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All Things Considered

BBC

Religious affairs programme, tackling the thornier issues of the day in a thought-provoking manner

Location:

Cardiff, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Religious affairs programme, tackling the thornier issues of the day in a thought-provoking manner

Language:

English


Episodes
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Lost Hymns

6/16/2024
Azim Ahmed and guests shine a light on a collection of ‘Lost Hymns’; long forgotten Welsh-language folk hymns recorded by oral historians at St. Fagan’s National Museum of History in the 1960s. When musician and composer Lleuwen Steffan came across these recordings she immediately realised that they were no longer featured in contemporary hymn books. She embarked on a decade long project to track down the descendants of those recorded, and to compose music inspired by these songs. Today she brings these recordings to modern audiences, joining the recorded voices with her own compositions on piano, guitars and synthesizers. Many of the hymns were composed as a response to the Welsh Revival of 1904, a period of intense religious fervour that swept across Wales, filling chapels, and bringing life-changing religious experiences to those part of the revivals. The songs are frank, down to earth and sometimes dark. They reflect the fragility of human experience. Emeritus Professor Wyn James, a Welsh hymnology expert from the School of Welsh at Cardiff University sets out the historical context of these hymns. Catrin Roberts, the granddaughter of hymn collector William Morris (one of the voices in the collection) shares memories of her grandfather, and his passion for the heritage of Wales. Lleuwen’s work is made in partnership with Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru and supported by the British Council Wales.

Duration:00:27:41

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All Things Considered: Lost Hymns

6/15/2024
Azim Ahmed finds out about a collection of long-forgotten Welsh folk hymns.

Duration:00:32:00

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All Things Considered: My 50 Years in Religious Broadcasting 2/2

6/13/2024
Roy Jenkins reflects further on his broadcast career and some memorable moments abroad.

Duration:00:30:00

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My 50 Years in Religious Broadcasting 2/2

6/9/2024
Roy Jenkins reflects further on his broadcast career, and recounts some memorable moments in such diverse places as Russia, South America, South Africa, Hong Kong and Israel.

Duration:00:27:16

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Roy Jenkins - My 50 Years in Broadcasting, Part 1

6/2/2024
The first of two special editions of All Things Considered to mark Roy Jenkins' 50 years in religious broadcasting. Across his career, Roy has been involved in a vast number and variety of programmes. Today, he looks back on just a few which have made some kind of mark on him. We hear archive footage from across Roy's career, as well as the stories behind some of these memorable programme-making experiences. Join us again next week, when Roy will reflect on some of the fascinating encounters had had making radio in other countries.

Duration:00:27:54

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Amazing Grace

5/26/2024
To judge from the number of recordings (they run into the thousands) Amazing Grace is one of the world's most popular hymns. And yet this global 'hit' was many years in the making. Penned by a former slave trader turned abolitionist, John Newton, it was in America that it would be popularised, largely through the agency of a Welshman who wedded it to the tune with which we are familiar nowadays. Ironically, the song was most enthusiastically adopted by African Americans. And it would be two centuries before a hymn written for a rural parish in Buckinghamshire would return to Britain as a popular song, conquering the charts with recordings such as Judy Collins' version in 1970, and an unlikely chart-topper in 1972 with The Pipes And Drums And The Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Rosa Hunt explores the various twists and turns, and the ironies in this story of John Newton's most famous hymn, which is now some 250 years old. Acclaimed baritone and composer Roderick Williams talks about his collaboration with poet Rommi Smith in writing a song-cycle expressing some of our contemporary unease with a hymn which is both loved and despised, depending on perspective. Historian James Walvin is the author of a new book on Amazing Grace, and he provides the historical context to Newton's life, whilst Welsh historian Marian Gwyn gives her insight into the nature of the Atlantic slave trade at the time of John Newton. One landmark recording of the song was made by Paul Robeson, and Beverley Humphreys comments on both that recording and on Newton's words. This programme was first broadcast in November 2023. Producer: Geoff Ballinger https://www.johnnewton.org/Groups/222562/The_John_Newton/new_menus/Amazing_Grace/Amazing_Grace.aspx https://cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk/john-newton-1725-1807/

Duration:00:27:37

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Jarel Robinson-Brown

5/19/2024
On Sunday 26th May Llandaff Cathedral will host a service to remember people in the LGBTQ+ community who have suffered exclusion from Christian communities because of their sexuality or gender identity. The service is organised LGBTQ+ Christian Charity OneBodyOneFaith. In this week's 'All Things Considered' Delyth Liddell speaks to the charity's co-chair, Father Jarel Robinson-Brown. Jarel Robinson-Brown is vicar of St German's Church, Adamsdown, Cardiff but he hails from London. He was raised in West London by Jamaican grandparents and studied in Cambridge to become a Methodist minister, serving as an Ordinand at Clare College. In 2021 he left the Methodist church and began the journey to be ordained as an Anglican Priest. Jarel says himself he’s a person who crosses many boundaries, calling himself “a Black, Queer British Christian minister of Jamaican and Cuban heritage.” His writing explores racism and homophobia in the church and how to better address these issues. He is the Martin Luther King Fellow at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford, and his research interests are early Christian history, Patristics and Egyptian Late Antiquity.

Duration:00:27:33

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Faith in Justice

5/12/2024
Religious courts or councils have long existed in England and Wales, offering mediation or arbitration on a range of issues for the Jewish, Muslim and even Christian communities. With the recent establishment of the Sikh Council, Azim Ahmed discusses the nature of these institutions with a panel of guests. What are they, what do they do, and how effective are they? Azim is joined by Dr Samia Bano, Reader in Law at SOAS, University of London; Rabbi Jonathan Romain, Convenor of the Reform Beit Din, and Professor Russell Sandberg.

Duration:00:27:41

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Run the straight race.

5/5/2024
“Run the straight race” The line from a well-know hymn gives a clue to this week’s edition presented by Rosa Hunt. Throughout May the BBC is holding its annual Mental Health and Wellbeing Season which coincides with a week of awareness run by the Mental Health Foundation. This year the foundation is focussing on "moving more for our mental health”. During the programme we include an exploration of physical activity as far as faith is concerned. In some faiths, worship is very much a sedentary activity and perhaps the only physical element is standing to sing hymns and songs and even then, that’s for those able to do so. Many find wellbeing in anything from private prayer and meditation to physical workouts and walks. We visit Glenwood Community Church and Wellbeing Space in Cardiff, where wellbeing and mental health are taken very seriously with a range of activities on offer to the locality including physical ones. It’s also a place where counselling is offered by professional counsellors. We also speak to Jamilla Hekmoun, Chair of the Muslim Mental Health Alliance and a Research Fellow on the Faith and Mental Health Project run by the Woolfe Institute. On Friday 10th May the Institute is holding a workshop at Cardiff University “focussed on improving mental health provision for Muslim communities”. As part of the BBC’s Mental Health and Wellbeing season, BBC Radio Wales will be sharing stories and tips this month on how to support your mental health and wellbeing. LINKS bbc.co.uk/mentalwellbeing mentalhealth.org.uk www.glenwoodchurch.org https://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/mental-health-project

Duration:00:27:42

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Cloistered

4/28/2024
Roy Jenkins talks to former nun Catherine Coldstream, who has recently published a fascinating, challenging and highly praised memoir of her former life in a Carmelite monastery. Following the death of her father, Catherine Coldstream abandoned her musician's life in Paris and sought spiritual solace in a monastery, and found what she thought was a vocation for life as a Carmelite nun. She was only in her mid-20s Yet on a rainy night 12 years later she would try to escape from the community which had once seemed idyllic. By that time it was riven between two factions, one for maintaining the old traditions at all costs, and the other for embracing the Catholic church’s modernising concern for individual welfare. In recent years Catherine has been a teacher of religion and ethics, and in this conversation she reflects on both the good and the bad parts of her experience in the monastery to which she gives the fictional name of 'Akenside'.

Duration:00:27:36

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Jesus Christ Superstar

4/21/2024
Jonathan Thomas joins the audience in the Swansea Arena to watch the musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar' on its 50th anniversary tour. He speaks to three expert guests; Swansea born singer and song writer Steve Balsamo whose award winning performance of Jesus in the 1990s launched his career. Cameron Smith who writes a blog 'Middle Brow Musicals' and also for Premier Christianity Magazine. Lastly Revered Emma Ackland, Bishop’s Chaplain in the Diocese of Llandaff. The show first launched in the UK at the Palace Theatre in London in 1972, one of the most popular shows of all time, the rock opera depicts the last few days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Some Christians have called it blasphemous, others see it as an evocative retelling of Jesus’ final days. With church congregations declining, Jonathan Thomas explores these issues and what still draws audiences today to a story about Jesus’ life and death.

Duration:00:27:53

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Parkinson's and Me

4/14/2024
Minister and biker Sean Stillman gives a searingly honest insight into a life that's been turned upside down since his diagnosis some three years ago, after experiencing a number of strange symptoms. Sean is a Christian minister at Zak’s Place , which is both a church and outreach to the homeless in Swansea. He's also international president of a Christian motor-cycle club called ‘God’s Squad’. But, like many people living with a serious illness, he has had to cut back on some of his commitments. At the same time he has also taken on new challenges such as boxing and ballet in order to maintain strength and balance. In this special programme for Parkinson's Awareness Week, recorded over several years, Sean tells his story in his own words through interviews and audio diaries. Details of organisations offering information and support with Parkinson’s are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5TzWfx4YgJVMS3N49BsyTcR/information-and-support-parkinsons-disease

Duration:00:27:29

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The Price of Faith

3/31/2024
Recent figures suggest that Christianity is now one of the most widely persecuted religions in the world. Rosa Hunt speaks to three people who have had experience of persecution in countries where to follow Christ demands a high price - sometimes literally. In Malaysia, Susanna Koh talks about the day seven years ago when her husband, Pastor Raymond Koh, was abducted possibly at the hands of Malaysian police and religious authorities, unhappy that he was doing social work among people of various religions, including Muslims. In Manipur, in north-east India, Sharon Singsit-Evans talks about the way conflict between tribes has ended up destroying churches, killing pastors and displacing thousands from their homes. Finally, in West Africa, Suleiman talks about the extreme dangers facing Christians there, where kidnapping, murder and the destruction of farmlands is becoming ever more common.

Duration:00:27:40

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Bablin Molik, Lord Mayor of Cardiff

3/24/2024
Dr Bablin Molik holds a PhD in Biology from Cardiff University with a specialism in Glaucoma. Today she is CEO of the charity Sight Cymru and Lord Mayor of Cardiff. She speaks with Azim Ahmed about her her role as Lord Mayor and her work advocating for the blind and partially sighted. Bablin moved to Wales from Bangladesh at the age of six and went on to excel in her schooling here. She’s dedicated much of her working life to campaigning for those with impaired sight and in her role as Lord Mayor her nominated charity is UCAN Productions, a performance and creative arts charity supporting children who are blind and partially sighted. During the month of Ramadan, Bablin shares the challenges of fasting while being a CEO and Lord Mayor, but also how her resilience and compassion is rooted in her Muslim faith.

Duration:00:27:43

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Does Religious Broadcasting Matter?

3/3/2024
This week the Media Bill has been scrutinised and debated in the House of Lords. The aim is of the bill is to reform decades-old legislation for Public Service Broadcasters (including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and S4C), but in its current form it will remove the requirement for specific genres of programmes on religion, arts and science. With religious programming already in decline, some groups are concerned that this will deal a serious blow to faith broadcasting. Others argue it’s a necessary step, giving broadcasters greater flexibility and reflecting a post-Christian Britain. What might happen if there isn’t a a requirement to make programmes about religion and belief? With a rapidly changing religious landscape in Britain, do current faith programmes meet audience needs? To what extent does religious broadcasting matter? Azim Ahmed is joined by four guests to explore the issues; Tony Stoller, Chair of the Sandford St. Martin Trust, Tim Pemberton, Head of Religion and Ethics for BBC Audio, Kathryn Riddick from Humanists UK and journalist and broadcaster Remona Aly.

Duration:00:27:43

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Steve Chalke

2/25/2024
Two students from a school in Bristol were fatally stabbed last month – and the one person many journalists sought out for comment was a Baptist minister. Not because he knew them, but because he heads the academy trust that their school belongs to – along with 53 other schools across the country. Today's guest is Steve Chalke – activist and writer, broadcaster and social entrepreneur – founded the Oasis Trust nearly 40 years ago. Today it links churches and other community groups in challenging injustice and inequality. Its initiatives range from the big schools network to specialist neighbourhood debt advice, job training, mental health drop-ins for children and young people, and much more. It also works internationally in housing and education and healthcare. Steve Chalke has never shied away from controversy, not least among the evangelical Christians who nurtured him – he’s been outspoken in his defence of minority groups and some traditional ways of understandings the Bible.

