Religion news 29 October 2021

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Faith groups should take action with others on climate change – not rely on COP 26

COP 26, the UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow from this weekend, was never going to achieve the “messianic and apocalyptic expectations” put upon it, according to Martin Palmer, CEO of Faith Invest, theologian and life long environmental campaigner.  At a Religion Media Centre briefing, he said faith groups would have no impact on the summit, as deals are being brokered behind the scenes. Instead, they should form an alternative civic society and take action despite being ignored, for example in investing funds to create a sustainable planet. Other speakers involved in climate change campaigns for the poor and vulnerable victims of extreme weather, said the summit was the chance to build a movement for justice and lobbying was still an important task. Reports soon on our website and you tube channel

CofE route map for net zero carbon by 2030

The Church of England is to consult dioceses, cathedrals, national institutions, parishes, schools, and other interested parties on a proposed routemap to achieve net zero carbon by 2030.  The draft routemap is published among papers for the General Synod, the church’s parliament, which meets on 16 November. It makes recommendations for building maintenance, heating and the availability of specialist advice. Further details here

Former Archdeacon vows her daughters’ killer will never be released

The man who stabbed to death two sisters, daughters of a Church of England  archdeacon, has been jailed for 35 years. Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were attacked in a London park after a birthday celebration. The murderer, Danyal Hussein, now 19, believed he had made a pact with demonic forces to kill women every six months in exchange for a future lottery win. The sisters’ mother, Mina Smallman, was the Church of England’s first female archdeacon from a black or minority ethnic background. After the sentencing, she said justice had been done and she vowed that she would not let the murderer be released.

Church suggests six values for social care

The Church of England has launched a consultation on six values that should underpin social care. The Archbishops’ Commission on Reimagining Care will offer recommendations to the government and wider society in a report to be published in September 2022. The values are: Flourishing; Loving Kindness; Empathy; Trust and Mutuality; Universal and Inclusive; Fairness and Justice. Details here

Another Muslim organisation shut down in France

The French authorities have closed down The Coordination against Racism and Islamophobia  accusing it of hatred, violence, intimidation and working actively to cultivate the suspicion of Islamophobia within French society.  It is also accused of having an anti-Zionist ideology. The CRI said it has never supported or promoted terrorism, hatred or violence. The arguments are fallacious and it will appeal.

Samhain circle to heal anger at US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan

The festival of Samhain is being celebrated this weekend, observed in the Pagan and Wicca traditions, marking the end of the summer, the veneration of ancestors and for some the start of the Celtic year. In the United States, Wicca is included in the military chaplains handbook and gatherings are said to have been held at various military bases, including in Afghanistan. This weekend in Fort Bragg military base, north Carolina, the Sun Chronicle in Massachusetts reports that a Wicca pastor will hold a Samhain ceremony hoping to bring peace and healing to families of thousands of US servicemen based there, who were sent to Afghanistan and who now feel anger at the US withdrawal.

Creating Connections: sign up in Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth and Birmingham

The Religion Media Centre has launched a project this autumn to enhance religious literacy and understanding in a landscape often fraught with misconceptions and assumptions on both sides. Creating Connections, where Religion meets the Media features a series of events to improve links between religious groups and journalists in England. They are an opportunity to explore the way religion and worldviews are interwoven into community life and it is hoped that key stories on religion and belief will be brought to life and lasting contacts for the future will be made. Reserve a place using the links below. All events take place in the afternoon. The Leeds event was last week. Here are the next four:


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