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Sunday, 25 January 2015

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Wake up councillor, the church is finally becoming relevant

The Bishop of Carlisle is one of many leading churchmen calling for a major rethink on government welfare reforms.

James Newcome photo
James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle

The Rt Rev James Newcome was one of 43 Church of England bishops to sign a letter to The Sunday Telegraph saying proposed benefit cuts would have a “deeply disproportionate” impact on children, pushing 200,000 youngsters into poverty.

The bishops’ expression of concern has drawn a stinging response from one of Cumbria’s senior Conservative politicians.

Councillor James Airey, who sits on Cumbria County Council’s ruling cabinet, said on Twitter: “I wish the bishops would keep their left-wing nonsense to themselves. No wonder the Church has become so unpopular and irrelevant.”

Funny how one simple statement can produce two entirely opposing responses.

Suddenly the Anglican Church is looking absolutely relevant to me. All that humiliation centred on rejection of women bishops, dismissal of same sex marriage – shunning the deeply held views of a large proportion of its congregation – looked likely to doom the Church to absolute irrelevance.

And having been told off in no uncertain terms by a correspondent, one Mr Robert Smith, after calling Cardinal Keith O’Brien a hypocrite for condemning homosexuality and failing to own up to his sexual activity with young priests for 30 years – until he was exposed by a national newspaper, in fact – I hesitate a little before putting more of my fillings in.

But no, I can’t resist. Isn’t the real purpose of any Church rooted in care and concern for children, the poor, the vulnerable and disenfranchised?

And aren’t all Churches founded on the simple, inconvenient teachings of one man who made it his business never to keep such “nonsense” to himself; always to prick the consciences of politicians?

Now, that’s what I call relevance.

Have your say

Wake up anne, the church is irrelevant to most folk round here

Posted by Tony Lopez on 5 April 2013 at 13:49

...always to prick the consciences of politicians?" ...Too presumptious in assuming they have one!

Posted by Colin Wales on 1 April 2013 at 22:01

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Will cigarettes in plain packaging stop you smoking?

No. Hiding them from sight in shops hasn't, so why would it?

It might make me think about it. But no promises.

Yes and it will deter youngsters from starting.

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