I became an Anglican eight years ago and have seen marvellous shifts in my life and outlook as a result of having faith. My daughter was 4 years old then and enjoyed the introduction to Sunday School and being part of the children’s procession which followed the serving clergy out at the end of each service. It has been an absolute pleasure to have watched her faith grow over the last 8 years and to listen to her defending her faith against other young people who call her a ‘geek’ for going to church.

I originally come from a part of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith and I never cease to feel deeply grateful for the freedom I have in Britain to worship freely and to have my daughter openly proclaim her faith. The privilleges we have must make us all the more acutely aware of the persecutions that others suffer. I specifically refer to the bombings in Nigeria that took place yesterady (25/12/11). Children were caught up in it and at the time of writing this I am unable to find out whether any died. The thought of those children waking up early in eager anticipation of Christmas day stretching ahead of them and then being subjected to such horror is heart wrenching.

Globalisation was meant to, apart from other things, spread the message of tolerance and international acceptance of each other. This includes religious tolerance. If anything, extremists who fear the spread of a Western style of democracy are holding fast to their beliefs by inflicting terror as a weapon to do so. China is clamping down on Churches. The value of sharing is never purely based on economics or the monetary system. If that were to be so then international cooperation need not extend beyond trade agreements and tariffs. Now, that would be foolish wouldn’t it?

Please pray for the tolerance of Christianity in 2012.

What would have happened if it had been 3 wise women instead of 3 wise men? The women would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stables, cooked a casserole and brought peace on earth.

Merry Christmas to Feminist Women Everywhere.

The following is an extract from a book written in 1698 by Sir George Wheeler who was educated at Oxford University and became an author. The rules of conduct set out below come from his book titled:
‘The Protestant Monastery: Or, Christian Oeconomicks. Containing Directions for the Religious Conduct of a Family’.

Men should have power over their wives
Good wives should be patient, loving, sweet, kind and obedient
Men should look after their wives
Men should never hit their wives
Men should take advice from their wives
Men are stronger and wiser than women
Men should respect their wives
Wives should obey their husbands

Have contemporary marriages moved away from this model for a happy marriage? Your immediate instinct would be to say ‘yes’, I suspect, but do consider the rise in domestic violence, the recent spate of family killings by men and the favourable way policy makers view marriage with a sub-text of keeping traditional roles going.