Demonstration of unity

The recent meeting in Rome between Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby should have shocked us more than perhaps it did.

Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

It certainly should have made us think.

Our bonfire night festivities on 5 November are a cheerful but persistent reminder of the deep-rooted hostility and suspicion towards Roman Catholics in England during the late 16th and 17th centuries.

The attempt by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening by James I in 1605 was a response to ruthless suppression of Catholicism in a nation still uncertain of stable government at home and its place in European politics.

Following discovery of the plot, further anti-Catholic legislation followed, some traces of which remains in place to this day.

The demonstration of unity between the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury is what ought really to be at the heart of bonfire night. Fireworks could be an exuberant celebration of the Christian voice that places truth, reconciliation and peace at the heart of its contribution to international relations.

Tragically, we still live in a world where we blow each other apart rather than seek to understand our differences. Bonfire night should mark the celebration of hope for a better world, in which religion finds its fulfilment as the perpetrator of wise and generous tolerance.

Faith Matters

Real Advent Calendar:

Advent begins in a few weeks’ time, and The Real Advent Calendar is a fun way to share the Christmas story. The calendar comes with a free 28-page Christmas story activity book designed to be used every day in Advent. This year, the book is illustrated by award winning artist, Alida Massari. As well as celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the calendar makes a charity donation, from every sale, to Traidcraft Exchange and the Funzi & Bodo Trust. You can find out more and order your own at:

The Little House in Heaven

On Tuesday 15th November, Local author Kathleen Watson will be selling her children’s book, ‘The Little House in Heaven’ at Chapel Gifts and Books, 64 Chapel Road, Worthing, from 11am-3pm.

Battle of Hastings Remembered

The People’s Tapestry is a new work created by the community of St Clements Church in Hastings and inspired by the 950th Anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Hastings. The People’s Tapestry was unveiled on Sunday 16th October with approximately 450 panels on display. The project has not yet closed, so it is still available for viewing.