The Savi Hensman Column

Savi Hensman reflects on religion, society and politics

  • 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.

  • 18 Jul 2011

    An ill-judged intervention from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on a cluster of issues around equality law and religion is likely to intensify confusion, damage the EHRC’s credibility and do more harm than good to Christianity, says Savi Hensman.

  • 4 Jul 2011

    The Church of England is to review its policies on sexuality. As in many other churches, there has been heated debate and deep hurt around this issue in the past. Savi Hensman asks how this controversial subject can be tackled in a way that promotes greater understanding of one another and of God’s purposes.

  • 15 Jun 2011

    The Channel 4 footage Sri Lanka war crimes footage showed graphically what happens when ordinary people are regarded as mere pawns who can be sacrificed in a contest between rival commanders, says Savi Hensman, reviewing the evidence. But all human life is precious and such degrading practices must be outlawed

  • 8 Jun 2011

    Helping others with their burdens is not a matter of prescriptive advice based on dogma or prejudice, or trying to take charge of others’ lives, says Savi Hensman, drawing deeply on Christian scriptural wisdom. Instead it involves being willing to listen, learn and engage.

  • 26 May 2011

    If Church of England leaders continue to discriminate against even those lesbians and gays who have made considerable sacrifices out of respect for church discipline, there will be considerable damage to its credibility as a force for love and justice in the world, says Savi Hensman.

  • 10 May 2011

    Sharing ideas at a local, regional and national level, and discussing how to respond to the threat of cuts, will not always be easy, says Savi Hensman. But it is vital if those who are poorest and most vulnerable are to be protected and a government-led agenda based on false premises appropriately resisted.

  • 24 Apr 2011

    Through the Gospel of resurrection, says Savi Hensman, God is not just a remote ruler, but intimately present, able to empower the despairing and defeated so that they can play their part in transforming the world.

  • 14 Apr 2011

    In a reflection which is both global and deeply personal in its implications, Savi Hensman looks, in the light of recent painful personal experience, at the age-old question of God and suffering.

  • 28 Mar 2011

    A UK government review of local authority duties has raised further fears about the future of social services, says Savi Hensman/ Yet, against a background of harsh spending cuts, this is also an opportunity for people and civil society organisations - including churches and faith bodies - to declare whether they believe that children and adults should be able to get the support they need.

  • 10 Feb 2011

    Baptism is much more than a comforting ritual, says Savi Hensman. It is to be marked with the sign of a condemned criminal, to refuse imprisoning and narrow identities, to face up to mortality, and to be immersed in a new world where justice and peace reign.

  • 22 Jan 2011

    Overall, established Church of England leaders – in contrast to those of some other churches – have been only mildly critical of a government introducing some of the harshest economic and social policies in recent decades, says Savi Hensman. Fidelity to the radical message of the Gospel, and to the vocation of the Christian community, requires more.

  • 28 Dec 2010

    Drastic cuts imposed by the UK government will result in a sharp rise in child poverty, the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates, but children’s services run by local authorities are already severely overstretched in many areas. The situation is likely to become much worse says Savi Hensman.

  • 21 Dec 2010

    It is all too easy for the state to become an idol, yet duty to humanity can sometimes outweigh obedience to the authorities, says Savi Hensman. The conscience case of atheist Michael Lyons is one that should cause Christians, among others, to think.

  • 6 Dec 2010

    In November 2010, the Church of England moved a step further to accepting an Anglican Covenant which could be used to discipline member churches – though those it was meant to placate firmly rejected it. Savi Hensman suggests that in its present form the Covenant is set to cause more problems than it solves.