Charity chief urges Prime Minister to create CSE national inquiry

Charity 4Children is calling for a stand-alone national inquiry into the extent of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the wake of the Rotherham abuse scandal.

For Attila

4Children chief executive Anne Longfield has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to make the case for why a national inquiry is needed following the publication last week of the Jay report that found 1,400 children and young people had been victims of systematic sexual abuse over 16 years in Rotherham

The government has vowed to incorporate the findings from Rotherham into its recently announced historical child abuse inquiry, but Longfield argues this gives a “false impression” the issue is in the past when many believe CSE is a growing and widespread problem.   4Children is also concerned that the full extent of systemic neglect and agency failings identified in the Jay report will not be fully scrutinised or addressed if it is part of a wider inquiry.

In her letter, Longfield says the extent and severity of the Rotherham abuse merits a “high-level, time-limited, Prime Ministerial-led inquiry” that should focus on what went wrong in Rotherham; the extent of CSE across the UK; what needs to be done to tackle the problem; and how agencies and communities need to change in order for allegations of CSE to be taken more seriously.  

Longfield said:

“We are calling on the Prime Minister to establish a stand-alone inquiry to reveal the true extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and other areas and answer questions about how and why services continue to fail our children. Adding it to the remit of an historical abuse inquiry misses the point. This week alone a number of potential new victims have come forward.  

“Perpetrators of these horrific crimes were allowed to continue their abuse for decades because nothing was done to stop them. Yet the key findings from the report – agencies not working together and children not being listened to – are not new ones and government must act now to ensure that children’s voices are never ignored again when abuse of this kind is reported. 

“The full scale of this systemic failure may never be known, but government must act now to carry out an urgent and transparent investigation to listen to and protect children and make sure this never happens again in Rotherham or anywhere else in the UK.

 

Vacancy: Boys’ Brigade Development Worker

The Boys Brigade

DEVELOPMENT WORKER – WORKING WITH AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN CHURCHES

Following the growth of The Boys’ Brigade (BB) within African & Caribbean Churches and their communities the BB is seeking to appoint an innovative  Development Worker to help us to continue to grow and strengthen our Youth and Children’s Work within these communities.

Job focus:

  • Strengthening relationships with churches and communities from local to national (UK) level.
  • Working alongside our team of development workers as they support recently established groups within these communities.
  • Research and develop new youth and children’s work within agreed areas of England to widen access to BB programmes and activities

This is a full time position (35 hours per week) on an 18 month fixed term contract. Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends is a requirement for the role. The starting salary will be £23,517

If you have a background in Youth and Children’s work and the confidence and influencing skills to help us achieve our plans and vision, then we would be pleased to hear from you.

The successful applicant will have experience and knowledge of the African & Caribbean communities and will be in sympathy with the Christian ethos of the organisation.

Closing date for applications – 8th September 2014

Recruitment packs can be downloaded from our website:

www.boys-brigade.org.uk/jobs

  or by e mail to Graham Weston graham.weston@boys-brigade.org.uk

Archbishop invites young Christian adults to spend year praying at Lambeth Palace

Justin WelbyThe Archbishop of Canterbury has announced this new initiative today:

Archbishop Justin Welby is opening up Lambeth Palace to adults aged 20-35 to spend a year living, praying and studying together as a radical new Christian community 

In a unique experiment the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to open up Lambeth Palace in London to Christians aged 20-35 – inviting them to spend a year living, studying and praying at a historic centre of the Anglican Communion.

Launching in September 2015, the Community of St Anselm will gather a group of adventurous young adults from all walks of life, hungry for a challenging and formative experience of life in a praying community.

The Community will initially consist of 16 people living at Lambeth Palace full-time, and up to 40 people, who live and work in London, joining part-time. The year-long programme will include prayer, study, practical service and community life.

Members of the Community will live in a way the ancient monastics would recognise: drawing closer to God through a daily rhythm of silence, study and prayer. But, through those disciplines, they will also be immersed in the modern challenges of the global 21st century church.

Lambeth Palace is in the process of recruiting a Prior to pioneer this new venture and direct its worship and work. The Prior will work under the auspices of the Archbishop, who will be Abbot of the Community.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “Stanley Hauerwas reminds us that the church should always be engaged in doing things that make no sense if God does not exist. The thing that would most make no sense at all if God does not exist is prayer. Living in a praying community is the ultimate wager on the existence of God, and is anything but comfortable or risk-free. Through it people subject themselves to discipline, to each other in community, and, above all, to God.

“I expect this venture to have radical impact – not just for the individuals who participate but for life at Lambeth, across the Church and in the world we seek to serve. This is what we expect in following Jesus. I urge young people to step up: here is an open invitation to be transformed and to transform.”

The Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Revd Dr Jo Wells, said: “Archbishop Justin is passionate about prayer and about community. The renewal of prayer and Religious Life is the first of his three priorities, and that is what the Community of St Anselm is all about.

“We are inviting people from all around the Anglican Communion – and beyond – to live a year in God’s time. There are no qualifications for joining the Community except a longing to pray, to learn, to study together the things of God, and so to be stretched in body, mind and spirit.”

“Archbishop Justin longs that Lambeth Palace be not so much a historic place of power and authority, but a place from which blessing and service reach to the ends of the earth.”

To find out more, visit: www.stanselm.org.uk

The Best Untapped Sticky Faith Resource in Your Church

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Fantastic article by Kara Powell on the untapped resources in church:

After I described Ruth and her amazing commitment to write one letter at the start of every fall to each high school graduate, an audience member raised his hand. I called on him, and he stood to explain, “I was here last night and saw Ruth talking to you. I know Ruth. We’re part of the same church. She doesn’t write those high school graduates once at the start of every fall. She writes them every week.” Maybe you’re thinking what I and many audience members said aloud that day: Wow. Ruth reminds us that there’s a group of people with untapped potential to don a jersey and join your family’s Sticky Faith team.

Kara goes on to talk about the role of grandparents.  It’s something we see really valuable at Dibden Churches – our aim is to have a grandparent figure in each of our children’s and youth groups.  We find they bring a different dynamic to our children’s and youth ministry?

How do you use older people in your ministry?

 

Vicar of Baghdad has Hepatitis B

Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White, who is commonly known as the Vicar of Baghdad, has confirmed he’s been diagnosed with Hepatitis B.

Writing on his Facebook page he said:

I Have Hepatitis B
I am afraid my results have just come back and I have got positive Hepatitis B. So I think work is out for a while.

Canon Andrew White lives with multiple sclerosis, and has been playing a key role in standing up for Christians in Iraq and has played a major role in publicising the situation for Christians in the country.

Hepatitis B is a type of virus that can infect the liver and symptoms include feeling sick, lack of appetite and flu-like symptoms.  According to the NHS The vast majority of people infected with hepatitis B are able to fight off the virus and fully recover from the infection within a couple of months.

Edvard Munch’s The Scream Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

 

Edvard Munch The Scream Ice Bucket ChallengeAt one shocking moment, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch suddenly felt the icy existential horror of the human experience. Then he wrote:

I was walking along the road with two friends
The Sun was setting – the Sky turned blood-red.
And I felt a wave of Sadness – I paused
tired to Death – Above the blue-black
Fjord and City Blood and Flaming tongues hovered
My friends walked on – I stayed
behind – quaking with Angst – I
felt the great Scream in Nature
So I challenge the Mona Lisa and Whistler’s Mother

Via: Neatorama

Southampton FC cares for football fan

One of the exciting things for football fans is choosing your favourite player’s name to get on the back of a replica shirt.  So spare a thought for Twitter user @JBridle2, whose heart must have sank when news broke that Southampton had elected to send loanee Saphir Taider back to Inter after he failed to settle at the club.

Bridle had chosen to get Taider’s name on the back of his shirt after he signed on a season-long loan deal earlier in the window – an almost fool proof way to ensure that his shirt remained ‘in date’ for the coming season.

Exasperated, the Saints fan tweeted a picture of his misfortune to the club’s official Twitter account, as can be seen below.

Screenshot 2014-09-02 08.58.39

Credit to Southampton, though, not only did they acknowledge the tweet but they also promised the fan that they would replace the offending kit.

Screenshot 2014-09-02 08.55.28

In today’s climate where fans seems to be ignored by the club they support this is a great act by Southampton.

Gerrard becomes Liverpool FC penalty king

Steven Gerrard penalty record

As Steven Gerrard netted from the spot to become Liverpool’s all-time penalty king during the 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Jan Molby watched on with self-confessed mixed emotions.

The former Reds midfielder was on media duty at White Hart Lane, enjoying a prime viewing position to see the side’s No.8 successfully stroke home a spot-kick – his 43rd for the club.

Before Gerrard became a feared foe from 12 yards, Molby himself had previously held the record, but ‘the Great Dane’ takes solace from the fact that it was the captain reaching the milestone.

“A player like me wasn’t renowned for being a goalscorer so I never had too many records but it was nice to have held that for a while.  In a way it was a little bit sad, but if a record is going to go and it’s gone to one of Liverpool’s all-time greatest ever players, then I can live with it.  Steven has worked on penalties over the years and when he takes one now you always expect him to score.  He strikes the ball really well and he puts the ball into the corners.  He is an inspirational player for Liverpool and remains a big part of the team. In my opinion, there are not that many players left in football today that can lift one team. He can.”

