"The November  meeting of the new Synod of the Church of England was dominated by a report on lifestyles, `Something to Celebrate', and the proposed structural changes in the Church of England suggested in the Turnbull Commission report".
"I want to present for discussion two theories that might help promote the aims of the Mothers' Union to encourage parents to bring up their children in the Church and to promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children. The first is that, for Christians, `the family' is a central concept, but we might not be using the word in the way it is generally used. And the second is that it is not the job of the family to sustain and reform society, but society's job to sustain and reform the family". "Our Western society has put intolerable pressures on the family by assuming that it should be all-sufficient and that it should be the basic carrier of Christianity, and Christians have sometimes made it worse by reading the Bible for signs that the family is at the heart of God's work in the world, and ignoring all the evidence that, as far as the Bible is concerned, it is actually the whole people of God who are responsible for carrying God's meaning to the world, not the family alone."
Abridged text of the Mothers' Union Mary Sumner Lecture : The International Year of the Family, Tuesday 11 May 2004. Full text is available from the Mothers' Union website: www.themothersuion.org
Articles describes a typical Messy Church afternoon at Ladygrove Messy Church on the Ladygrove Estate in Didcot, Oxfordshire, with families welcomed by the Rev. Hugh Boorman. "The Messy Church concept is a way of 'being church' for families, involving fun, according to the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF), which provides the staff and infrastructure to enable Messy Church to grow. Its core values are being Christ-centred for all ages. A typical Messy Church has elements that include a relaxed welcome time with drinks and snacks, an activity-based learning slot -- including Bible-themed crafts, games and prayers. It culminates with a short celebration -- story, song and prayer -- and then a sit-down meal for everyone. There's no entrance fee, just a small donation if people want. The first Messy Church was started in 2004 by Lucy Moore and a team at St. Wilfrid's Church, Cowplain, Portsmouth (where her husband is minister). In April Cowplain celebrated its 10th birthday". "Messy Church is showing it is robust enough to work across many different environments, from shopping malls and local care homes to inner city community centres and cathedrals. It has been embraced enthusiastically overseas -- by Australia and New Zealand, Bermuda, Denmark, South Africa, the Falklands, the US and Canada, to name but a few. Latvia is the most recent addition".
The Christmas 2000 issue of the International Anglican Family Network discusses how an increasing number of "changes such as a widening gap between poverty and affluence, global communications and increasing secularism, all affect families and their faith." "In many parts of Africa and in the Western world, faith used to be nurtured in the family and in society ... Times change. Now, the transmission and nurturing of faith has to be worked for in a range of ways: by parents, by church evangelism, by modern communications such as the internet". Article includes reports from 12 different countries.
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Advent 2001. An editorial and series of short reports from different agencies and countries about family breakdown. "The articles in this newsletter tell of increased marriage and relationship breakdown, more children on the streets, more despair fuelling alcohol and drug abuse. Many refer to the root causes of poverty, the AIDS pandemic, and, of course, war ... But the picture is not all bleak. An article from Canada points out that a marriage breakdown may, in some cases, represent a new start, free from hidden violence and abuse. Many of the articles tell of vigorous efforts being made by churches and projects from all over the Anglican Communion to help the casualties of family breakdown".
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Easter 2000. An editorial and series of short reports from different agencies and countries about the role of fathers in contemporary families and society. The issue describes "patriarchal societies where the position of the man as the head of the family in `non negotiable'," and Western societies where this is not the pattern. "Articles from Africa and India cite Biblical texts to underline the male head-ship of the family. They go on to reveal both the strengths and the weaknesses of such head-ship: when abused it can make the lives of women and children inescapably miserable. .... Throughout the Anglican Communion there is evidence of the dislocation of rapid change, often in part brought about by economic forces which undermine the role of men for example as `breadwinner' of the family."
Article notes that Canada, which is "the most water-rich nation on the Earth, can supply almost 122,000 cubic metres per person per year". "Even in a temperate climate, human beings require a litre of water each day, or 0.35 cubic meters per year, to sustain life".
