Week commencing 5th April

The BBC report that Keir Starmer faced criticism after visiting a London church known for its anti-LGBTQ+ position. A Labour part LGBTQ group informed the Labour leader of their anger, but accepted a tweeted apology from him. The church, Jesus House for All The Nations church is in Brent, north London, is part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God denomination. Boris Johnson and the Prince of Wales have both been to the pop-up vaccination centre hosted by the church in recent weeks without attracting widespread comment.

The Guardian carries a feature about Christian LGBTQ+ young people in Australia and the struggles involved with shame and guilt created by messages from churches and from ‘conversion therapy’ some have been through. 

The Guardian also reports that commentators blame the actions of the Christian Right for a general decline in interest in religion in the US. The influence of conservative Christians in politics is thought to have been instrumental in a dramatic reduction in church attendance.

Religion News Service reports an apology from Beth Moore for not being more challenging about how complementarian doctrine restricts women’s leadership. Beth Moore, a Bible teacher and evangelist followed by millions of women, has recently split from the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Church Times reports on the riots in Northern Ireland, stating that a joint appeal has been issued by the Archbishop of Armagh and three other Anglican bishops in the province, who warned young people not to get involved in actions that they would “regret for the rest of their lives”. 

The Church Times also reports that the Easter Day service at Canterbury Cathedral has been viewed 1.3 million times on BBC and Church of England platforms. The head of digital for the C of E, Amaris Cole, said: “We cannot wait for a time when we all worship together once again, but it has been really encouraging so many people have joined together to celebrate Easter with worship from Canterbury Cathedral in their own homes. This is the first time that Easter worship has been broadcast across so many platforms. . . This is just one small part of a much larger picture; thousands of services up and down the country have celebrated Easter in different ways — both online and in person.”