Asked to describe the art of taking the perfect penalty, Molby assessed that each player will have his own individual style of seeking to beat the goalkeeper – not least his own approach.  He continued:

“People have their own technique and how they want to approach a penalty. Some people make up their mind early and stick to that when they run up, but my style was slightly different.  I believe there are three things that are important when you take a penalty, which is the ball, the goalkeeper and the goal.  I used to wait for the goalkeeper to make his move and then put the ball the other way. If the goalkeeper didn’t move I would always try to put the ball low and hard to the goalkeeper’s right.”

For the second season running at White Hart Lane, Liverpool were clinical throughout and eased to victory via a strike by Raheem Sterling, Gerrard’s penalty and an Alberto Moreno stunner.

Ludogorets reach Champions League after defender goes in goal – and brilliantly saves two penalties

There are fairy tale stories and there’s Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets, who have amazingly qualified for the group stages of the Champions League – all thanks to their heroic centre back Cosmin Moti:

With the scores level over two legs against Steaua Bucharest, the match went into extra time, where many tipped Ludogorets to be beaten, especially after their goalie was sent off.

But defender Moti grabbed the gloves and went in goal, and as the match went to penalties, he performed magic by brilliantly saving two spot kicks.

Cosmin Moti

The second of which crucially won the match, securing his team a place in the Champions League group stages with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

The saves were also worth about £30million in prize money, which will definitely help Ludogorets who are in the process of paying for a new stadium.

Great times.

Liverpool FC: Champions League group announced

Champions League group V

Liverpool will kick off their 2014-15 Champions League campaign by welcoming Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgrad to Anfield on Tuesday September 16.  The Reds end a five-year absence from the elite European tournament with a home fixture against a team that they have never previously met competitively.

The Reds were pitted against the holders of the competition in Thursday’s draw in Monaco, and they’ll also face trips to Switzerland and Bulgaria.  Madrid, who claimed their 10th European Cup with victory over city rivals Atletico in Lisbon earlier this year, last locked horns with Liverpool back in the 2008-09 campaign.  The teams met at the last 16 stage and after Yossi Benayoun’s late header secured a famous 1-0 first-leg win at the Bernabeu, the Reds ran riot in the return at Anfield – powering to a 4-0 triumph in front of the Kop.  The only other competitive game between the teams came in the 1981 final in Paris when Alan Kennedy’s goal sealed a 1-0 win for Bob Paisley’s team.

Liverpool also have recent history with Basel after they were pitted against each other in the Champions League first group stage in 2002-03.  The first encounter ended in a 1-1 draw at Anfield, while the Reds came from three goals down at half-time to draw 3-3 at St-Jakob Park.  Basel have won the Swiss league title five times in a row.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have never faced Champions League newcomers Ludogorets Razgrad previously.  The Bulgarian title holders secured their place in the competition in incredible circumstances against Steaua Bucharest in the play-offs.  After trailing by a goal from the first leg in Romania, Wanderson netted a last-minute volley to force extra time in Razgrad.  However, they were reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in the 119th minute.  It meant centre-back Cosmin Moti was required to go in goal for the penalty shootout – and he emerged the hero, sensationally saving two spot kicks to ensure Ludogorets progressed 6-5 on penalties.

2014-15 Champions League fixtures

September 16 – Ludogorets Razgrad (H)
October 1 – FC Basel (A)
October 22 – Real Madrid (H)
November 4 – Real Madrid (A)
November 26 – Ludogorets Razgrad (A)
December 9 – FC Basel (H)

Downton Abbey Cast Responds to ‘Water Bottle-Gate’ Photo Fail

Downton Abbey - WaterAid

The cast of Downton Abbey has responded to the snickering, following the release of a publicity still that included a water bottle — an object not quite era appropriate for a period drama television series set in the early 20th century.

Each holding a water bottle, the show’s actors and actresses posed for a photo (above) in support of WaterAid, a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that seeks to provide clean water, hygiene education and safe toilets worldwide.

“It brought a really big smile to my face when the cast of Downton Abbey said that they wanted to support WaterAid’s work. How fantastic that the attention created over one water bottle ends up benefiting some of the world’s poorest communities through access to safe, clean water today,” WaterAid chief executive Barbara Frost said on the organization’s website.

The hubbub all started when someone noticed a water bottle in the background of a photo released to promote Season 5 of Downton Abbey.

downton_abbey_series_5_launch_06 - detail

Online commentators had a bit of fun with the error, posting photoshopped versions of the photo:

Downton Abbey photoshop