Vicar elevates the host at All Saints North Baddesley Victoria Ashdown presides at Holy Communion at All Saints North Baddesley © Ian Wyllie 2018

Giving us life: The second week of Easter

This week in Giving us life the Lambeth Awards 2018, a case study in coming to faith and some disturbing survey results on trust in the charity sector. 

Prayer of the week

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.

‘Paschal Troparion' used in Orthodox churches at Easter, celebrated this Sunday 8th April 2018' 

Lambeth Awards 2018

The recipients of the 2018 Lambeth Awards © Church Of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury has an historic power to award academic degrees. In 2016 the Archbishop supplemented these with a suite of non academic awards which recognise outstanding contributions to the life of the church. These are announced annually as the "Lambeth Awards". Announcing these awards Justin Welby reflected on the harm done by cruelty, neglect, violence and un the mistaken worship of capitalism as a God. He said:

"I do not despair. My own faith in God and in our Saviour Jesus Christ teaches me that I must be always hopeful. I must never give in to hopelessness. And one of the things which lightens my darkness is the knowledge that there are good women and men, throughout the world, who have also refused to give into despair. Good people who, often quietly, discreetly and known only to a few, work for justice and reconciliation, for the relief of poverty and for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God."
Archbishop Welby 2018 at Lambeth

The full list of awards makes an inspiring read which inspires thanksgiving. Among the recipients were:

  • John Bell from the Iona Community for his contribution to hymn writing, broadcasting and social action
  • Paul Butler (former Bishop of Southampton) for his outstanding service as Lead Bishop on Safeguarding
  • Paula Gooder for her outstanding contribution to biblical scholarship and service
  • Dr Dr Alastair Redfern is awarded the Langton Award for Community Service, for national and international work in combating human trafficking and modern slavery

The full list is published here.

How a sceptic became a Christian...a case study

Ian was drawn to an article recounting how David Reed, a self described ‘confirmed atheist’, as he puts it ‘accidentally became a Christian’. The article has lessons for our parishes and the way we build relationships. He highlights how marriage preparation course from a local church, the online films from the Alpha course and third the classic apologetics text ‘Mere Christianity’ were key points on his journey. He said:

All of us live our lives under a set of beliefs about why we’re here and what’s important to us. Find out what is most sacred in your life, and why. This will point to your beliefs.

David Reed, How did a skeptic like me become a Christian? 2018

Trust in charities including religious charities, a survey from NFP Synergy" 

Trust in the charity sector is vital to continued success for their operations. Recent surveys of trust in the wake of the scandals in the international development sector provide worrying reading for parish churches which are charities, albeit of a special sort.

The data on trust in charity sectors shows that individual sectors (cancer research, animals, etc) vary enormously in their levels of trust, from nearly 40% of the public trusting hospices, rescue service and cancer research charities ‘a great deal’ to just 8% saying they trust religious charities ‘a great deal’ (NFP SYNERGY)

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