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In the Press

  • The secularisation of Britain has been thrown into sharp focus by new research showing that for every person brought up in a non-religious household who becomes a churchgoer, 26 people raised as Christians now identify as non-believers.

    The study also shows that inner London is the most religious area of the country, mainly because of its large Muslim and migrant communities. The least religious areas are the south-east of England, Scotland and Wales. People identifying as non-religious are typically young, white and male – and increasingly working class.

    Analysis of data from the annual British Social Attitudes survey and the biennial European Social Survey was carried out by Stephen Bullivant, professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary's University, Twickenham. "The rise of the non-religious is arguably the story of British religious history over the past half-century or so," he says in the introduction to his report, The 'No Religion' Population of Britain.

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  • Three out of four voters support abortion in cases where a pregnancy could damage a woman’s future health, according to a survey by Behaviour & Attitudes for The Sunday Times.

    The new poll finds continued backing for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape, as well as where the mother’s health could be compromised by continuing a pregnancy. However, there is strong opposition to unrestricted abortion or abortion on socioeconomic grounds.

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  • Schools have written to parents about the Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why out of concern that it romanticises teenage suicide.

    The series, which is popular with schoolchildren despite having an 18 certificate, focuses on a teenager who kills herself, leaving seven cassette tapes explaining why. It is the most tweeted about show of 2017.

    A letter to parents of pupils at the American School in London expresses fear that "the creation of an elaborate suicide note that has a revenge-like quality to it may be appealing to students who are already looking for a 'way out'." The drama includes a scene in which the central character slits her wrists.

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  • 'I was the tallest girl at the prom'
    I first came across the idea when I was 10. I was online. For the next five years I had my head in the computer, doing research and finding people online to talk to. I had not realised people could change their gender.

    I grew up on a farm in the country. I would go to school with Bratz dolls and did not understand why that would be a problem. I was bullied at my first secondary school, so after about a year and a half I changed to Penglais comprehensive, just outside Aberystwyth.

    I was 15 when I told my closest friend and my mum and dad that I wanted to be a girl. Dad did not know how to react. He had never come across this before. But he was very supportive all the way. I have been very close to my parents.

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  • Hull's Holy Trinity Church has been re-dedicated as a minster by the Archbishop of York.

    A flotilla of about 20 boats travelled down the Humber into Hull Marina ahead of the outdoor service, with Dr John Sentamu carrying a lantern lit at All Saints Church in Hessle.

    The flame was then used to light the Hull Minster candle.

    The minster is currently undergoing a £4.5m regeneration project, with the interior being restored and remodelled.

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  • The Green Party of England and Wales says it would decriminalise the sale and purchase of sex as part of its manifesto for women.

    It said the measure, following UN and Amnesty International recommendations, would keep sex workers safe.

    It is also promising to end asylum detention, starting with the release of vulnerable female detainees.

    Deputy leader Amelia Womack said detention was "inhumane, costly and totally unnecessary".

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  • Prince William said "nobody should be bullied for their sexuality", as he was recognised for supporting the LGBT community.

    He told the British LGBT Awards on Friday evening via a video message: "It's so important to be proud of the person you are."

    The Duke of Cambridge was named "straight ally of the year" and was among several celebrities given awards.

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  • The Liberal Democrats have pledged to legalise cannabis and allow it to be sold on the high street, with users also free to grow it at home.

    In a first for a British political party, its manifesto will commit to bringing in a fully regulated cannabis market that could raise up to £1billion in taxes.

    But last night critics said legalising the class B drug sent out a 'bad message' to young people and described it as a bid for headlines by the Lib Dems.

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  • Justin Welby is a 'heretic' and a 'wolf in sheep's clothing', according to the conservative Church responsible for consecrating a breakaway bishop in Newcastle outside the authority of the Church of England.

    An explosive lecture delivered at the Jesmond Conference for conservative evangelicals earlier this year further reveals the depth of division and distrust as traditionalists plot a splinter Anglican Church in the UK.

    Highlighting the level of concern over the CofE's teaching on homosexuality, Bishop Martin Morrison of the conservative breakaway Anglican Church in South Africa that oversaw the consecration of Jesmond's senior minister as a bishop, accused the archbishops of an ancient Christian heresy called Arianism.

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  • Many UK children are going for days without seeing their parents because of the stresses and strains of modern life, a charity is warning.

    Some 27% of 1,207 parents surveyed for the British Heart Foundation said they were too busy, in an average day, to spend any time with their children.

    Nearly three in 10 parents said they left the house, without seeing their children, at least once a week.

    The charity said the "daily grind" was driving families apart.

    One in 10 of the 2,300 UK adults surveyed on the issue said the last time they spent quality time with their family was over a year ago.

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