A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week

A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week


London, United Kingdom




A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week





A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week



A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week


Women at Hajj; Football and Racism and Universal Credit

This year, for the first time, women are allowed to register for the pilgrimage to Islam's holiest city this year without a male guardian. The Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia begins on July 17th and continues until 22nd July. It was to be something of a festival, with women from all over the world planning to go together. Sadly only Saudi citizens can attend due to Covid restrictions. But it's still a big moment for Muslim Feminists. The BBC's Emb Hashmi reports. England under 21's football...



Football seems to have united England - at least temporarily. And there's a lot of faith involved both on and off the pitch. William talks to Rabbi Alex Goldberg, chair of the England Football Associations Faith Network, about the example being shown by Gareth Southgate's team and how we might keep the momentum going after Sunday's game. What does the title Reverend mean to you? A mark of respect for the office, or a contribution to an unwanted culture of deference which damages the church?...


Manchester Jewish Museum; Fire Monks; Gardening

Following a two year refurbishment, the Manchester Jewish Museum has just reopened. The former Spanish and Portuguese synagogue is now resplendent in its original colours and the new extension houses a gallery that takes visitors on a journey through Manchester’s diverse Jewish history. Next week, visitors to the Hampton Court Flower show (opening 6th July) will be able to sit in the Communication Garden which has been designed by Amelia Bouquet in support of Mental Health UK. Amelia talks...


Fatima the Film; Tik Tok Anti-Semitism and Methodist Gay Marriage Vote

Marco Pontecorvo, a director best known for his award winning work on television, including Rome and Game of Thrones, talks to Sunday about his new film Fatima. It tells the story of three Portuguese shepherds who reported visions of the Virgin Mary more than a hundred years ago. Jewish TikTok video makers say measures to protect them against anti-Semitism on the app are actually stopping them speaking about their faith. BBC digital journalist, and TikTok user, Sophia Smith-Galer tells...


Smuggling bibles to China; Wedding backlog; President Biden and the Catholic Bishops

It was called 'Project Pearl' and the mission was to smuggle a million bibles into China. On a moonlit night 40 years, vast crates containing the bibles were unloaded on to the sand in Shantou. It was a covert operation and Paul Estabrooks was there. He tells Emily how they managed to avoid capture by the Chinese authorities and what was driving them to get so many bibles into the country. As the easing of COVID restrictions allow more people to attend a wedding, we investigate claims from...


Climate Change Boat Relay; Faith and Football; Cult Survivor

What will you be doing on Sunday afternoon? You could look to Cornwall where the G7 will draw to a close and a group of young Christians will meet at Truro Cathedral. There they will bless a wicker boat to be carried in relay to Glasgow in time for the UN Climate Change Conference in October. Edward Stourton asks if they can really hope to change minds with the trip and finds out why they're carrying the boat. Or maybe you'll spend your Sunday afternoon doing something else entirely. As...



A look at the ethical and religious issues of the week


Cathedral Cycle Route; Gordon Browns Global Vaccine Plea and The Pagan Ceremony of 'Handfasting'

A new cycle network is being launched this morning linking all 42 English Cathedrals across a 2000 mile route. A group of cyclists are setting off from Newcastle Cathedral this morning. Clare MacLaren is the Canon for Music and Liturgy at Newcastle Cathedral and Sean Cutler from Northumbria University pulled the route together. Gordon Brown leads a group of religious leaders asking for G7 leaders to prioritise vaccines for developing countries ahead of the G7 summit. The Dalai Lama and Rowan...


The Church's Role Post Covid; Gaza Ceasefire; G7 Choir

What should the role of churches of all denominations be as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic? More than 5,500 people including non-church members, congregations and church leaders have provided their testimony on the human cost of the pandemic when places of worship were closed and unable to play their usual role as crisis centres and places of comfort. We hear how two people made a contribution to their communities and the leader of the research, Dr Dee Dyas from the...


