343 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
    • 4.6 • 34 Ratings

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

    Book Club Podcast: Tish Delaney on her novel Before My Actual Heart Breaks

    Book Club Podcast: Tish Delaney on her novel Before My Actual Heart Breaks

    Before My Actual Heart Breaks by Tish Delaney is the choice for this month’s Church Times Book Club. On the podcast this week, Tish Delaney talks to Sarah Meyrick, who has written this month’s Book Club essay about the book.

    Before My Actual Heart Breaks is published by Cornerstone at £9.99 (Church Times Bookshop £8.99); 978-1-78609-098-0. https://chbookshop.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9781786090980/before-my-actual-heart-breaks/?vc=CT601

    About the book

    Against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Mary Rattigan’s dreams of emigrating to America are shattered when she finds herself pregnant at the age of 16. Mary’s strict Roman Catholic parents force her to marry a local farmer to minimise the shame that she has inflicted on the family. With flashbacks to her childhood, the story follows Mary’s marriage, one blighted by miscommunication, which is not helped by her lack of self-worth and past childhood trauma. Throughout the novel, the author’s prose captures the beauty of the sweeping countryside and farmland of Northern Ireland, and the use of the local vernacular adds authenticity to the book’s rural setting and to the raw emotions expressed.

    Tish Delaney was born in Northern Ireland and grew up during the Troubles. Leaving County Tyrone to study at Manchester University, she remained in England afterwards to work as a reporter and sub-editor on various magazines and national newspapers in London. Leaving The Financial Times in 2014, she moved to the Channel Islands to start a career in writing. Her debut novel, Before My Actual Heart Breaks, won the Authors’ Club’s Best First Novel Award. In June 2022, her second book, The Saint of Lost Things, was published. The author still lives on Alderney, which she often describes as mini-Donegal.

    Sarah Meyrick is a novelist. Her latest novel is Joy and Felicity (Sacristy Press, 2021).

    The Church Times Book Club is run in association with the Festival of Faith and Literature.

    Sign up to receive the free Book Club email once a month. Featuring discussion questions, podcasts and discounts on each book: churchtimes.co.uk/newsletter-signup

    Discuss this month’s book at facebook.com/groups/churchtimesbookclub

    For the whole of March, we are asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

    To celebrate (and help with) this, our paywall has been lifted for the whole of March, meaning you can enjoy all of our content — news, comment, features, faith, cartoons, and our historic archive — FOR FREE.

    There’s nothing complicated about it. We simply want to let as many people as possible know about our latest subscription offer: You can try your first 10 weeks of Church Times for only £10. All new Church Times subscriptions received in March will receive a FREE additional 3 month subscription to the bestselling app, Reflections for Daily Prayer. https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/subscribe

    For print readers, there should also be a sample copy of our new promotional leaflet in this week’s issue. Will you order more copies to distribute in your church?

    Simply email subs@churchtimes.co.uk, giving a name, postal address, and the number of leaflets you’d like (multiples of ten); or phone 01603 785911 with these details.

    • 29 min
    Debbie and Stephanie Hayton interviewed

    Debbie and Stephanie Hayton interviewed

    On this episode of the podcast, Debbie and Stephanie Hayton talk to Sarah Meyrick. Originally a heterosexual couple, they met as students, trained as teachers, got married, and had three children. When he was in his forties, David (as he was then called) told Stephanie that he had been struggling all his life with the longing to be a woman. After a great deal of preparation, he transitioned in 2012, and underwent full gender-reassignment surgery in 2016.

    Debbie has, however, been criticised by some in the LGBT+ community for her insistence that, despite her transition, she is not a woman. She rejects as “a fantasy” and “false narrative” the notion that anyone is born in the wrong body.

    She tells her story and explains her views in her book, Transexual Apostate: My journey back to reality, which is published by Forum at £16.99 (Church Times Bookshop £15.29); 978-1-80075-309-9. https://chbookshop.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9781800753099/transsexual-apostate?vc=CT165

    Try 10 issues of the Church Times for £10 or get two months access to our website and apps, also for £10. Go to churchtimes.co.uk/new-reader

    • 26 min
    Archbishop of Canterbury interviewed in Ukraine

    Archbishop of Canterbury interviewed in Ukraine

    Francis Martin, a reporter for the Church Times, was travelling last week with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Ukraine.

    On the final day of the trip, Francis interviewed Archbishop Welby, asking about what he had hoped to achieve, the differences he had noticed from his previous visit in 2022, and about tensions between the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. They also spoke about the challenges currently facing the Church of England, and how the Archbishop divides his time.

