GB news – 18th September

Lichfield Cathedral welcomes girl choristers; Widdy’s back on the warpath; Press Review – Gay marriage, Chichester diocese “cover up”, Williams successor, Hillsborough 

Lichfield Cathedral welcomes girl choristers  
Girl choristers are to be received into the Choral Foundation of Lichfield Cathedral for the first time in its 800-year history.

The cathedral choir has been singing at the services since 1315. Until now, as with most cathedral choirs, it consisted only of boys and men.

Salisbury Cathedral was the first to break with tradition when it established cathedral girl choristers 21 years ago.

Other English cathedrals have been gradually following suit ever since.

The girls will make their first appearance during the Choral Evensong on 23 September.



Widdy’s back on the warpath  
Mailonline – A poll at the weekend showed only one in ten voters backed the claim in the first draft of a Nick Clegg speech that opponents of gay marriage are bigots. Now the issue is about to return to haunt David Cameron.

A rally by C4M — the Coalition for Marriage — the group leading the opposition to same sex marriage — is a sell-out at the 900-seater Birmingham City Hall on the Monday of the Tory conference, with hundreds more on the waiting list.

The redoubtable Ann Widdecombe is returning to the political frontline alongside Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, to speak at the rally. There has been a stampede by broadcasters for access to the event, which promises to overshadow the Chancellor’s conference speech due on the same day.
The saintly Widdecombe may be interested in a little-noticed interview that Mr Cameron gave to Attitude magazine before the last election.

Asked whether faith schools should stop teaching that homosexuality is a sin, Mr Cameron replied: ‘Basically, yes, that’s the short answer to that, without getting into a long religious exegesis.
‘I don’t want to get into an enormous row with the Archbishop here. But I think the Church has to do some of the things that the Conservative Party has been through — sorting this issue out and recognising that full equality is a bottom line.’

Is it a matter of time before Cameron applies the same logic to the churches — Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist — who refuse to conduct same sex marriages on their premises?

Press Review
Anglicans and Attitudes towards Gay Marriage  
British Religion in Numbers has published statistics about Anglicans and Attitudes towards Gay Marriage. The proportion of Anglicans who thought that sexual relations between adults of the same sex was either ‘always wrong’ or ‘almost always wrong’ had fallen from 69.7 per cent in 1983 to 37.4 per cent in 2010.

GCSE Board revision
Telegraph – Michael Gove is right to create a single exam board – but the changes need to go far deeper than that –

Stephen Glover on “Masters of cover-up” with ref to Chichester Diocese 

Jimmy Young on “We need a strong leader, not wishy washy Williams

Paul Vallely on “Hillsborough:A few individuals have shown what integrity means”