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Thought of the day

No leap in the dark I was on the train and was disconcerted to overhear two businessmen discussing family members who’d turned religious. They both lamented it as something highly undesirable. Their conversation summed up to me the false enlightenment [...]


It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since the women bishops’ legislation was defeated in the General Synod and, once again, as this magazine goes to press the Synod is meeting to discuss more proposals to [...]

touching place

St Cynllo, Llanbister, Powys At first sight, the fortress-like Llanbister church seemed to have been wedged into the hillside. There’s been a church here since early mediaeval times; it was once a mother church for North Radnorshire. Most of what [...]

the way we live now

Christopher Smith ponders the sacralisation of cricket, and the secularisation of Christmas. I’m not a great telly addict, but I do pay a bit extra to get the cricket coverage. Indeed, by the time New Directions lands on your doormat, [...]


A question of decency Tom Sutcliffe on the moral treatment of rape in Britten’s opera Bernard Rose, organist and Informator Choristarum at Magdalen, Oxford, once when I was a choral scholar memorably described The Rape of Lucretia as "Britten’s only [...]

faith of our fathers

Arthur Middleton on Anglican Devotion The pattern of Anglican devotion grows out of liturgical prayer, out of the sacraments rooted in the earth. Anglican piety emerges from a life steeped in the church’s common prayer. It reflects a sense of [...]

Ghostly Counsel

Repentance Andy Hawes is Warden of Edenham Regional Retreat House Repent for the kingdom of heaven is lose at hand!’ This is the ‘thrilling voice’ that heralds Advent. I regret to say that I hear little evidence of true penitence [...]

Committed to the future

Richard Mantle argues the Church of England must evidence its commitment to rebuild trust over women bishops . . . and now History makes us naturally cautious, perhaps even cynical, about optimists who wave documents that purport to offer ‘peace [...]

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