    Try 10 issues of the Church Times for £10 or get two months access to our website and apps, also for £10. Go to churchtimes.co.uk/new-reader

    • 27 min
    Archbishop Yevstratiy interviewed in Ukraine

    Archbishop Yevstratiy interviewed in Ukraine

    Francis Martin, a reporter for the Church Times, has been travelling this week with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Ukraine.

    During the trip, Francis interviewed Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zoria), a prominent figure Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church (OCU), which is led by Metropolitan Epiphany (Dumenko) and is independent of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    He spoke about how the OCU is supporting the struggle against the Russian invasion, how it is helping Ukrainians who have left the country, tensions with the Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and why he believes that God is protecting Ukraine.

    Try 10 issues of the Church Times for £10 or get two months access to our website and apps, also for £10. Go to churchtimes.co.uk/new-reader

    • 40 min
    Book Club Podcast: The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

    Book Club Podcast: The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

    The Second Sleep by Robert Harris is the choice for this month’s Church Times Book Club. On the podcast this week, Susan Gray, who has written this month’s Book Club essay, is in conversation with Sarah Meyrick.

    Robert Harris’s dystopian thriller is set in the 15th century, but, although medieval in tone and atmosphere, the date is misleading, as it is set 800 years in the future, because time has been restarted at the year 666. All traces of modern life, such as electricity and decimal currency, have disappeared. And the country is gripped by religious fundamentalism. The story begins with the young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arriving on horseback in a remote village in Exmoor to conduct the funeral of his predecessor, who met a mysterious death. Over the next six days, the young priest’s faith is tested as he uncovers the chilling truth.

    The Second Sleep is published by Cornerstone at £9.99 (Church Times Bookshop £8.99). https://chbookshop.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9781787460966/second-sleep?vc=CT207

    Susan Gray writes about the arts and entertainment for The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, and the Daily Mail.

    The Church Times Book Club is run in association with the Festival of Faith and Literature: https://faithandliterature.hymnsam.co.uk

    Sign up to receive the free Book Club email once a month. Featuring discussion questions, podcasts and discounts on each book: churchtimes.co.uk/newsletter-signup

    Discuss this month’s book at facebook.com/groups/churchtimesbookclub

    Try 10 issues of the Church Times for £10 or get two months access to our website and apps, also for £10. Go to churchtimes.co.uk/new-reader

    • 27 min
    Canon Victoria Johnson and Hugh Morris on the value of church music

    Canon Victoria Johnson and Hugh Morris on the value of church music

    For the podcast this week, Sarah Meyrick travelled to York to talk to the Canon Precenter of York Minster, the Revd Dr Victoria Johnson, and the director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), Hugh Morris, about the importance of church music.

    The Church Times and the RSCM have together launched a new event, the Festival of Faith and Music, which takes place in York Minster from 26 to 28 April (News, 8 December). Full programme and ticketing information can be found at https://faithandmusic.hymnsam.co.uk.

    Through a programme of music and worship, talks and workshops, the festival is designed for clergy and church musicians, and seeks to celebrate church music in all its glory and to send delegates home encouraged, inspired, and equipped with new ideas for using music in worship.

    Canon Johnson will be speaking at the event about her book, On Voice: Speech, song, silence: human and divine, which will be published in March by Darton, Longman & Todd (Features, 5 January). On the podcast, she talks about some of the themes in the book, including why she is inspired by the singing of football crowds and how silence also figures in her thinking about sung worship.

    The keynote speaker at the Festival of Faith and Preaching will be the Archbishop of York, in a session called “Tuning forks and orchestras: Music and the mission of God”. Other speakers include Roxana Panufnik, composer of one of the works sung at the Coronation; and Andy Thomas, the author of Resounding Body: Building Christlike church communities through music. Two internationally renowned singers, James Gilchrist and Andrea Haines, both of whom started singing in parish church choirs, will talk about how it all began, and will perform some reflective music in the quire of York Minster.

    Find out more about the RSCM at www.rscm.org.uk.

    Try 10 issues of the Church Times for £10 or get two months access to our website and apps, also for £10. Go to churchtimes.co.uk/new-reader

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Mareth Marino ,

Engaging

Very interesting, thoughtful and wide ranging content.

JHG09 ,

Recommended

Some really interesting interviews covering theology, literature, and spirituality.

Dr Simon Radford esq. ,

Great work

Well put together, engaging spread of topics, and melifluously voiced.

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