The New Room in Bristol is Methodism's oldest chapel, built by John Wesley in 1739. Bob Walker reports after an 18-month, multi-million pound renovation that includes a new stained glass window telling the story of Wesley's life.
The Church of England has faced criticism for its investments in Amazon and Google but it is also using its financial weight to pressure oil companies such as ExxonMobil to disclose greenhouse gas reduction targets. Loretta Minghella is First Church Estates Commissioner, in charge of the Church’s £8.3bn investment fund. She speaks to Edward Stourton.
More than 130 people were killed through violent crime in London last year. This week Jaden Moodie, 14, was murdered after being knocked off a moped in Waltham Forest. He is believed to be the youngest victim to die on the capital’s streets in the past year. Tobi Adegboyega is lead pastor of Spac Nation Ministries, a church in south London that uses former gang members to show others caught in crime a different way of life.
St Bride's Church, The Sacred Art of Joking, Jair Bolsonaro
For more than three centuries, St. Bride's Church in Fleet Street has had a close connection with the newspaper industry. The saddest services are funerals of journalists killed in the line of duty. Between 1st January and 14th December 2018, at least 53 journalists were killed around the world. Standing in front of the journalists’ altar, Edward meets two veteran journalists - the BBC’s Lyce Doucet and the photojournalist Sebastian Rich to discuss the changing nature of war zone reporting.
Later today, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will officially gain its independence from the Russian Orthodox Church. Jonathan Luxmoore explains the importance of the split.
As new figures reveal an influx of lone child refugees amongst the boatloads of people crossing the Channel, the Bishop of Dover talks about the need to show greater compassion for those risking their lives to get to the UK.
James Cary is a sit-com writer who also sits on the Church of England’s General Synod. He says that Christians have lost the ability to see the humour in the Bible. He talks to Edward about his new book ‘The Sacred Art of Joking’.
Indian women have been demonstrating in Kerala against their exclusion from the Sabarimala Temple. The BBC’s India correspondent Yogita Limaye explains why.
Rosie Dawson reports on the American Red Letter Christians who are planning to launch the movement in this country.
Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as president of Brazil on New Year’s Day. What impact is his faith going to have on his country now that he holds the reins of power? The BBC’s South America correspondent Katy Watson reports.
Producers: Helen Lee and Catherine Earlam
Editor: Amanda Hancox
Where was Jesus born?
Emily Buchanan talks to Libby Purves about her collection of Nativity scenes. After which, Bishop David Walker and the Revd Dr Ian Paul will discuss if Jesus was actually born in a stable and whether or not it really matters.
Fergal Keane remembers a happy Christmas time in Soweto in the early 1990s and Yolande Knell has been celebrating the Feast of St Nicholas with Palestinian Christians.
The Bishop of Manchester comments on recent figures from the Office of National Statistics which show that the number of homeless people dying in England and Wales has risen by 25% over the past five years.
The Dean of Blackburn talks about the gin he has created with a local distillery to raise money for the cathedral and Samantha Calvert, from the Vegan Society, describes a vegan Christmas and discusses why veganism should become a protected belief.
And there is a taster from a documentary going out on Radio 4 on Christmas Day about the Once in Royal David City solo which is always sung at the beginning of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Cambridge.
Immigration and Religion: A Sunday Programme Special
William Crawley presents a special edition of the Sunday programme looking at immigration and how different religious groups in the United Kingdom engage with this issue.
As we look ahead to 2019 and the UK’s exit from the European Union, immigration is an issue which will continue to dominate politics. In this special edition of the programme William Crawley is joined by Dr Anna Rowlands from Durham University and the author Shelina Janmohamed to explore how different religious groups have engaged with refugees and migrants and the challenges they have faced.
Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, explains the difference religious belief can have on someone’s views of immigration.
Kevin Hyland, the UK’s former Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, discusses why he resigned, the role of religious groups in tackling human trafficking, and the rise of anti-migrant sentiment across Europe.
A Christmas Experience
To keep Christ at the heart of the Christmas story, churches in North London have pulled out the pews and replaced them with Mary, Joseph, Shepherds and Herod to name a few, as over 900 primary school children have come together to recreate the first ever Christmas through an immersive story telling journey. Rosie Wright reports. NHS specialist organ donation nurse, Angela Ditchfield, tells Edward about a new option on the NHS Organ Donor Register which gives reassurance about how organ donation can be reconciled with a person’s faith or beliefs. With so much focus on the Prime Minister, Edward discusses the qualities needed for a good leader with two faith leaders – Bishop Nick Baines and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner.