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Dr. Alan Smith will summon the Lords Spiritual

THE Bishop of St AlbansDr. Alan Smith, was appointed Convener of the Lords Spiritual by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Smith succeeds the Bishop of BirminghamThe Rt Revd David Urquhart, who has been in charge since 2015, and is retiring from his seat, after 16 years there, in October (General Synod, July 15). Dr. Smith entered the House of Lords in 2013 and has spoken in a series of debates since then. He said this week that his bishops provide “a voice not just for the faith, but for those on the margins of the communities we serve across the country through our parish networks.” Archbishop Welby said, “He is an excellent parliamentarian and has amassed solid experience in pursuing just and important causes.”

The National Trust will vote on the bank with Barclays

THE National Trust asked its 5.7 million members to vote on whether it should stop doing business with Barclays, as the bank has continued to lend, credit and guarantee coal, oil and gas companies since the Paris Agreement. The online survey closes on October 28 and the Trust is due to announce the result at its general meeting on November 5. Speaking on behalf of the members who proposed the vote, Drew James said this week that the resolution builds on the Trust’s decision in 2019 to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. “Since the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, Barclays has provided £137 billion in loans, credits and subscriptions to companies extracting or exploiting coal, oil and gas, primarily in the power and electricity… This makes Barclays unfit to be a National Trust banker.

Scotland considering assisted dying bill

A bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament to legalize assisted dying in the kingdom is ‘downright dangerous’ and doctors should ‘treat, not kill’ patients, the director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office of Scotland, Anthony Horan, said. The Office is an agency of the Scottish Catholic Episcopal Conference. Mr Horan said this week that the final proposal for the bill, tabled by Liam McArthur MSP, “risks undermining the provision of palliative care and undermining suicide prevention efforts; it will make the most vulnerable people, including the elderly and disabled, feel like a burden, and its safeguards will prove void. The current law is the guarantee. We should take care of people, not kill them. In a public consultation on the proposal, 76% of more than 14,000 respondents were in favor of medical assistance in dying.

Study reveals appetite for quality religious journalism

A GLOBAL study, launched yesterday, found that 63% of people around the world consider high-quality media coverage of faith and religion to be important. The Global Faith and Media Study, which surveyed 9,395 people and conducted interviews with 30 journalists, found that cut budgets and ‘fear of making the wrong thing’ contributed to the marginalization of religious coverage in theaters of writing. Faith and Media Initiative Vice President Brooke Zaugg said: “This groundbreaking global study of the attitudes of individuals, journalists and editors towards the coverage of faith and religion in media will be used as a springboard for positive change. .”

UK should lead climate compensation, bishop says

AN INTERNATIONAL fund should be established to compensate communities in developing countries for “loss and damage” caused by climate change, the Bishop of Reading, said Rt Revd Olivia Graham. In an article published on the Church hours website this week, she writes that, “as one of the largest historical emitters”, the UK “must accept responsibility for the destruction we are causing”. Developing countries, on the other hand, have done the least to cause climate change, yet have been “hit the hardest”. Bishop Graham expressed his support for the day of action for loss and damage, which took place yesterday. www.makepolluterspay.co.uk

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