The Savi Hensman Column

Savi Hensman reflects on religion, society and politics

  • 18 Feb 2012

    Almost ten years ago, one of the survivors of a horrific massacre set about trying to win justice for her murdered husband and scores of others, writes Savi Hensman. This brought her up against some of the most powerful – and ruthless – people in the state of Gujarat in India. But she persisted.

  • 2 Feb 2012

    The Church of England’s decisions about women bishops are likely to have a major impact on its mission as well as its ministry, says Savi Hensman. If the church appears to be reluctant to accept and fully use women’s gifts, attempts to attract and involve more people across a wide age-range may be undermined.

  • 30 Jan 2012

    Successive UK governments, and their media allies, have been vigorous in smearing benefit claimants. To achieve this, politicians and their propagandists have played on popular stereotypes, stoking up prejudice against ‘scroungers’ while lavishly rewarding members of their own class at taxpayers’ expense. Savi Hensman looks at the reality behind the rhetoric, especially in relation to assessment.

  • 14 Jan 2012

    Many people have not yet realised the full impact of housing benefit and other welfare reforms threatening further hardship for those already disadvantaged. On political if not humanitarian grounds, the government would do well to stop targeting those in greatest need, says Savi Hensman, examining the specific issue of housing benefit.

  • 31 Dec 2011

    Britain is “a Christian country”, the language, culture and politics of which is “steeped in the Bible”, declared UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently. The Bible provides an "appalling moral compass", biologist and vigorous atheist Richard Dawkins responded. Both, despite elements of truth, revealed a deep misunderstanding of Christianity, says Savi Hensman.

  • 10 Dec 2011

    An emotionally and sexually intimate partnership is, for many people, a school of love, writes Savitri Hensman. This is not as romantic as it might sound: fearfulness, selfishness, rivalry and other negative traits may surface, and hard work may be needed to overcome these. Yet this can be a path to spiritual growth, which may manifest itself in small ways or through acts of heroic altruism. Such relationships, whether between opposite-sex or same-sex partners, can help to bring forth good fruit.

  • 26 Nov 2011

    Almost a decade ago, Zakia Jafri’s husband was brutally murdered, alongside many neighbours he was trying to protect, records Savi Hensman. Her lengthy struggle for justice is an inspiring example of what ordinary people can achieve when faced with human rights abuses by the powerful.

  • 15 Nov 2011

    Perhaps it is time to abandon the current divisive and confusing Anglican Covenant process and build on the foundations laid six years ago by the Anglican Consultative Council, when it agreed a very different Covenant for Communion in Mission, says Savi Hensman.

  • 25 Oct 2011

    Understanding more about human sexuality and relationships can be helpful to heterosexual as well as LGBT people, says Savi Hensman. Prayerful reflection, study and discussion will not create instant consensus, but can at least help those with different perspectives to understand one another better, and the church to move forward in its mission and ministry.

  • 11 Oct 2011

    The Health and Social Care Bill passing through UK’s Parliament is prompting heated debate, says Savi Hensman. The government claims that this and other reforms to the National Health Service (NHS) will improve patient care. Campaigners fear that they reflect further steps towards privatisation and a fragmented system, which they believe will be harmful to those in most need.

  • 3 Oct 2011

    As some Nigerian politicians try again to push through legislation to further criminalise LGBT people and their friends, it is all the more important for those not caught up in a surge of mass hostility, including overseas well-wishers, to try to ensure that human rights are protected, and the dignity of all respected, says Savi Hensman.

  • 13 Sep 2011

    Especially in areas where affordable housing is scarce, many of us – even if not about to be displaced ourselves – have friends or relatives who are about to lose their homes, with all that this involves, says Savi Hensman, explaining why the government’s programme of draconian cuts to housing benefit are so harmful.

  • 5 Sep 2011

    Even if the government is able to push its Health Bill through Parliament in its present form, there may be a heavy political price to pay later, says Savi Hensman. A different way forward is needed for the NHS.

  • 19 Aug 2011

    There have been many thoughtful attempts to understand recent riots in England, says Savi Hensman. But unfortunately thinktank head and theologian Philip Blond’s parallel universe is not among them.

  • 6 Aug 2011

    Some have read the President of Ireland's recent comments on the Vatican and the abuse scandal as an attack on the Roman Catholic Church. But in reality, says Savi Hensman, it reflects divisions within the church, bringing not only judgement but also the hope of renewal. It can also challenge Christians of all traditions to think more deeply about the responsibilities of the laity.