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Thursday, 21 September 2023


Hand washing in the Repair Shop                                         Source: BBC TV

As a long term admirer of the skills demonstrated in the BBC TV series, the Repair Shop, I was taken aback by the first item in last night's episode when a requested repair was made conditional upon the handlers first washing their hands and working in a clean space.

The challenge was for the team to 'fix a 100-year-old handwritten Qur’an passed down four generations of women'. 

A woman of Kashmir descent living in Newport, South Wales, made the handwashing stipulation before leaving the book for repair with those regarded in Islam as infidels.

It is understandable that the book can be regarded as sacred by the family but for others the content of the book however beautifully crafted results in persecution and misery for others.

Aid to the Church in Need is reporting that a mass exodus threatens Christianity in Syria and Lebanon while concerns grow over rising attacks against Christian sites in Israel .

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (1948) guarantees freedom of religion for all yet The Jerusalem Post reports that 'Dozens of incidents, ranging from spitting to vandalism to assault, have been committed by extremist Jews against Christians and their sites this year.'

According to Aid to the Church in Need "Christianity is facing an 'existential threat' in parts of the Middle East, where communities have dwindled to mere shadows of their former selves... Nearly 75 years on from the creation of the state of Israel, Christians in the West Bank have declined from 18 per cent to less than one per cent; and, in Syria, the number of Christians has plummeted from ten per cent in 2011 — before the war began — to less than two per cent."

Meanwhile others, including the Church of England and the Church in Wales, affirm Islam as if it were another religion of love and forgiveness.

There is handwashing and there is handwashing.


Archbishop of Canterbury hosts hardline Islamists for tea and cake:

Interfaith event included Iran ayatollah’s former UK envoy and mosque chief who exalted terrorist as a ‘holy warrior’

[23.09.2023] ‘Destruction’ of ethnic Armenians is imminent, experts warn:

"The 'destruction' of an enclave of 120,000 Armenian Christians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is imminent, warns Siobhan Nash-Marshall, a U.S.-based human rights advocate..."

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

More 'firsts' for the Church in Wales

The John/Starkey wedding, Bangor 2021      Source: Facebook

From Church in Wales Provincial news: 'Archbishop of Wales announces historic appointments at Cathedral':

"The Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, has announced the appointment of five distinguished individuals to serve as Honorary Canons at Saint Deiniol's Cathedral in Bangor. These appointments mark significant milestones in the Church in Wales, as they encompass a range of 'firsts' ."

Among the firsts is the second Mrs Andrew John, the Rev Naomi Starkey, who has been appointed one of three foundation canons who will be members of the Cathedral Chapter.

Another first is author Fr Jarel Robinson-Brown who becomes "the first gay, black Canon to serve in a Church in Wales Cathedral, a pioneering moment that highlights its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Father Jarel, who will become Canon Preacher, holds joint British and Jamaican citizenship and is a much sought after preacher, having spoken recently at St Paul’s Cathedral, Yale Divinity School, and Oxford, Cambridge and Durham Universities. He is also co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Christian Charity OneBodyOneFaith."

Among previous Church in Wales firsts are the first transgender priest and the first same-sex partnered lesbian bishop.

Monday, 11 September 2023

The World's Greatest Classical Music Festival

Soprano Lise Davidsen and conductor Marin Alsop receive the audience's applause at the last night of the Proms 2023                                           Source: BBC


The Proms 2023 reached its rousing conclusion on Saturday night. There was the usual selection of music but comparatively little televised. 

For me the highlight of the season was Sir Simon Rattle’s final UK performance as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra when he conducted Mahler’s valedictory ninth symphony. Poignant indeed, especially so for those of us who recall a young Simon Rattle setting out on his long and distinguished conducting career.

TV coverage was mainly confined to Friday and Sunday evenings, unlike the interminable coverage of soccer and cricket matches followed by endless analysis and punditry.

A curious aspect of their TV coverage was the inability of BBC to schedule performances in advance. The much anticipated televising of the National Youth Orchestra was not published until the last moment while Mahler's ninth was unexpectedly slotted in mid-week.  

One would have thought that the "greatest classical music festival" would have enjoyed far greater TV coverage but culture is not a word the BBC TV sits easily with as they concentrate on appealing to the masses.

On that score (no pun intended), wokery dominated the Last Night. The conductor, Marin Alsop proclaimed from the podium: "Tonight, marks the tenth anniversary of the day I became the first woman to conduct the Last Night Of the Proms. Which apparently is worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records!" 

She was aided in a feminist double act by Sandi Toksvig in the commentary box who continued the theme of female oppression with no sign of discomfort that all three in commentary box were women along with the conductor and soprano soloist.

The biggest cheer and prolonged applause was reserved for the BBC Singers , recently saved from oblivion after protest.

Perhaps another protest is due before the Proms share the fate of Christian programmes which been gradually shunted out of the main TV schedules.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

We are still a Christian country despite claims to the contrary

Anglican clergy                                                                                                                                                      Source: News

Yes, we are a Christian country despite claims to the contrary following a poll by The Times which suggested that "three quarters of Church of England priests say Britain can no longer be described as a Christian country".

The story had wide coverage from Daily mail to The Christian Post among many others. The latest article comes from News which claims to provide 'information and analysis on the life of the Church'.

Their analysis gives rise to the false claim that "The clergy of the Communion of Anglican Churches in England are overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of completely ignoring biblical teaching on sexual morality. This is what emerges from a large-scale poll carried out by the London newspaper The Times, the results of which were published on August 29, 2023.

"The last similar poll was in 2014. The current poll shows a significant shift in opinion among English clergy regarding sexual morality over the past 10 years. The Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, told The Times the survey showed pastors faced the same problems as society as a whole."

But hang on a minute. The Times sent their questionnaire to 5,000 Church of England clergy of whom only 1,200 responded. 

The responders then became the sample giving rise to the misleading claims which have been appearing in the media as fact. 

The Rev Dr Ian Paul gives a detailed account of the 'survey' in his blog Psephizo while psephologist the Rev Peter Ould says "Anecdotally I've heard lots of clergy who refused to do the survey because they weren't sure whether results would be used against them personally, or they thought questions were biased." A sad reflection on the state of the Church of England today,

Meanwhile Jacob Rees-Mogg blasts a ‘defeatist’ Church of England amid 'Christianity failures'.

Sunday, 27 August 2023

Church in Wales: Managed decline?

GB voting                                                                       Source: Church in Wales

 The Governing Body of the Church in Wales meets in September 2023.

From the Annual Report and Accounts 2022 of the Representative Body [Session 2, Agendum 9]:

Risk Management Policy

"3. Accelerated decline in church attendance

"The continuation of declining attendance and an increasing age profile would result in declining financial income for dioceses: this would lead to an inability to present established patterns of ministry to the whole of Wales. The Representative Body endeavours to maintain the highest financial support to dioceses possible. Also, a renewed focus on mission and evangelism, including additional financial resources being made available, aims to stimulate church growth."

"The distribution of more than £137m to churches across Wales will be discussed at a key meeting of Church in Wales members next month.

"The money is being released from historic reserves over the next decade to help churches grow and serve their communities more effectively. Investment will be made in development of new ministries and initiatives, as well as in strengthening existing work."

'New ministries and initiatives'! No doubt awaited with eager anticipation. 

Friday, 18 August 2023

Religion of peace remains silent on violence against Christians

The aftermath of an arson attack in Jaranwala                          Source: ACNUK

Aid to the Church in Need reports: "Mass exodus as mob burns churches and homes in Pakistan. Mosques incited violence, causing a sense of terror and uncertainty among Christians.

"Up to 15 church buildings have been attacked and hundreds of Christian homes destroyed after extremists went on the rampage in Pakistan."

The response reported by Reuters: "Pakistani police arrest two Christians accused of blasphemy."

I have yet to hear any condemnation of these attacks on innocent people and their property, in particular from the Swansea Mosque and Community Centre which recently received a Community Cohesion grant of £300k from the Welsh Government.

The Welsh First Minister has since instructed his Ministers to find £900m cuts in public services

Some cohesion!



In Pakistan Muslims are now desecrating the graves of Christians.

In Nigeria Killings of Christians ‘going on and on’, with no arrests made.

"The world is refusing to help those who are being persecuted." More here.


Community Cohesion! 

Muslim harasses elderly Christian, tries to provoke a confrontation but it is worse in Muslim majority countries while critics of this sort of behaviour are accused of Islamophobia!


"Pakistan's Jaranwala violence: Gov't must root out cause of anti-Christian attacks" - A Pakistani Christian living in Australia writes: "History tells us that in a few weeks, the media will forget about this incident, the Pakistani government will forget its promises, the money allocated for the persecuted Christians' support will magically vanish, and these hapless people whose lives have been turned upside down will all be forgotten.  Little by little, on their own, they will start to rebuild their lives in the hopes of a better future – somewhere, somehow."


Kidnappings and Murders of Christians Escalate in Nigeria’s Extremist Crisis

Friday, 11 August 2023