Sunday morning religious news and current affairs programme presented by Edward Stourton.
Plague Carving; The Archbishop of Capetown and Latest Anglican Church Investigation
At the height of the English Civil War, the City of Chester was not only scarred by battle, it was also devastated by plague. One house, at 9, Watergate Street, was spared, it is still known as ‘God’s Providence House’. In 1652 a special oak relief carving was made to commemorate this building. Now, 367 years later, it has just turned up in a house-clearance sale in Shropshire and it goes to auction on Wednesday. Edward talks to the man who identified the carving Jeremy Lamond.
The Archbishop of Capetown Thabo Makgoba met with Nelson Mandela in his home in 2009, in response to the request of his wife, Graça Machel. This moment marked the beginning of a moving relationship between southern Africa’s Anglican leader and Mandela until his death in 2013. We hear how this relationship influenced the Archbishop.
"To fail at safeguarding casts a stain over every good thing the church does" those were the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA): this week. This comes at the end of two weeks as the inquiry has examined the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church. Donna Birrell has been at the inquiry.
Sir Stephen Cleobury; Ampleforth College; Guru Nanak's poetry
Sir Stephen Cleobury – Director of Music at King’s College Cambridge – conducts his final Choral Evensong this Sunday. He talks to Emily about his 37 years at King's.
The spotlight is once again on Ampleforth College over safeguarding as the Independent Schools Inspectorate published a Progress Monitoring Report highlighting failures at the school. Head teacher Deirdre Rowe will be leaving after just ten months in post. The Tablet’s Liz Dodd explains why Ampleforth is “in turmoil”.
Nazir Afzal, the former CPS prosecutor, talks to Emily about his role as a mediator at the Anderton Park [School] dispute about teaching LGBT rights and what the way forward should be.
In this celebratory year of the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, Dr Jasjit Singh and Mahmood Awan discuss the impact of the Guru's poetry and writings on literature.
Faith at Glastonbury and The Bishop of Burnley on the need for Safeguarding changes
It's the biggest music festival in the world with more than 200,000 people expected to visit Worthy Farm in Somerset. It's renowned for its spectacular line up of musicians, but there is also a spiritual element to Glastonbury - and even a religious presence. The Reverend Chris North, has been volunteering for the past fifteen years in the Sanctuary Tent at the Festival.
Senior Bishops in the Diocese of Blackburn have spoken out about their concerns over safeguarding in the Church of England. In a letter the Bishops of Blackburn, Lancaster and Burnley, along with other senior clergy in the Diocese, say the Church of England needs to look again at its culture and structure, and understand that safeguarding is not just about ticking boxes. The BBC's Donna Birrell has been speaking to the Bishop of Burnley, the Right Reverend Philip North, who told her that the Church is complacent in thinking safeguarding failures are "historic".
A law allowing parents to withdraw their children from religious education should be overturned, head teachers from across England have argued in a new study.
The research, carried out by Liverpool Hope University, found that 41% of school leaders interviewed had received requests for students to be withdrawn from teaching about one religion. Dr David Lundie from Liverpool Hope University talks about the implications of this research.
Hong Kong Protests, BK Shivani, Catholicism and Transgender
Hindu spiritual leader BK Shivani described as “the very modern face of India's ancient Raja Yoga” this week she arrives in the UK to start a European Tour. Raja Yoga is known as the ‘yoga of the mind’ and BK Shivani’s has a vast following of almost 4 million on social media. She's expected to fill venues across the UK. Edward Stourton has been speaking to her ahead of her visit. Also in the programme how religious groups in Hong Kong have been at the forefront of protests and are science and religion really in conflict with one another? Nick Spencer speaks to Edward about his upcoming three part Radio 4 series exploring the relationship between the two.
Producers: Rajeev Gupta
Editor: Amanda Hancox