SPUC Conference 2023

His Grace, ✠Jerome had the privilege of attending the conference hosted by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in Milton Keynes last weekend. It proved to be an incredibly encouraging and inspiring experience. The passionate speakers effectively communicated the remarkable efforts undertaken by the charity in their dedicated pursuit of the goal to “make abortion unthinkable”.

We were delighted on the first evening to hear in person one of the UK’s most courageous spokesmen for the gospel and orthodox Christianity, culture warrior Deacon Calvin Robinson. He gave an inspiring talk about the importance and relevance of the pro-life campaign for the sake of women and unborn children and some great words of encouragement to all present. We took the opportunity to thank him for his efforts online and in the media “to speak the truth to power” and assured him of our support and prayers for his work.

Deacon Robinson was the sole “keynote” speaker this year, as the Executive Committee judiciously deemed it preferable to update the members on the charitable campaigns and advancements since the previous in-person conference in 2019, prior to the Covid outbreak. Diverse members of the SPUC staff shared their expertise through informative presentations, interactive workshops, and engaging showcases, illuminating the remarkable achievements and ongoing endeavors of the organization.

The conference commenced with a formal address delivered by the esteemed CEO. John Deighan, a distinguished Papal knight, brings an extensive history of political campaigning and media involvement on ethical matters, spanning nearly three decades in both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments. He initially pursued a career in engineering and teaching before dedicating sixteen years as the Parliamentary Officer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. In 2021, he assumed the role of CEO of SPUC UK, succeeding veteran pro-life campaigner, John Smeaton. John delivered an eloquent and compelling speech at the conference, leaving the audience deeply inspired.

We were thoroughly impressed by the extensive range of projects currently in progress. These include ongoing initiatives to engage with schools, as well as the development of RSE curriculum support materials, theatrical productions, and even a feature film with globally recognised actors. Additionally, efforts are being made to provide support for pregnant students and offer after-abortion recovery care and support services for women. The talks and showcases proved to be highly informative in a professional setting.

SPUC National Conference 22-24 September 2023. Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Photo by and copyright of Paul McSherry 07770 393960 @Paulmcsherry2

The opening presentation was given by Alithea Williams, the Public Policy Manager at SPUC, titled “An Historical Aberration? A Comprehensive Look at 55 Years of Abortion in the United Kingdom.” During her talk, she meticulously examined the legal history of abortion, both in ancient times and specifically in our own country and the beginnings of the pro-life movement. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the concept of the fetus as a non-human entity gained traction, influenced by ideologies such as Communism, National Socialism, and eugenics, before eventually being adopted by feminists.

Advocates for abortion rights consistently endeavor to contest this notion by utilizing language and terminology that diminishes the significance of the fetus and the act of abortion. Nevertheless, the fundamental principle of acknowledging the humanity of the Unborn remains the cornerstone of British law, as exemplified by recent case law.

Carla Foster was convicted for performing a late-term abortion during the Covid pandemic. Initially sentenced to 28 months in prison, her sentence was later reduced to a 14-month suspended one. She was convicted under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, Foster in Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court by Justice Edward Pepperall “for administering drugs or using instruments to procure an abortion”.

Presented by Margaret Akers, SPUC Services Co-ordinator, the informative discussion on “Changing Narratives: How SPUC’s Impact on Women Can Drive Positive Change” shed light on the impact of abortion on women. A new initiative called Her Voice was introduced, which allows women to share their personal experiences of abortion and its effects. The website provides a platform for women to record their testimonies, which can be shared with others seeking to understand the impact of abortion.

SPUC National Conference 22-24 September 2023. Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Photo by and copyright of Paul McSherry 07770 393960 @Paulmcsherry2

Margaret also shed light on two ongoing initiatives. The Alma Mater Fund, which extends financial assistance to university students facing unplanned pregnancies, and The Abortion Recovery Care & Helpline (ARCH), SPUC’s affiliated organization, dedicated to supporting women, men, and families in rebuilding their lives and relationships post-abortion. Both these initiatives are making a huge difference to the lives of the women and families they help.

We also learned about the SPUC petition on Abortion Coercion, calling on the Health Secretary to commission research into the area of abortion coercion, and in doing so, to make this “insidious problem” a priority for health and social policy moving forward. Ideas about “choice” and “autonomy” are central to the abortion industry, however, many abortions take place because a woman feels she has no choice – either because of her circumstances, or because she has been forced by her partner, family, or even medical professionals. Highlighting the insidious problem of abortion coercion is one of SPUC’s current major campaign concerns.

The problem of abortion coercion is backed up by recent research. A BBC poll found that 15% of all British women had experienced pressure or coercion to have an abortion that they did not want. In addition, 3% (33) of respondents said they had been given a substance or tablet to induce an abortion without their knowledge or consent. 5% (54 women) said they had experienced physical violence with the intent to end their pregnancy.