Duration:00:27:50

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Faith in a Time of Conflict

2/18/2024
It’s coming up to two years since Russia’s so-called ‘special operation’ against Ukraine led to one of the biggest conflicts on European soil since the end of WW2. Shocking as that was, it’s been followed by yet more global insecurity. In the Middle East, the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues; meanwhile, some commentators look nervously at China’s threatening position towards Taiwan. At home in Britain there have been dire warnings that we are living in a ‘pre-war era’; and further afield, the Doomsday Clock has been set to merely 90 seconds before midnight and a nuclear holocaust. For people of faith, making sense of the human propensity for violence has always been challenging. How can we justify pacificism in the face of evil? And contrariwise, how can we justify warfare when we claim to follow the command of Christ to love our enemies? And what does horrendous warfare do to your faith in God and in humanity? Rosa Hunt talks to four people who have had to think through some of these issues in great depth. In Lviv, Ukraine, Rev. Roman Zaviyskyy is a philosopher and theologian and president of the Ukrainian branch of the European Society of Catholic Theology; in Princetown, Ukrainian theologian Pavlo Smytsnyuk reflects on how life has changed over the last two years. In Israel Elena Volkova – originally from Russia and now and independent scholar after leaving her mother country - offers her perspective. And in Aldershot, retired soldier and lay minister Major General Tim Cross, who served during the Cold War and during peace keeping operations in the Balkans, offers his perspective.

Duration:00:27:36

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Skanda Vale

2/11/2024
Azim Ahmed visits one of Wales' most fascinating religious communities, now celebrating 50 years since it was founded in a peaceful corner of Carmarthenshire, near the village of Llanpumpsaint. This monastery and temple complex is devoted to worship and to service to both animal and human lives. Boasting no fewer than three elephants, the Community of the Many Names of God was established back in 1973 by a former Sri Lankan florist based in London, Guru Sri Subramanium. The Guru came to Wales guided by a vision. From unpromising beginnings - he had spotted a derelict farm for sale in the small ads of the Farmers Weekly magazine - the Guru built up a temple complex that is nowadays home to some twenty permanent members, and many more lay people and devotees. Still guided by the late Guru's vision, Skanda Vale attracts many thousands of worshippers annually, and is home not only to a human community - it is also home to numerous animals, including no fewer than three elephants! https://www.skandavale.org/

Duration:00:27:42

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Seasons and Spirituality

1/14/2024
We’re three weeks into January - Christmas seems a distant memory, the weather pattern this month has ranged from flooding to freezing cold temperatures, and there’s still a couple of months to go before the clocks go forward, when the days grow longer and lighter. And perhaps, for many us, those hope-filled new year’s resolutions are now long forgotten. For some, these factors all contribute to a decline in mood. So-called ‘Blue Monday’ falls this week. The label was reportedly coined by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004 when a holiday company asked him for a ‘scientific formula’ to calculate the most depressing day of the year. In fact, there’s nothing scientific about it, and the term ‘Blue Monday’ has been disputed over the years. But, does January really make the world feel different; or is the notion a myth, negatively conditioning the way we routinely view the first month of the new year? How deeply do the changing months and seasons affect the way we view and experience our daily lives, and our spirituality? To discuss these issues, Delyth Liddell is joined by Vishvapani Blomfield, a Buddhist writer, broadcaster and mindfulness teacher; Dr Simon Braybrook, a GP from Cardiff; and Sr Gemma Simmonds, director of the Religious Life Institute at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, and an ecumenical canon of the Church in Wales.

Duration:00:27:40

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Dr Grahame Davies

1/7/2024
Roy Jenkins speaks to the Church in Wales' newly-appointed Director of Mission and Strategy, the poet and writer Grahame Davies. Before his recent appointment to the church of which he has been a lifelong member, Grahame served as deputy private secretary to King Charles III, where he worked behind the scenes helping with - among other things - the huge task of organising royal visits. Grahame talks about his faith journey - sometimes literally, when he reflects on a profound spiritual experience he had after visiting the island of Iona - and about the joy of hearing his own words sung and performed to millions of TV viewers around the world during the King's Coronation.

Duration:00:27:21