Ekklesia director Simon Barrow is taking part in a discussion of Magna Carta and religious freedom - including the issue of the disestablishment of the Church of England - on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 29th December 2014, at 4.30pm.
Due not least to the ubiquity of 'Downton Abbey' on television this Christmas (no, I don't, since you ask) many more people will be aware – if they weren't already – of the background to Boxing Day (26 December).
Thanks to Ekklesia's Australian associate, Doug Hynd, for pointing us in the direction of an intriguing piece about civil disobedience at the heart of the nativity story - and from an unexpected source.
At Christmas 1914, four months into World War One, British and German soldiers on the Western front laid down their weapons. They exchanged small gifts, sang carols, buried their dead, and some even kicked a football around.
'Panic Saturday' is behind us. But the panic does not seem to have diminished greatly. The compulsion to buy and the strain of doing so is on almost every tongue. Like many Quakers, I don't give presents. This makes Christmas both easier and more demanding.