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Michael Robinson, Executive Director of SPUC (Public Affairs and Legal Services), delivered a presentation titled “Making abortion unthinkable.” During the session, he delved into the successful advocacy efforts that have led to changes in abortion laws in various countries. It was especially enlightening to gain insights into the strategic approaches employed by abortion advocates and similar activists, and to explore how we can leverage those same tactics to bring about positive change ourselves.

President of Texas Right to Life, Dr. John Seago’s interview provided a comprehensive explanation of how strategically shifting the conversation around the Unborn to emphasize their inherent humanity proved to be a highly effective approach in influencing public opinion and driving legislative change. Through his groundbreaking Texas Heartbeat Act, Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), Dr. Seago played a pivotal role in the momentous overturning of Roe V Wade in the United States on June 24, 2022. This remarkable accomplishment solidifies his status as a trailblazer in the pro-life cause worldwide.

We also saw presentations from other SPUC staff highlighting other areas of the charity’s work from Fundraising, Communications, Policy & Legal through Advocacy & Development, Creative Cultural & Youth Development and SPUC’s Video Producer and Content Creator. From these we learned that grass roots membership of the charity had grown since the previous conference from 37’000 to 40’000 members and nine new branches have been formed in the past eighteen months.

We also gained knowledge about the remarkable initiatives undertaken in collaboration with schools, “LifeVoice” including partnering with a theatre company to create and stage compelling plays. Furthermore, the SPUC team has successfully executed a prestigious film project that has already garnered recognition and received an award at the esteemed Cannes Film Festival. In addition, SPUC is diligently working on producing comprehensive materials and resources for the Relationships & Sex Education curriculum, which will be implemented nationwide across Scotland in the upcoming academic year.

Conference workshops and sessions gave delegates opportunity to ask and share knowledge

The workshops proved to be highly educational, providing valuable insights for the delegates. The interactive nature of these sessions allowed participants to not only learn more about each other but also gain a deeper understanding of their collective endeavors in the pro-life movement. The SPUC staff skillfully facilitated branch development, engagement with local clergy, ARCH initiatives, and youth work, exhibiting utmost professionalism throughout. There were also stalls providing information and resources for various SPUC pro-life partners, campaigns and projects.

As the first in-person conference since 2019, there was a remarkable sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the delegates. Interestingly, two-thirds of the attendees were attending for the first time, reflecting the significant growth in membership and activism in recent months. The conference capacity had to be expanded three times to accommodate the overwhelming interest from those who wished to attend with the final total numbering 180 delegates from across the British Isles. Moreover, financial assistance was able to be provided to all those who needed help to attend. In addition to ✠Jerome other clergy were also present, including diocesan priests, the FSSP and Marian Franciscans.

Despite being a non-religious organization, SPUC brings together Christians from various denominations who share the pro-life cause in common. Throughout the event, attendees had the chance to participate in Masses and prayer services, including the Traditional Latin Mass with many delegates expressing their gratitude for the opportunity to experience the traditional Catholic liturgy for the first time. Meal times and evenings provided moments for fellowship and enjoyable entertainment. On the first evening, the audience was delighted by CEO John Deighan’s daughter’s singing and guitar performance, while the second night featured a lively Ceilidh with a live band and dance caller. Both the staff and delegates thoroughly enjoyed these occasions, allowing them to relax and engage in meaningful conversations.

John Deighan CEO and daughter with ✠Jerome and conference delegate, Alex Curley-Warren

The upcoming Youth Conference is scheduled for February, and there are plans to organize two or three one-day conferences in different regions. Additionally, many hope there will be another three-day conference in the near future. Delegates thoroughly enjoyed the chance to connect, engage in prayer, share meals, and catch up with one another, as well as interact with the SPUC staff. The conference venue proved to be exceptionally suitable for this kind of event. Overall, everyone expressed their satisfaction with the high quality and diverse food options provided during mealtimes, as well as the comfortable accommodations and helpful, friendly venue staff.

As the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the world, SPUC unequivocally demonstrated its professionalism and unwavering commitment to its charitable objectives. The caliber of their campaigns and projects, along with their flawless execution, left a lasting impression on all who attended. The Executive Committee, CEO John Deighan, and the entire SPUC staff deserve heartfelt congratulations for orchestrating an extraordinary event that will be etched in the memories of those fortunate enough to attend.

For more information about SPUC and its efforts for the pro-life cause, or to become a member visit www.spuc.org.uk

Concerning the “Ministers’ Consultation Response”

Update September 2023

✠Jerome will be discussing this matter at a Free Speech Union event on Tuesday, September 26th, at The Sussex Pub, St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove under the title,
“All protected characteristics are equal, but some are more equal than others”
together with fellow co-founders of PSHEBrighton, a support group for parents and allies concerned about the delivery of Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) in local schools.

