Religion news 15 November 2022

Image credit: Piotr Siedlecki public domain

Faith groups urged to invest in projects to tackle climate change

Global faith organisations are being encouraged to invest in large-scale projects to tackle climate change, in an initiative from FaithInvest and Climate Investment Funds. They say faith groups have billions of dollars invested in the global stock markets and that this fund will enable them to invest in projects such as providing saline-tolerant seeds and climate smart technologies in flood risk Bangladesh, or creating sustainable forestry initiatives in Ghana. FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer said faith groups can turn the market towards a sustainable world and away from climate and biodiversity disaster, by taking up “the challenge of putting their money where their mouths are!”. The initiative will be formally launched tomorrow (Wednesday) at Cop27.

Ampleforth College gets the all clear from Ofsted

Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, which in the last four years has dealt with historic cases of sex abuse and was at one stage banned from new admissions, has finally won a positive report by Ofsted. The college, known as the Catholic Eton, fought back after an “inadequate” rating by an Ofsted inspection in March. The Telegraph reports that the College has posted a statement on the latest Ofsted report conducted last month, saying it has now met all required standards. Telegraph report here

Women face “institutionalised discrimination” in CofE

The Rev Martine Oborne, the new chair of Watch (Women and the Church) which campaigns for gender equality, has told the Guardian that the Church of England is still discriminating against women 30 years after allowing them to become priests. She said female clergy face “institutionalised discrimination”. Churches can refuse to accept them as priests or bishops,  and she says female clergy are less likely to be in charge of large urban churches, and more likely to “end up in assistant vicar roles or running multiple small churches in rural parishes”. Guardian story here >>

Almost half the population in England  have contact with the CofE

A poll for the Church of England suggests that almost half the population (46 per cent) has had contact with their local church for weddings, baptisms, funerals, worship and carol services. One third of this number also contact the church through community services such as parent toddler groups, lunch clubs and food banks.  The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, who speaks for the bishops in the House of Lords on welfare issues, said this showed the extent to which the church is providing not just spiritual and pastoral support but practical help to communities and he anticipates those services will come under increasing pressure this winter. The poll was by Savanta ComRes. Story is here >>

Interfaith week a reminder of importance of religious literacy

Inter Faith Week is underway in Britain, a time when faith groups organise events to strengthen inter faith relations, increase awareness of the variety of faith communities and their contribution to society and to increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby,  tweeted that the week is a reminder  of the vital importance of religious literacy helping people “live together well across difference”.

White evangelicals’ vote on abortion swayed US elections

The Associated Press has undertaken a survey into the abortion vote in the Michigan and Kentucky mid term elections, which found two-thirds of white evangelical voters in both states voted against protecting abortion access, but the Catholic vote was split evenly. The results are from AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 94,000 voters across the country.

Drone project to protect European Jewish cemeteries launched in Kyiv

Jewish News reports an EU heritage initiative to fly drones over 3,000 Jewish cemeteries  in Ukraine, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, and Slovakia, after concern that 44 per cent need urgent protection. A meeting to launch the initiative takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine, this week organised by the ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative. The report says Ukraine once hosted the largest number of Jewish communities in the world before the Holocaust.


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