164 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
    • 4.5, 2 Ratings

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

    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
    Madeleine Davies on her new book, Lights for the Path: A guide through grief, pain and loss

    Madeleine Davies on her new book, Lights for the Path: A guide through grief, pain and loss

    This week, Ed Thornton talks to Madeleine Davies about her new book, Lights for the Path: A guide through grief, pain and loss, published today (21 May) by SPCK. It’s available to order from the Church Times Bookshop for the special price £8, and an extract is published in this week’s Church Times.

    “Lights for the Path is part memoir and part theological reflection on the theme of death,” the Head of Theology at Youthscape, Dr Phoebe Hill, says. “Skilfully woven together and littered with literary references, Davies offers a gracious acknowledgement and comfort for the whole range of emotions a young person experiencing a death will encounter.

    “Sharing her own story of losing her mum as a teenager, and the stories of others, this book is a window into the deeper questions of life: what happens when we die? Why would God allow this? Davies gives no trite answers; this honest account exposes the simplistic answers for what they are, and creates a safe space to air your true thoughts, your true feelings and your true questions for God.”

    The Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Revd Dr Sam Wells, says: “If it can’t be happy, make it beautiful. Madeleine Davies offers us this exquisite gift, born from her own grief, her compassionate heart, and her listening soul.

    “With elegant simplicity she attends to the fear, fury and fragility of loss, bringing forth wisdom, gentleness and insight in equal measure. Above all she gives us humility and patience, as she lets people tell their own stories and leaves unresolved what no comfort can easily heal. Anyone who faces the agony of loss could wish for no finer companion.”

    Madeleine Davies is the features editor and deputy news editor of the Church Times. This is her first book. (Church Times Bookshop special price £8; CH Bookshop: 0845 017 6965).

    At the end of the interview, Malcolm Guite reads his sonnet “Pilgrimage”.

    Podcast edited by Serena Long.

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

    • 27 min
    Bishop David Wilbourne on Just John: The authorized biography of John Habgood

    Bishop David Wilbourne on Just John: The authorized biography of John Habgood

    This week, Ed Thornton talks to the Rt Revd David Wilbourne about his biography of John Habgood, a former Archbishop of York, who died last year, aged 91.

    The book is called Just John: The authorized biography of John Habgood, Archbishop of York, 1983-1995 (SPCK), and is available from the Church Times Bookshop for the special price of £16.

    In an obituary published in the Church Times, Rupert Shortt describes Habgood as “the outstanding British Anglican leader of his generation, and perhaps the country’s most distinguished churchman tout court”. He has been described by several people as “the best Archbishop of Canterbury we never had”.

    In a review of Just John published in the Church Times, Richard Harries writes: “David Wilbourne, who was Habgood’s chaplain for four years, and whose writing is well known to readers of the Church Times, has written an informative and attractive life of his former boss, which will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this turbulent period better. . .

    “Wilbourne follows Habgood’s career as a theological teacher, ecumenist, writer, and church leader, underlining his key part, for example, in liturgical revision, and especially on the ordination of women. . .

    “Wilbourne has given us a warm picture of an estimable human being and a deeply serious Christian.”

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

    • 40 min
    The Revd Steve Morris on the heroism and sacrifice of WWII Forces chaplains

    The Revd Steve Morris on the heroism and sacrifice of WWII Forces chaplains

    On the podcast this week, Ed Thornton talks to the Revd Steve Morris about the important part played by Forces chaplains in the Second World War, and today.

    They include Captain Leslie Skinner, who Mr Morris writes about in this week’s Church Times, which marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day. “Skinner spent his time conducting funerals, digging graves, and praying with the dying and wounded,” he writes. “At one point, he went alone into a “cooked” tank full of burned human remains so that the men didn’t have to do it. He wanted to protect them from some of the horror.”

    Mr Morris is the Vicar of St Cuthbert’s, North Wembley, in the diocese of London.

    At the end of the podcast, the deputy editor of the Church Times, Glyn Paflin, reads from the Leader published in the paper on 11 May 1945, entitled “Thanks be to God”. It is also published in this week’s paper and on the website.

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

    • 14 min
    Emma Major on disability, isolation, and how to include all people in churches

    Emma Major on disability, isolation, and how to include all people in churches

    On this week’s podcast, Emma Major, a licensed lay pioneer minister at St Nicolas’s, Earley, in Oxford diocese, offers advice on how the Church can better include disabled people. She reads from an article that she wrote, which is published on our website: Isolation and the Church: online and offline.

    She says: “Of course, in a few weeks’ time, the first phase of lockdown may be eased and most church buildings open up again. I wonder what will happen, if so. Will online church provisions stop? How will this affect those who have to continue shielding themselves? Will churches stream the services from their buildings? How will those at home be included in worship and leadership and encouraged in their calling?

    “Will churches realise the importance of including everyone who has been excluded from physical churches until now? How will that look? Perhaps hearing my experience will help you to understand what I mean.”

    • 10 min
    For the love of food, for the love of fat: Dr Hannah Bacon on feminist theology and dieting culture

    For the love of food, for the love of fat: Dr Hannah Bacon on feminist theology and dieting culture

    This week, Hannah Bacon talks about the research behind her book Feminist Theology and Contemporary Dieting Culture: Sin, salvation and women’s weight loss narratives (Bloomsbury).

    In a review of the book published in the Church Times, Jennie Hogan writes: “Susie Orbach’s 1978 seminal book Fat is a Feminist Issue broke taboos about women’s fleshy bodies. In Hannah Bacon’s engaging analysis of notions of fat in relation to Christianity, she argues forcefully and gracefully that fat is also a theological issue. Indeed, we are invited to experience the “faithing” of fat in her book, which is at once accessible and academic in its sustained personal and theological engagement.”

    Dr Bacon is Associate Professor in Feminist Theology and Acting Head of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester, UK.

    The talk was recorded at the Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature, at Bloxham School, in Oxfordshire, in February.

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

    • 58 min

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