Update July 2023

The Archbishop has instructed solicitors Doyle Clayton of One Crown Court, Cheapside, London to address a related matter concerning his “cancellation” as an elected Faith Representative for a Third Sector organisation in Brighton & Hove.

Doyle Clayton represents parents, students, teachers and professors in claims regarding discrimination, misconduct and bullying. Practice head Simon Henthorn is ‘professional, knowledgeable and kind – he can be robust when needed, but shows great compassion‘. Peter Daly, who joined from Slater and Gordon in early 2021, has represented clients in some high-profile cases regarding alleged harassment and intimidation over philosophical beliefs. Associate Amara Ahmad focuses on children’s law, specialising in advising on special educational needs and safeguarding.

The Legal 500

Update January 2023

✠Jerome welcomes and regards with interest the latest statement in Parliament made by the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, of the UK Government’s intention to once more attempt to introduce legislation to ban “conversion therapy”. He particularly appreciates the concluding paragraph of the statement; “The legislation must not, through a lack of clarity, harm the growing number of children and young adults experiencing gender related distress, through inadvertently criminalising or chilling legitimate conversations parents or clinicians may have with their children.” He sincerely hopes that unlike last time, the new legislation will be clearer in language and terminology concerning the need to protect victims, prevent abuse and yet permit the normal course of authentic (i.e. harmless) religious praxis.

May 2022


At the end of 2021, ✠Jerome together with ‘Over 2500 Christian Ministers and Pastoral Workers’ signed a public response to the UK Government’s consultation on the then proposed ban of Conversion Therapies.

The “Ministers’ Consultation Response” (MRC full text in footnotes) took the form of a letter with an accompanying ‘background and analysis’ report. The letter expressed a concern that the then proposed Conversion Therapy Ban would (perhaps inadvertently) have the effect of criminalising some ‘normal practices of religion’ which many Christians follow regarding Biblical moral teachings.

At the conclusion of the consultation process in February 2022 and delivery of the MRC letter to Government offices, over 5000 signatories representing a wide spectrum of Christian denominations and ministries had signed it.

After the MRC letter was made public, several censorious comments regarding its content and notions were voiced, which led to the slanderous vilification of its authors as well as many of the Christian pastors and supporters who had signed it. Unfortunately, this has involved incorrect information about the objectives and motives of the signatories.


To counter misinformation, ✠Jerome would like to make the following points clear:

  1. He wholeheartedly supports a ban of “conversion therapy”.
  2. He signed the MRC letter because it represented a broadly traditional Christian perspective.
  3. It was his considered opinion that the proposed draft legislation was “not fit for purpose”.
  4. He did not sign the letter as Chair of Brighton & Hove Faith in Action. [See image below]


Ref Conversion Therapy

✠Jerome is a firm believer in one of the core values of Christianity, which is the capability of individuals to voluntarily embrace the religion, its teachings, and practices. He strongly believes in the concept of “the primacy of conscience”, which is the principle that an individual should act in accordance with their own conscience. To sum up, ✠Jerome does not approve of “conversion therapy” because it would be in conflict with his conscience and his faith, and he advocates for the banning of it.

Ref traditional Christian teaching

✠Jerome, as an orthodox Catholic bishop, holds to the traditional Catholic belief that the Sacrament of Marriage can only be shared between a male and female and that sexual activity is meant only for those who are married and for the purpose of having children. He does not pass judgement on those who have a different opinion or live a lifestyle that is not in line with traditional Christianity, or on other lawful types of partnerships. The Equalities Act 2010 gives ✠Jerome the right to uphold his beliefs and express them in public.

Not fit for purpose

When discussing the banning of “conversion therapy”, ✠Jerome expressed genuine apprehension about the draft legislation. The legislation could be interpreted in an imprecise manner and could be used to prosecute those educating Sunday School, Madrasa or Chinuch children, hosting homegroups or Bible Studies; providing pastoral support, relationships and marriage counselling; and providing confessional advice or conversion to Christianity or any other religion. ✠Jerome felt these concerns were addressed by the MRC letter while still condemning “conversion therapy”.

Other voices were also critical of the proposed legislation, among them LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, it stated “A ban on conversion practices that doesn’t cover both sexual orientation and gender identity protects nobody.” A concern echoed by Jayne Ozanne, a former Government adviser on LGBTQ+ issues who stated the Bill would create a “loophole of consent” which will continue to put “many lives” at risk. ✠Jerome was concerned that any new legislation should be properly and comprehensively devised. Weighing up the criticism from all ‘sides’ of the debate and considering the feasibility of the draft legislation, particularly with regard to implementation, he concluded that in his opinion it was “not fit for purpose”.