Songs of Grief and Hope; Contested Monuments; Mayflower Legacy

In October 2019 the LA-based musician Natalie Bergman was about to go on stage at Radio City Music Hall New York for a career defining concert with her band Wild Belle. Then she took a call the San Francisco coroner - her father and stepmother had just been killed in California when a drunk driver crashed into their taxi. She cancelled the tour and went into a hibernation of grief that led her to rediscover her faith on a silent retreat at a monastery in New Mexico. Her album Mercy, tells...


Arranged Marriages, Gavin Peacock, ‘Body and Soul’ workout with Mr Motivator

Can an arranged marriage be modern? How much of a say do the daughters and sons have? After 10 years of research, Raksha Pande from Newcastle University has discovered two new types of arranged marriage, distinct from those of previous generations. William Crawley explores a range of views and experiences among young British Asians. In 2008, the former professional footballer and Match of the Day pundit Gavin Peacock gave up a thriving media career to become a church minister in Canada. It...


Pilgrimage; Segregated Education in Northern Ireland; An Emperor in Bath

Pilgrimages are having a moment, with new paths in Scotland, around Durham and between the Cathedrals of England. The famous international ways from Camino de Santiago and Via Francigena have risen massively in popularity too, stalled only by the pandemic. We'll hear the highs and lows of our listeners' pilgrim tales and discuss the attraction with travel writer Sarah Baxter. Just what is it about walking for days on end that works for people and do you have to be religious to benefit? This...


100 Voices; Church of England's anti-racism strategy; Pilgrimage

On Friday, President Biden will mark his first 100 days in office. Each day he has received a letter written by a religious scholar about a pressing issue of the day. William is joined by the founder of '100 Days, 100 Letters' Rabbi Andrea Weiss. The issue of racism has become a common theme over the early days of this presidency and in the week of the conviction of the former policeman Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd Andrea shares some of the letters that explore the divisons...


'Music of the soul'; Faith and Forgiveness; Racism in the Church of England

Are you feeling stressed by the pandemic? You could try Sufi meditation to music. Sufism is a form of Islamic mysticism that emphasises introspection and spiritual connection but the meditation can work whether you are of other faiths, or none. When the pandemic began the Sufi music group Zendeh Delan decided to create Sufi-inspired music to aid meditation and broaden its appeal. The result is an album fusing Persian with western orchestral instruments and it is now being used in hospitals...


The Duke of Edinburgh's Faith, Northern Ireland Violence, The Musical Human

Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, William Crawley looks back on his life and reflects on his faith with Bishop Graham James, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, historian Coryne Hall and the writer Martin Palmer. Also in the programme, as violence returns to the streets of Northern Ireland, how significant is this moment and do religious leaders have any influence on events? With the Catholic Bishop Noel Treanor, and the Presbyterian Moderator, Dr David Bruce. And the musicologist...


Harry Connick Junior; Fiona Bruce, Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief and Sir David Suchet

The singer and musician Harry Connick Junior is a Grammy and Emmy winning star. He's sold more than 28 million records worldwide and is in constant demand for concerts internationally. So when Covid struck, he found himself with time on his hands. The result is a new album Alone with My Faith. Last December, the Conservative MP Fiona Bruce was appointed the Prime Minister's Global Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief. In her first broadcast interview since being appointed, she tells...


Handel's Messiah; RE and the Cartoon Row; Sikh Domestic Abuse

The English National Opera and BBC Two are going ahead with a full rendition of Handel's Messiah over Easter. The soprano Nadine Benjamin and the conductor Laurence Cummings tell Emily Buchanan why this socially distanced performance means so much to them. After a tense week in which a Batley school used an "inappropriate" image of the Prophet Mohammed, we discuss how you strike the balance between teaching controversial subjects and promoting respect and tolerance. Emily Buchanan is joined...


"Witch" songs; The Ethics of Protest; LGBT+ Catholics

I've Forgotten Now Who I Used To Be is an album from Ghana's so called Witch Camps. The Italian-Rwandan film maker Marilena Delli Umuhoza and the Grammy award winning producer Ian Brennan recorded music made by women accused of witchcraft and ostracised. Most are guilty of nothing more than being older, destitute or of having disabilities. The couple specialise in documenting the music of the marginalised from prisoners in Malawi to genocide survivors in Rwanda. It is, they say, the music of...