 150 senior evangelical leaders have released a landmark manifesto declaring their robust conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman.

    Titled the 'Nashville Statement', the document reaffirms conservative Christian teaching that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful and that it is 'sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.'

    The staunch list of articles not only restates traditionalist teaching but also criticises those who do not actively speak against homosexuality.

    Read more.

  • The children's rights watchdog is to investigate reports that a five-year-old Christian girl was left distressed after being placed in foster care in two Muslim households in east London.

    The office of the children's commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, confirmed it would be contacting Tower Hamlets council to find out why the decision was made. The child has reportedly been in the care of a Muslim family for the past six months.

    The Times published an article on Monday after seeing confidential local authority reports, in which a social services supervisor describes the child sobbing and begging not to be returned to one foster carer because "they don't speak English".

    Read more.


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