Ref Brighton & Hove Faith in Action

✠Jerome put his name to the letter in his capacity as a Christian pastor, it had nothing to do with his position with BHFA. His action did not breach the organization’s Equality & Diversity Policy nor any existing laws on equality and diversity, such as the Equalities Act 2010. BHFA is a multi-faith organization and does not represent the opinion of any one faith or all faiths. Its primary purpose is to promote good relations between faith groups and statutory agencies in the delivery of social action and community initiatives. ✠Jerome’s actions as a Christian pastor are independent from and should not be conflated with BHFA on any matter.


✠Jerome would highlight the emphasis in the second paragraph of the letter which stated and reflects his own attitude, approach and praxis pastorally;

“In our churches we welcome and show love to many people who have different experience and views, including same-sex attraction and forms of gender transition. We always seek to act in love, with gentleness and respect, for the good of all, and never with any form of coercion or control.”

The Ministers’ Consultation Response 2022

✠Jerome has a personal understanding of the kind of coercive control that is known as “conversion therapy” since he has experienced it himself. He shows true empathy and compassion for others who have been subjected to this kind of manipulation and cruelty, and would never support such practices or allow them to be done to anyone else. He knows that there have been, and still are, a number of destructive and harmful approaches that are considered to be “Christian ministry” and that are rightly considered to be “conversion therapy”. He recognizes the damage that these approaches can cause, and he is firmly against them continuing.

✠Jerome is adamant that people who have undergone “conversion therapy” should be given the opportunity to speak out about any emotional or mental abuse they may have experienced. He also implores other Christian leaders to give due attention to these stories and not fault the victims for the psychological pain they have endured. Additionally, he is of the strong opinion that any “Christian ministries” that attempt to disguise their damaging practices with euphemisms should be exposed and reprimanded.

All his life, ✠Jerome has been a passionate advocate of civil rights and freedoms. As a former student activist and trade unionist, he has been engaged in struggles for equality and diversity for over three decades. In his ministry, ✠Jerome has been particularly conscientious about applying these principles. In 2009, he walked an 80ft tightrope above the Zippos Circus Big Top to draw attention to The Sussex Beacon, a local HIV/AIDS hospice. Over the years, he has raised money for a variety of charities that attempt to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and other challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, such as mental health and sexual wellbeing.

Previously holding the position of Chair of Churches Together in Central Brighton and presently acting as Chair of Brighton & Hove Faith in Action, ✠Jerome has been striving to bring together people from different religious affiliations and denominations, particularly to work together to tackle social issues. He was an original founder of the Upstanders Network formed to enable people to detect and handle circumstances of prejudice and intimidation in public spaces. Additionally, he is a trustee of the Brighton & Hove Racial Harassment Forum, contributing significantly to creating solutions to assist victims of hate crimes based on faith or ethnicity.

✠Jerome has devoted his life to uniting various kinds of people to further the progress of society. He understands that differing backgrounds and outlooks are to be respected, not relativised. His long-standing commitment to inclusion, and to producing holistic answers to societal issues, is evident to those who have seen him in action. He is demonstrative of the fact that it is possible to hold traditional Christian values and still accept aspects of today’s world without being judgmental and bigoted.

✠Jerome hopes that this explanation would aid those who may have misinterpreted or mistakenly misjudged his purpose for signing the Ministers’ Consultation Response, to understand his stance on the issues and his repeated desire to see a clear and comprehensive legislative ban of “conversion therapy”.


The text of the Consultation document may be read here and a critique of it by the Evangelical Alliance here

An objective appraisal of the letter may be found here in response to criticism by the Anglican Bishop of Oxford

The actual text of the letter, information about the authors and the arguments sent to the Secretary of State may be read here:

✠Jerome’s signature as it appeared on the document

Philippines: Cebu Faith in Action

The community outreach work undertaken by the Old Roman apostolate sets it apart from other Traditional Catholic movements. This work is considered crucial in expressing our identity as Christians and serves as a testimony of our faith through both corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

By engaging in community outreach, the Old Roman apostolate emphasizes the importance of compassion, empathy, and selflessness, aiming to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. Through these acts the apostolate strives to bring the love and teachings of Christ to the wider community.

The Old Roman Mission Chapels at Cebu City under the direction of Fr Harold Plaza had a Medical, Optical and Dental Mission and Brigada Eskwela on Saturday, August 19th held at Marigondon Elementary School, Marigondon, Lapulapu City, Cebu.

Brigada Eskwela is an activity undertaken in public schools a week before classes begin, where people voluntarily help to clean up and repair classrooms and school environs to prepare schools for the beginning of the new academic year.

