169 episodes

News, interviews, book reviews, and discussion each week from the Church Times - the world's leading newspaper on faith and the Church.

The Church Times Podcast The Church Times

    • Religion & Spirituality

News, interviews, book reviews, and discussion each week from the Church Times - the world's leading newspaper on faith and the Church.

    Jessica Martin: Scripture as conversation

    Jessica Martin: Scripture as conversation

    On the podcast this week, Canon Jessica Martin reads an extract from her much-anticipated new book, Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are?

    The extract is published in this week’s Church Times (3 July).

    “Trusting the scriptures is not wilful blindness, but a speaking act of love. Because of love, I believe that the power of a medieval anonymous lyric to move me to tears signals an authentic rather than an historically naïf response. Because of love, I believe that a paradisal early memory of playing with my brother on a carpet of cherry blossom is a present earnest of the joys of heaven, not a corrupted image of a lost event. The fount of all these is the same as the belief which turns me towards my spouse trustfully rather than in suspicion.

    “As with my spouse, I pursue my relationship with scripture assuming that the process of becoming which led to this communicative moment will, in the end, fulfil and not betray my trust — not because it is a history of perfection (that’s true neither of writing nor of people), but because love underpins the conversation; love makes it possible.”

    The Revd Dr Jessica Martin is a Canon Residentiary of Ely Cathedral.

    Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are? is published by Canterbury Press at £16.99 (Church Times Bookshop £15.30).

    Picture credit: ©David Hartley/Church Times

    Podcast edited by Serena Long

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 10 min
    Theology Slam 2020: the finalists' talks

    Theology Slam 2020: the finalists' talks

    The final of Theology Slam 2020, a competition to find engaging young voices who think theologically about the contemporary world, took place online on Tuesday 23 June.

    On this week’s podcast, you can hear the talks of the three finalists, who spoke on Theology and Disability, Theology and #MeToo, and Theology and Race.

    “‘Where are you?’ is the cry of the human spirit to God. It’s written on the placards of protestors; it’s whispered by the survivor of sexual abuse.”

    The winner was Augustine Tanner-Ihm, who spoke about the Church’s responsibility to work towards a “radical new Christian inclusion”, his own experience of racism within the Church, and the importance of belonging. Augustine was previously interviewed on the podcast.

    “Accessibility is being able to get into the building. Diversity is getting invited to the table. Inclusion is having a voice at the table. But belonging is having your voice heard at the table.”

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 26 min
    Chine McDonald on the Church and Black Lives Matter, and her lockdown music, art, and books

    Chine McDonald on the Church and Black Lives Matter, and her lockdown music, art, and books

    This week’s podcast guest is Chine McDonald, a writer, broadcaster, and Head of Community Fundraising and Public Engagement at Christian Aid.

    Chine has written the Lift Up Your Hearts article for this week’s Church Times, and talks to Ed Thornton about how books, art, and music — as well as her faith — have sustained her during lockdown.

    “The Christ that I believe in is a Christ who . . . suffers with us, and part of the incarnation is the fact that God is right there with us in the horribleness, in the gruesomeness of life.”

    They also discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and the programme that Chine recently presented on BBC Radio 4, No Justice, No Peace: Religion and protest (reviewed in our Radio column this week). Here, they cover the Black experience both within and outside the Church; whether the Bible can be used to combat racism; and the Church’s own history, in the UK and the US, which has been at the forefront of both the civil-rights movement and some of the most racist groups in society.

    Podcast edited by Serena Long.

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 18 min
    Augustine Tanner-Ihm on racial inequality in the C of E, and the Black Lives Matter movement

    Augustine Tanner-Ihm on racial inequality in the C of E, and the Black Lives Matter movement

    On this week’s podcast, Ed Thornton talks to Augustine Tanner-Ihm about racism in the Church of England and beyond.

    “I really wanted to share God’s love, transform this society with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do it in whatever context God calls me to.”

    Augustine, who recently completed his ordinand training at Cranmer Hall, Durham and has since been applying for curacies, received an email reply from one parish rejecting him “firstly” on the grounds that “the demographic of the parish is monochrome white working class, where you might feel uncomfortable”. Augustine has lived, trained, and worked almost exclusively in white working-class communities — “If anyone is looking for ordination in the Church of England and they are BAME, then you understand that you are probably going to be in an all-white parish, because the majority of the country is white” — and was disappointed that there was no attempt to enter into a conversation about how he might feel as a black man working in a white-majority parish, before his decision was made for him.

    They go on to discuss the current spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement and what needs to be done to address structural injustice in the Church.

    Augustine is one of three finalists in Theology Slam 2020, which takes place online on 23rd June. His talk will be about Theology and Race. Find out more here: https://www.licc.org.uk/events/theology-slam-live-final/

    Podcast edited by Serena Long.

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 21 min
    Young people's mental health during lockdown: Gareth Sorsby of YMCA Exeter interviewed

    Young people's mental health during lockdown: Gareth Sorsby of YMCA Exeter interviewed

    “All that we’ve ever done is about getting young people out of their rooms and into the community and working alongside us, and through lockdown we’ve been doing the opposite of that. . . So that has been very difficult.”

    On this week’s podcast, Ed Thornton talks to Gareth Sorsby, joint CEO of YMCA Exeter, about the impact of the coronavirus on an organisation whose work is grounded in face-to-face social contact and community integration. Eighty-seven per cent of young people at YMCA Exeter have reported that they struggle with self-harm, depression, and anxiety, all of which have risen as a result of the current crisis; Gareth explains how they have adapted their services to cope.

    From video conferencing youth groups, to virtual coffee shops, daily art competitions and group gaming sessions, the team at YMCA Exeter are doing everything that they can to ensure that the most vulnerable in society can live anxiety-free.

    “I have been really pleased with the resilience of young people: how they do get on with it, how they do figure out ways to cope,” Gareth says. “And they do reach out for support where they can get it, as well.”

    Find out more about YMCA Exeter’s work at https://www.ymcaexeter.org.uk. A Covid-19 resources page is at https://www.ymcaexeter.org.uk/covid-19-information.

    Podcast edited by Serena Long.

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 15 min
    Paul Vallely and Angela Tilby discuss the Dominic Cummings story and the bishops' reactions

    Paul Vallely and Angela Tilby discuss the Dominic Cummings story and the bishops' reactions

    On the podcast this week, Church Times columnists Paul Vallely and Angela Tilby discuss the big story of the week: Dominic Cummings’s trip from London to County Durham during the lockdown. They talk about (and disagree on) whether the public outrage has been fair, and consider the reactions of the bishops.

    Writing in this week’s Church Times, Paul Vallely says: “Mr Cummings, with his legal loopholes and rule-rewriting, desecrated the dignity of ordinary people’s sacrifices. That’s what he appears, for all his cleverness, to lack the empathy to understand.”

    Angela Tilby is more sympathetic to Mr Cummings’s predicament, and warns against the danger of scapegoating individuals during a time of national crisis.

    This podcast is presented by Ed Thornton and edited by Serena Long.

    Get the Church Times delivered for 10 weeks for just £10: www.churchtimes.co.uk/10-weeks

    • 26 min

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