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Trinitytide 2004. An editorial and series of short reports from different agencies and countries assessing and looking back on "changes to family life over the decade" since the 1994 launch conference of the International Year of the Family in Malta. "The articles tell of the increasing number of single parent families and of projects to help them. Another development is the changing role of parents. In Africa, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as in Western countries, some men are becoming more involved with the care of their children and more women are becoming breadwinners -- modifying the traditional demarcation of roles. The global nature of change is again highlighted in the article from Myanmar/Burma, which notes the pressures of modern technology on children, with videos and Superman replacing the transmission of values through storytelling. In Papua New Guinea, the influence of cultural change has resulted in improvements in education and literacy but also noted is an increase in violence within the family. In some countries, changes affecting families reflect the aftermath of civil violence. An article tells of the signs of hope in Rwanda, despite the horrors of the genocide. .... In Northern Ireland, too, there are signs of optimism despite the bitter legacy of the troubles. A major theme underlying many of the changes is the spread of HIV/AIDS. This was raised at the initial IYF [International Year of the Family] conference, but the extent and consequences of the pandemic have vastly intensified during the ten years, bringing heartbreak and poverty to many. The death toll affects all generations of the family, with grandparents having to care for orphans and losing the support of their children in their old age." "The final section of the newsletter tells of action taken by Governments to help families. A point made by many at the Malta conference was that Governments needed to recognise the importance of families as the basic unit of society and do more to help them. It is clear that further Government action is needed, but articles tell of steps forward.
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Michaelmas 1999. A series of 17 short reports from different regions and countries describing the churches' response to the problem of single parent families, teenage pregnancy and poverty. In some cases, as in Sudan, single parent families are usually the result of war or AIDS, and not unplanned pregnancies.
Canadian sections includes two short contributions, one of them by the Rev. Canon Alice Medcof.
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for December 2007. "The future of cities depends on the future of young people. In particular, it depends on what policy makers can do to equip young people to break the cycle of poverty. This in turn depends on involving young people in the decisions that affect them. Over half the global population now live in towns and cities. Cities with over 10 million people are becoming commonplace. Elsewhere smaller settlements are exploding with rural migrants". "In many countries, the majority of children will live in urban slums. Increasingly the urban dream is vanishing. The possibility of moving beyond one's parents' poverty disappears". "Families are faced with many pressures and dilemmas -- which children to educate, which to send to live and work with relatives, decisions often made on the basis of gender". "In the midst of our cities are stories of hope, of risks taken in faith. When we work with families, children and young people we work with the cities of the future, with them we often glimpse a different city -- one of possibility, of energy and safe spaces. We need to make those visions central to our presence and witness in the cities of the 21st century". After a series of stories about particular initiatives in different countries, the section ends with a prayer that begins: "O God, give us vision for our cities, that they may be cities of justice, cities of prosperity and cities of peace, in which vice and poverty cease to fester, children play in the streets in safety and the elderly walk without fear". IAFN Newsletter divided into sections: Editorial / Andrew Davey -- Kenya: Kibera Slum, Nairobi / Colin Smith -- Zambia: Chawama Compound, Lusaka / Emmanuel Chikoya -- Rwanda: Kigali City / Josephine Rwaje -- Brazil: Salvador / Stephen Taylor and Bruno Almeida -- Belize City / Cecile Reyes -- India: Delhi / Monodeep Daniel -- Japan: Nagoya (The fourth largest city in Japan) / Kei Ikezumi and Claire Gelder -- Australia: City of Newcastle / Fergus King -- Italy: City of Rome / Michael L. Vono -- Scotland: Hamilton (a large town near Glasgow) / Ian Barcroft -- England: City of Newcastle upon Tyne / Peter Robinson and John Sadler -- Children in Urban Situations / Kathryn Copsey.
Includes bibliographical references and bibliography, p. 49-50.
"In general the booklet attempts to face realistically the drastic changes which society is undergoing, and which affect so vitally the climate in which married life and family life have to be lived. It tries to be realistic about the problems while fearlessly adhering to the insights which the Church has received by revelation and proved by long experience". -- Foreword.
Contents divided into four main sections: The Standpoint of Theology -- Men, Women and Marriage -- Parents and Their Children -- The Family and the Community.
Contents: Foreword by the Bishop of Leicester / Ronald [i.e. Ronald Ralph Williams] -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- The Standpoint of Theology -- Changing Relationships between Men and Women -- Sexuality in Marriage -- Varieties of Sexual Behaviour -- The Married Couple and the Outside World -- A Permanent Relationship ? -- Ideological Challenges to Marriage -- Single-parent Families -- Family Planning -- Population Planning ? -- Unwanted Pregnancies: the Problem of Abortion -- The Family in its Social Setting -- The Physical Environment -- Mothers at Work -- The Pre-School Years -- The Impact of School -- Children and their Ageing Parents -- The Family and the Community -- Notes on the General Synod Debate -- Points for Discussion -- A Short Reading List.