Summer Retreat: The Tangibility of God

S. Pantaleonis, Martyris

This year, the South East of England summer retreat was held at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, located on sixty acres of the picturesque Sussex countryside in Crawley Down. The focus of the retreat was on “The Tangibility of God,” emphasizing our capacity to encounter and recognize the presence of God in a concrete and genuine manner.

In our fast moving car, rushing past traffic on the M23, the slow drive through the beautiful green forests’ tunnel of trees was like passing from the noisy wild world into a haven of peace…


The monastery provided a perfect environment for prayer, as it is home to a community of religious contemplatives. The entire place exudes a peaceful atmosphere that is ideal for deep reflection and meditation. During their stay, the retreatants enjoyed delicious meals in silence, except on the feast of St James the Great when they were encouraged to engage in conversation!

We came seeking the tangibility of God and in those first few moments I became very aware of how tangibile He is in nature…


During the three-day retreat, participants were led by Archbishop Jerome in a series of informative sessions and devotional activities. Each day started with the Traditional Latin Mass and ended with Holy Hour and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, creating a peaceful atmosphere in the midst of nature. Additionally, attendees had the chance to receive the Sacrament of Penance and seek spiritual guidance.

Our discussion times were both interesting and thought provoking. Holy Hour, through silence, music, candles, brought me to the realisation that I could touch God through all my senses. Then @7am Mass each day, as the Host was placed on my tongue, this was the exact moment in which God touched me as my tongue touched Him in Jesus…


A particular favourite of the retreatants was a “Rosary Walk” through the woods surrounding the property, during which Archbishop Jerome gave meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries incorporating the surroundings, referring to the flora with Scriptural and cultural references to deepen participants’ understanding of Christ’s Passion and the cosmic dimension of the Cross’s centrality to the restoration of creation. The Archbishop encouraged the participants to consider the Mysteries and Christ’s Passion in relation to their own lived experiences and openness to the awareness of God’s Presence in their lives.

There was a deeply moving and beautiful walking meditation in the woodland surrounding the monastery praying the holy Rosary. The presence of God was clearly tangible on this walk.


Conferences centred on the theme of the retreat and explored the different ways God is present to us, encouraging and enabling the retreatants to recognise and be open to acknowledging that God is “… Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all” [cf Ephesians 4:6]. The Archbishop facilitated discussions on how the participants themselves could enable others to become similarly aware of God in discussions about God’s existence regarding nature and their own life experiences.

Our Rosary Walk I found extremely moving – standing as it were in an environment similar to the garden of Gethsemane, thinking of the “bitter cup” facing Jesus and “not my will but Thine” – I asked myself would I have the courage? Or would I be asleep too? Then in the holly tree grove linking Christmas Incarnation with Lent Crown of Thorns. Praying at the crossed pathways and imagining the narrow pathway ahead of me, I confess made my eyes leak…


The Archbishop explained that the very nature of God is love, and that creation is the great outpouring of the love and creative energy that the three Persons of the Holy Trinity generate and have for each other, and by extension that we are gifts of God’s love to each other. Through an exposition of the Divine Economy of Charity and the Commandments, the Archbishop discussed the meaning of life, intimate love, marriage and chastity. He reflected on contemporary ideologies with God’s revelation of Himself and how to understand the real purpose of our lives.

Time was given to allow the participants to ponder their connection with God and reflect on how they perceive His existence in their daily lives. Many took the opportunity to explore the beautiful grounds to think and meditate. When reassembled, they were encouraged to exchange personal anecdotes and instances where they had felt God’s palpable presence. The retreatants were encouraged to open themselves up to the possibility of experiencing God’s love through prayer, worship, service and fellowship.

The final conference reflected on “the tangibility of evil”. How evil manifests itself through the negative actions of people, with or without the suggestion of dark spiritual forces. How evil spirits affect those who, without awareness of God, are open and susceptible to demonic obsession, oppression and possession through suggestion and manipulation of the will. But those aware of God’s presence, who avail themselves of His grace through the sacraments, who keep His commandments and manifest charity, have nothing to fear.

Summing up – it was like an oasis of calm, a relaxation of normal duties, but also an intense time of focussing on God. How significant that it was three days. It helped me to remember how regularly Jesus withdrew to be alone with His Father. It was a time of renewal for me too.


At the end of the retreat, participants were filled with a renewed sense of awe and appreciation for the gift of God’s manifestation within His creation, of His abiding presence. All participants said they felt they had grown spiritually and had a deeper understanding of the tangible presence of God in their lives. They left with a deeper understanding of how to recognize and be open to the presence of God. As one participant remarked, “I now have a much clearer understanding of the Scriptures, and I have been given the tools to better recognize God’s presence in my life and explain it to others.” Through this retreat, participants were able to experience tangible moments that affirmed their faith and relationship with God.

