Saturday 15 May 2010

Service of Thanksgiving

Service of Thanksgiving for Olive

On Wednesday 26th May, services will be held as follows:

1 pm Reading Crematorium, Henley Road , Caversham ( family and close friends )

2.30 pm Service of Thanksgiving at Caversham Heights Methodist Church , Highmoor Road , Caversham, Reading , RG4 7BG

followed by a reception in the Church Hall.

No flowers please.

Donations in memory of Olive may be made to the "Edward Morgan Foundation" in support of the education of the disadvantaged, account number 88667391 sort code 60-04-38

They may also be sent to:
A.B.Walker & Son Ltd., 36 Eldon Road , Reading RG1 4DL

Saturday 8 May 2010

With Great Sadness

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our Mum, Olive passed away on the 5th of May, 2010 in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

We would like to offer our warmest, heartfelt thanks to all who have followed her blog, enriching her life with interest and happiness.

She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.

Tony and Sheila Morgan.

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Ban the Bomblet

Ban the bomblet – Churches celebrate the Cluster Munitions Act

Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Church leaders have welcomed the passing of the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act today in parliament.

The Act ensures that the UK military cannot use cluster munitions, nor can UK military establishments house cluster bombs for other nations. The Churches have been campaigning for this change for the last two years and were pleased to note the all-party support for the Act arising from strong public support for banning these weapons.

“Five years ago this issue was nowhere on the international political scene,” said Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union. “We added our voice to the growing call to ban these weapons because our faith reminds us of the importance of every life. This Act enables the UK to ratify the international treaty banning cluster munitions – something that has been called for by thousands of people around the world.”

Cluster munitions contain many bomblets, small objects typically the size of a drinks can, which explode spreading shredded metal around the surrounding area. Sometimes bomblets fail to explode, meaning unexploded bombs are left at the scene of conflict.

Revd John Marsh, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, added: “These weapons are indiscriminate, harming civilians and soldiers alike, and can lay dormant, only to explode years later. It is vital that when a war ends, it truly ends. Unexploded bombs must never maim children after armies have stopped fighting. ”

Cluster munitions have been widely used in conflicts around the globe, but on 1 August this year, an international treaty will come into effect, banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions, and requiring countries to assist survivors and affected communities.

Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, said: “The moral significance of this bill cannot be overstated. It builds upon widespread recognition of key ethical principles that are enshrined in international humanitarian law. When ensuring our own security we must recognise the importance of adhering to these principles.”

Friday 5 March 2010

Church welcomes Zuma’s ‘soul-searching’

South African churches gave a cautious welcome (23/2) to President Zuma’s call for a
Church welcomes Zuma’s ‘soul-searching’national dialogue on morality. The National Church Leaders’ Consultation said President Zuma’s proposal to examine the soul of South Africa was ‘timely’. The ‘common values and principles’ that formed the country under the leadership of President Mandela had been ‘substantially squandered’, the leaders said. The president’s recent fathering of an illegitimate child provoked strong criticism and was seen as a sign of the country’s declining moral standards. President Zuma told South Africa’s Sunday Times there was a need to agree the ‘values that define a common South African identity’. South Africa’s church leaders are keen to clarify this and establish the ‘sacred’ and ‘inviolable’ value of all human life, regardless of ‘race, class, nationality, religion and political persuasion’.

Source: Church of England Newspaper (5/3)

Only a decade to bring nuclear weapons under control

Only a decade to bring nuclear weapons under control, says PM’s advisor on nuclear proliferation

Now is the time for nations to commit to a world free of nuclear weapons, say UK Churches.

Baroness Shirley Williams is warning that the proliferation of nuclear weapons is one of the greatest threats to the survival of humankind.

The Prime Minister’s advisor on nuclear proliferation made the statement just days after the White House indicated plans for ‘dramatic reductions’ in the nuclear arsenal of the United States of America.

Baroness Williams was endorsing a campaign by an alliance of nine UK Churches, which calls on the British Government to make a commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, building a safer future for all.

