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Podcast Sunday
Podcast Sunday



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  • State funeral; Radical generosity; Folk songs in church
    The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will be the biggest ceremonial event held in the UK in recent times. It will be the first state funeral since that of Winston Churchill in 1965. It will be attended by political leaders, royals and heads of state from across the world. We consider the history of state and royal funerals, and the extent to which they have adapted to reflect the country’s changing religious and cultural landscape. There has been a call for a spirit of "radical generosity" from the British people, to help reduce the number of deaths caused by the cost of living crisis. Is it enough to rely on the government to limit the effects of inflation, or do we all have a personal moral obligation to take action in supporting others who are struggling? In Islam, Zakat is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria to donate a certain portion of their wealth to charitable causes. We hear about the work of a foodbank run by Muslim volunteers and speak to the National Zakat Foundation about their work in supporting people in need. This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams. He was an enthusiastic collector of traditional English folk tunes, many of which found their way into his works. But he also turned some of them into well known hymns. Over the next few months, a group of musicians will be touring cathedrals in England and Wales with a celebration of the folk tunes he loved so much. It's called From Pub to Pulpit, and will demonstrate how folk tunes, heard in fields, workplaces and pubs, were passed down the generations, and then turned into hymns by Vaughan Williams. Producers: Jonathan Hallewell and Rosie Dawson Presenter: Edward Stourton
  • The Queen and Faith
    In this special edition of Sunday, Edward Stourton reflects on the late Queen Elizabeth II's relationship to faith, explores how she stood for continuity amid so much change and hears from leaders of some of the many religious groups that flourished as never before in the second Elizabethan era. Producers: Jill Collins and Julia Paul Editor: Dan Tierney
  • Pope John Paul I; Pakistan floods; Disability at church
    His was the shortest papacy in modern times. The sudden death of Pope John Paul I, after a pontificate of just 33 days, shocked the world and generated a host of conspiracy theories. As his beatification this weekend takes him one stage closer to becoming a saint, we speak to a man who was invited by the Vatican to investigate his death, John Cornwell, author of ‘A Thief in the Night: Life and Death in the Vatican'. The devastating floods in Pakistan have left millions of people homeless and destroyed buildings, bridges and roads. Vast swathes of the country are now under water. More than a thousand people have died, and more have been injured. Many British Muslims have joined the efforts to provide relief in the country. We hear from the Nottingham based charity, Muslim Hands, which is working in Pakistan, about the help that's needed and how people can offer support. In India, after decades of many unborn girls being aborted, new research suggests the country's sex ratio at birth is beginning to normalise. The Pew Research Center suggests that "son bias" has declined sharply. Edward Stourton asks Professor Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Professor of Sikh Studies at Birmingham University, why attitudes are changing and daughters are now more often being celebrated. A new book brings together the stories of Christians who feel their disability prevents them from playing a full part in church life. This year's Church of England General Synod unanimously backed a motion committing to the removal of barriers that prevent disabled people from engaging. But personal stories in the book suggest that the problem is not simply with access to church, but with theology too. Producer: Jonathan Hallewell Presenter: Edward Stourton
  • Liverpool shooting; Great cathedrals; Russian Jews
    Churches in Liverpool are today opening their doors to members of the community still struggling to come to terms with the shooting of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel. Olivia was killed as her mother struggled with a gunman at the door of their home on Monday. The Right Reverend Beverley Mason is the acting Bishop of Liverpool and also Bishop of Warrington. She tells William Crawley about the support they can offer. An astonishing 20,500 of Russia's estimated 165,000 Jews have left Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. According to the Jewish Agency, which helps Jews move to Israel, at least one in eight Jews has now left the country - including the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt. Many have gone to Israel, but thousands more have moved to other countries. Anna Shternshis, Professor of Yiddish Studies and a Specialist in Russian Jewish history at the University of Toronto, tells us why. One of the UK’s oldest church-based youth organisations may be about to split. The Northern Ireland section of the Boy's Brigade, which has been mostly linked to the conservative-leaning Presbyterian Church in Ireland, is about to poll its leaders on a motion to separate from the national organisation. The Boys' Brigade has historically been one organisation across the British Isles, so this would be a major departure. One third of members are based in Northern Ireland. And what's your favourite cathedral? A new book celebrates the lives, legacies and extraordinary histories of some of the world's greatest cathedrals. Author and architectural historian Emma Wells tells us where her research took her. Presented by William Crawley. produced by Julia Paul and Jill Collins.
  • William Shatner, Bahá’is in Iran, Class in the Church of England
    How do we preserve memories of loved ones after their death? An innovative new technology has been developed that allows people to interact virtually with someone who has recorded answers to a series of questions before their death. We discuss the moral implications and hear from the actor William Shatner who has documented his own life in a video for future generations. In Iran, there are reports that authorities have arrested several leaders from the Bahá’i community and demolished homes. William Crawley speaks to Oxford law professor Dr Nazila Ghanea, who was recently appointed the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and Iqan Shahidi, a Baha'i from Iran, who was imprisoned for 5 years for campaigning for the right of Baha’is to a university education. Does the Church of England have a class problem? We ask bricklayer turned curate, Revd Luke Larner, and Dr Liz Graveling who has recently commissioned a study on the experience of working class clergy. Producers: Katharine Longworth and Dan Tierney.

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