Family Education Trust AGM

Ss. Joannis et Pauli Martyrum

It was my very great pleasure to attend the recently held Annual General Meeting of the Family Education Trust, held at the Royal Air Force Club on Piccadilly, London.

The Family Education Trust (FET) is not a Christian charity though many of its members are practising Christians. The Trust sees it’s role as informing, educating, influencing and supporting families, parents and children on issues that affect them. The Trust publishes books, factsheets and leaflets on a broad range of family-related issues. They also publish a newsletter four times a year, which gives information about parliamentary debates, bills going through parliament and recent research findings.

The FET’s materials are used by parliamentarians, local councillors and policymakers, and are a helpful point of reference for supporters when they take up issues with their MP and when they write letters to their local newspapers or take part in radio phone-in discussions. They also produce educational materials and online resources for use in schools that highlight the physical, emotional and social benefits of marriage for stable family life and the welfare of children and young people.

The Trust endeavors to shape public policy discussions based on research evidence through actions. These include actively participating in government consultations and inquiries, engaging in dialogues with government ministers and officials, providing briefings to Members of Parliament and peers, as well as raising important issues in the national press and media. By employing these strategies, the Trust aims to have a substantial impact on the public policy debate and ensure that decisions are informed by reliable research.

Following the Trust’s AGM was a conference with guest speakers including journalist and author, Louise Perry, who spoke on her book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, and Harry Miller, a well known champion of the Article 10 ECHR right to freedom of expression and Police overreach, who spoke on Freedom of Speech. Ian Court of Pintsize Theatre Company spoke on Safeguarding in PSHE, (Personal, social, health and economic education) a school curriculum subject in England that focuses on strengthening the knowledge, skills, and connections to keep children and young people healthy and safe and prepare them for life and work. The speakers also led break out sessions to discuss their topics, providing an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and offer observations.

It was wonderful to meet other attendees, some of whom have worked so hard to protect the freedoms and values of our nation. People like Dr Tony Rucinski of the Coalition for Marriage, YouTuber Isla Mac, a retired Principal Lecturer in Nursing, and Mrs Sarah Finch, an Evangelical member of General Synod for the Diocese of London and editor at The Latimer Trust. Over the splendid lunch provided by the RAF Club, I had a very interesting conversation with Mrs Louise Kirk, UK Coordinator for the charity Alive to the World, that provides wholesome PSHE teaching resources and curriculum materials to help schools meet UK Government guidance.

I left the conference feeling very much inspired and full of hope. For despite the many difficulties facing our future generations, manipulated as they are by corporate political corruption a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The conference brought together individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise, all driven by a common goal – to create a better world for our children and grandchildren. The speakers shared their experiences, knowledge, and solutions, igniting a fire within me to take action. It was a reminder that starts with us, that we have the power to challenge the status quo and demand accountability. As I left the conference, I carried with me a renewed sense of determination to be part of the solution, to fight for justice and true equity, and ensure a thriving future for all.

I commend to our clergy and faithful the resources and materials supplied by the charities above which may replace, support or be utilised to ensure the children in our pastoral care may receive a wholesome education in the values our faith and tradition preserve, particularly the inherent dignity and worth of all people, each created and purposed by God for His Will. It is crucial that we instill these values in the children under our care, as they are the future of our communities. By utilizing the resources and materials provided by the aforementioned charities, we can ensure that our clergy and faithful have the necessary tools to educate our children in a wholesome and nurturing environment. This will not only help them grow academically but also spiritually, fostering a strong connection to our faith and enabling them to become responsible and compassionate individuals.

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In 2021 the Family Education Trust celebrated it’s 50th anniversary.

Decline of religious belief in the UK

Feria VI infra Octavam Ascensionis

The decline of religious belief in the UK is a matter of concern, as highlighted by recent reports. A newly published report, commissioned four years ago by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, cites a profound need for improving Britons’ knowledge of religion in general and for protecting faith in an increasingly secularized landscape. According to The Bloom Review: An independent review into how government engages with faith, only 38% of the population believes in God, and there is a lack of religious knowledge among the British population. This trend is deeply disturbing, as it affects the social fabric of our society.

In the UK, a random probability sample of 3056 adults was analysed from March to September 2020, of whom 1645 were from England, 523 from Scotland, 437 from Wales, and 446 from Northern Ireland. This data was measured against 24 other countries and compared with results from 1981. The report surveyed more than 21,000 people, more than half of whom said they believe that freedom of religion is under threat in the U.K. This view was held by Christians more than any other group, with 68% saying that people were penalized for being open about their faith in the workplace.