The Churches’ campaign, entitled Now is the Time, joins the World Council of Churches and others in pressing for governments to put all bomb-grade material under international control and commit to making the use and possession of nuclear weapons illegal through a new Nuclear Weapons Convention. They are asking people to sign an online petition expressing support for these aims.

Baroness Williams said: “The proliferation of nuclear weapons and climate change are the greatest threats to the survival of humankind. We have only a few years, at most a decade or so, to control and eventually abolish nuclear weapons. The support of concerned citizens in the UK and elsewhere is vital. The Churches have already played a crucial part in breaking the bonds of debt on poor countries and their leadership on this issue is equally important and urgently needed.”

The alliance includes the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the United Reformed Church, the International Affairs Department of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Scotland and the Archbishop of the Church in Wales. The Churches are voicing these concerns in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference this May, which they believe will be crucial for international disarmament.

The Rt Revd Dr Tom Butler Lord Bishop of Southwark, said: “We cannot tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism by simply rehearsing old doctrines of defence. The simple fact is that more nuclear weapons do not make for a safer world. We must instead turn to the universal adoption of common rules and standards, enforced by international treaties. It is crucial that all nuclear armed states now demonstrate a willingness to redefine their concepts of security.”

“Nuclear weapons instil fear. They are divisive and counter-productive to a sustainable peace between nations,” added Steve Hucklesby, Policy Advisor for the Joint Public Issues Team. “The recent commitment by the United States and Russia to reduce their missiles and warheads has injected new life into non-proliferation and disarmament negotiations. We must grasp this opportunity and commit our governments to the road to zero nuclear weapons.”

Source: Methodist news Service 05/03/2010

Thursday 4 March 2010

Church leaders urge politicians to take the Pledge


National Church leaders are calling on politicians to commit to responsible campaigning on issues of asylum and immigration, and to act to end the detention of children and families within the asylum system.

The leaders of the Methodist Church in Britain, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church are asking politicians to take the Sanctuary Pledge, which is an initiative of the Citizens for Sanctuary Campaign.

The Revd David Gamble, President of the British Methodist Conference, said, “Politicians must resist the temptation to use asylum as a political football in their election campaigns. We strongly support the Sanctuary Pledge campaign’s call for politicians to campaign responsibly, and not to demean those fleeing persecution and seeking sanctuary in Britain. I hope people will ask candidates standing for election to sign the Sanctuary Pledge.”

The pledge is a commitment to campaign positively and sensitively, helping the public to understand why it is important to offer a safe haven to people fleeing persecution. It also asks politicians to support policies that will end the forced detention of children and families, and to promote awareness of the UK’s long heritage of providing a safe haven for people seeking sanctuary.

The Revd John Marsh, Moderator of the United Reformed Church, said, “By taking this pledge, political candidates will show that they are serious about offering sanctuary to those who cannot find safety in their homelands. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, and the Citizens for Sanctuary campaign encourages us to do just that.”

“We are particularly concerned about the detention of children and young people in the asylum system,” continued the Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. “There is overwhelming evidence that holding children in detention centres is damaging to their physical and emotional wellbeing. Children are particularly vulnerable, and no matter where they are from, we all have a duty to protect them from harm. We encourage politicians from all parties will sign the pledge and commit to ending the detention of children.”

Source: Methodist News Service 04.03.2010

Saturday 27 February 2010

China adopts Christianity as its own

China adopts Christianity as its own

Despite occasional clampdowns on unregistered churches, China’s support for Christianity is now official, the deputy of the country’s leading seminary claims. Revd Dr Gao Ying, vice president of Nanjing seminary said, ‘China doesn’t resist Christianity any more. We no longer call Christianity a foreign religion because it has been moulded into our blood.’ With Chinese government records reckoning there are some 28.6 million Christians in its registered churches, Dr Gao admitted that her 220 students are a drop in the ocean in the face of the church’s growth. Every year some 880 apply but the shortage of teachers and premises prevents China’s theological education from keeping pace. Kua Wee Seng, co-ordinator of the Bible Societies’ China Partnership has worked with the Amity Printing Company to produce 50 million Bibles for the Chinese church. ‘This is a time of opportunity,’ he said. < /p> Source: Reform (Mar/10)