The Bloom Review published by the British government, stresses the significance of religious education in schools and promotes interfaith dialogue as a means of building a cohesive and inclusive society. The report notes that religious literacy is essential to understanding the diversity of beliefs and practices present in contemporary society. According to the Bloom Review, increased engagement with religious communities is necessary to this goal. The report cites several examples of successful interfaith initiatives, including the Near Neighbours program, which promotes community cohesion by bringing together people of different faiths to work on local projects (Bloom Review, 2023). Additionally, the report recommends improving the quality of religious education in schools by providing training for teachers and developing a national framework for religious education (Bloom Review, 2023).

The lack of religious knowledge is not just limited to the British population but also extends to the United States. The Pew Forum’s religious knowledge survey Who Knows What About Religion found that only 2% of their respondents answered 29 or more questions correctly, indicating a lack of basic religious education. The survey covered topics such as the Bible, Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, world religions, religion in public life, and atheism and agnosticism. This highlights the need for better religious education not only in schools but also in society as a whole.

The lack of religious knowledge among the British population is also highlighted in a report by Church Times that states that only 6% of the population can name all four Gospels. This highlights the need for better religious education in schools. In 1981, three-quarters of the surveyed UK adults said that they believed in God, compared with just under half (49 per cent) in 2022. Just five countries had a lower percentage of belief in God: China (17 per cent), Sweden (35 per cent), Japan (39 per cent), South Korea (41 per cent), and Norway (46 per cent).

The latest British Social Attitudes Survey 2021 showed that the share of the population belonging to no religion had continued to grow, then standing at 53%, with 12% Anglicans, 7% Catholics, 18% other Christians, and 9% all other religions. It also showed that the share of non-religious people will continue to rise over the coming decades, with some 68% of 18-24 year olds saying they belong to no religion, versus just 18% saying they are Christians – including 0.7% saying they are Anglicans. The Church of England has experienced the largest decline in affiliation, halving from 40% to 20%. BSAS report suggests generational replacement is the main reason for this change as younger generations are less religious than older ones. The British Social Attitudes survey is considered as a credible source for measuring religious belief in British society.

The Bloom Review highlights that the lack of religious knowledge is not confined to Christianity alone but extends to other religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. This presents a clear need for a better understanding of religion and its role in society. Religious education can be a great tool to promote mutual respect and understanding among different faiths and cultures. By learning about different religions and their beliefs, people can develop a better of the world around them. This can ultimately lead to a more tolerant and accepting society, where people from different backgrounds come together to build a better future.

The Bloom Review calls for increased involvement of religious groups in the public sphere, and Archbishop Lloyd’s work in his local community has been particularly focused on this area in recent years. Formerly Chair of Trustees of Brighton & Hove Faith in Action, and as a trustee of the Racial Harassment Forum Brighton & Hove, he continues to work towards building bridges between different faith communities and promoting social cohesion. His membership of the Brighton & Hove Local Education Authority’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) enables him to speak to the condition, content and standard of religious education in schools locally. ✠Jerome believes passionately that such efforts are an essential witness to the inherent truth of Christianity and to dispelling ignorance of the important contribution religion makes to society and community.

There is no clear consensus on why religion has declined in the UK. However, the Bloom Review report recommends improving religious education, promoting interfaith dialogue, and increasing engagement with religious communities. The Bloom report claims that Christianity is being marginalized and discriminated against in society. This resonates with the British Foreign Office’s 2019 commissioned report on Christian persecution globally revealing that around a quarter of a billion Christians across the world are suffering persecution, with reports indicating the problem is worsening. Anglican Bishop Philip Mounstephen’s recommendations to the Foreign Office included imposing sanctions against religious human rights abusers and having more detailed policy regarding anti-Christian persecution. Colin Bloom’s report on religion and the state in Britain, suggests that the government needs to intervene more to weed out oppression, violence, and radicalization in religious settings.

Aside from the recommendations made to the Government and institutional strategies to counter religious indifference and ignorance, ✠Jerome is convinced that Christians themselves need to become bolder in witnessing to the Gospel in our communities. He firmly believes that British Christians themselves need to comprehend and appreciate that they are no longer an influential majority in Britain and avail themselves more of the protections and advantages that recent equalities legislation now provides. It can no longer be assumed that even major festivals in our Christian cultural tradition like Christmas and Easter are understood by the majority of British people anymore. From day to day interactions in a variety of settings, the Archbishop is constantly made aware of the ignorance of people about the most fundamental of Christian beliefs or naive assumptions made about our religion.

However, ✠Jerome also believes all these reports demonstrate there is an opportunity as well as a need identified here for a revival of orthodox Christianity in British society. By no longer labouring under the assumption that a latent or residual cultural influence exists in contemporary British society, Christians should evangelise by focusing on the core teachings of the Christian faith. This would involve a renewed emphasis on the Bible and the gospel message, rather than cultural traditions or an attempt to adapt Christian beliefs to fit with contemporary secular values. By doing so, orthodox Christians could offer a clear distinct message that differs from the surrounding culture and provides a compelling alternative to the relativistic and individualistic values of modern society. In this sense, the challenges posed by secularism and the decline of Christianity in Britain offer an opportunity for revitalization of the faith, one that can bring new life to Christian communities and help to share the transformative power of the gospel with others.

“Cum resurrectionis”: a pastoral epistle for Easter 2023


As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, let us reflect on the profound meaning of this event. The resurrection of Christ is not only a historical fact but also a promise of our own resurrection.

As Catholics, we believe in the resurrection of the body. This means that at the end of time, our bodies will be reunited with our souls, and we will experience eternal life in both body and soul. This is a fundamental part of our faith, we confess it in the Creed and is a source of great hope and joy.

The resurrection of Christ is the first and greatest example of this truth. When Jesus rose from the dead, He did so in a glorified body. His body was transformed and perfected, no longer subject to the limitations of time, space, or decay. This is the same kind of body that we will have in the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is not just an example for us to follow; it is also the source of our own resurrection. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus overcame sin and death and opened the way for us to share in His victory.

As St. Paul writes, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with His in a resurrection like His” (Romans 6:5).

St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, explains that the resurrection of the body is necessary for the fullness of human happiness. He writes, “For since the soul is a part of human nature, man cannot be completely happy unless he is restored in both soul and body” (ST III, Q54, A1).

St. Augustine also wrote about the resurrection of the body, “For just as Christ died and rose again in the body, so also will those who are in Christ rise again in the body” (Enchiridion, ch. 84).

In a time when some are doubting the relevance of the physical body to their sense of self, let us remember that our faith is incarnational. Christ reconciles spirit (God) and flesh (Creation) in His incarnation and through the Cross offered the totality of Himself to God for our redemption.

Through Christ’s resurrection, He enables us to experience something of that reconciliation in this life, having won for us God’s grace. We have the assurance that in Christ, we will experience a fullness of joy and peace that only comes from being united with Him in body and soul.

As we celebrate Easter, let us renew our faith in the resurrection of the body. Let us rejoice in the victory of Christ over sin and death, and let us strive to live our lives in a way that reflects this victory.

May God bless you all, and may the joy of the resurrection fill your hearts and homes this Easter season.

With my prayers for you all this feast day,


In Dominica Resurrectionis MMXXIII A.D.


Deus, qui hodiérna die per Unigénitum tuum æternitátis nobis áditum, devícta morte, reserásti: vota nostra, quæ præveniéndo aspíras, étiam adjuvándo proséquere. Per eúndem Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum. Amen

O God, who, on this day, through Thine only-begotten Son, hast conquered death, and thrown open to us the gate of everlasting life, give effect by thine aid to our desires, which Thou dost anticipate and inspire. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen

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Faith Covenant Forum

Today His Grace attended the online Faith Covenant Forum of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Faith & Society, chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms MP and hosted by the Faith Action Network.

The Faith Covenant Forum brings all of the Covenant holders together (both local authority representatives and faith leaders) to share best practice during COVID-19 and beyond. It is also a space for prospective Covenant areas to hear about what the Covenant looks like in action.

Since 2012, there has been a realisation that faith groups can be seen as a problem to local councils due to suspicion, bias, and political issues. As a result, communities missed out on the valuable contribution faith groups can make. During the pandemic councils had to depend on all faith settings in a way never seen before because faith groups were able to provide the support needed.

The Faith Covenant is a joint commitment between faith communities and local authorities to a set of principles that guide engagement, aiming to remove some of the mistrust that exists and to promote open, practical working on all levels. The Archbishop was one of the main signatories of the Faith Covenant with Brighton & Hove City Council as Chair of the Faith Council in November 2018.

The Forum discussed the success of various “warm spaces” initiatives around the country where Faith venues have partnered with local authorities to provide places for those affected by the rising cost of energy bills, to congregate, socialise and keep warm. Ideas and suggestions as well as testimonies of how the initiatives have worked and brought communities together were shared.

With the blessing of attendees, a group photograph of the Forum was taken at the end of the meeting. The Forum meets quarterly online, though plans are being made for an in-person meeting sometime in the future. The virtue of being online however, means that Forum members can participate despite the wide distances between locations!

During his recent visit to the Philippines, His Grace took the opportunity to discuss the concept and work of the Faith Covenant with civic leaders, city Mayors and state Governors to promote the concept to them. The idea was received positively with at least one commitment from a city Mayor to explore the idea for their city.

The Archbishop firmly believes that the Old Roman apostolate wherever it operates should seek closer working and partnerships with local civic authorities to promote Catholic social action.