An atheist bus campaign is doing something its backers probably didn't expect - gaining Christian support.
Around 300 London buses will sport the message: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," staring from January and the 5,000 ads are likely to run for a month. After one of the most prominent atheists in Britain, Professor Richard Dawkins, threw his weight behind the campaign spearheaded by journalist, Ariane Sherine, The British Humanist Association raised more than £30,000 on its first day of fundraising.
Except it isn't really an atheist message; it's agnostic. The insertion of the word "probably" into the first sentence has left room for a debate about God's existence.
In September I was privileged to attend an 'Iftar' at a local school. To the uneducated (including me until I received the invitation) the 'Iftar' is the evening meal which breaks the daily fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a deeply spiritual time for Muslims. Those Muslims who are able to do so are obliged to fast. This means going without food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
On my way to work this morning, still half-asleep and bleary eyed (on the Tube I hasten to add - not on the M25), I was flicking through the Metro (the free morning paper) and to my astonishment, noticed a whole quarter of a page devoted to a prayer.
The Church of England, anticipating that commuters will be pretty miserable having to return to work after the summer holidays, have published a prayer asking God for help with love-life issues; financial troubles and the stresses of returning to work.
Last week I found was having dinner in Cambridge admiring a fine view of King's College Chapel. It was the first day of an international scientific conference where my colleagues and I were presenting our project results. Maybe it was the influence of the chapel but talk turned to personal faith and one of my colleagues was astonished to find that she was the only non-Christian on the project.
It's easy to assume that all academics think faith is illogical and intellectually suspect. My experience has been that if discussions are placed in an open and rational framework, they can be very revealing. True, they often start off with a dismissive, knee jerk reaction - "it's just like believing in the tooth fairy" -but they easily turn to deep disclosure of why belief, for an academic, can be difficult. So I wasn't surprised by a recent declaration that religious belief decreases with IQ, especially in universities.
Their letter expresses doubt about "the sacramental ministry of those women ordained to the priesthood by the Church of England since 1994" because they are convinced that Scripture and tradition both forbid this.
In a recent lecture the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said, "I want to encourage people of faith to regard those without faith with deep esteem because the hidden God is active in their lives as well as in the lives of those who believe".
The possibility of God's presence and action in the world - in all people - is what gives me hope for both the present and the future. I can see the touch of God in those who bring healing and wholeness, in the selfless people who care for others; from children who care for sick parents to those who bring relief in drought and hunger stricken areas of the world.
A member of the Church of England's General Synod has accused the leadership, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, of abandoning Christ's command to make disciples of all people.
He comments that we still send missionaries abroad whilst being careful about proselytising at home. We have the privilege of having more people of all faiths or none living among us than ever before and should not ignore this opportunity of proclaiming the good news that the Bible is the Word of God to all mankind and that through Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, a wayward humanity may be reconciled to God.
Has the Church of England leadership 'lost its bottle' regarding evangelising through a fear of upsetting other faith groups?
Jesus called a really mixed bunch of people to be the 12 disciples and an even more mixed bunch became early Church leaders - tentmakers, dealers in cloth, women and even a slave!
In Mark 1, Jesus first calls the brothers Andrew and Simon (Peter) - who we can tell were poor as they are standing fishing in the water with hand nets - and then James and John - who were obviously rich, as they were fishing in the family boat crewed by hired men...
A response to the BBC News Magazine article - There may be trouble ahead
Once hidden away in the small ads in the back of women's magazines, adverts placed by mediums and psychic healers have become more and more acceptable over the last decade or so.
Magazines such as Spirit and Destiny are readily available on supermarket shelves - the current edition carries an article with the title 'Life in fast forward', which speaks about how psychics are able to help people seeking out a future path, as well as contacting spirits from the past...
A newspaper revealed last week that a vicar had fallen out with many of his parishioners in the local village over the issue of who could get married in the parish church. He was sticking to the letter of the law that couples can get married in an Anglican church only if they attend it regularly or live within the parish.
Angry villagers were pointing out that young people who had grown up in the village had had to move out because they could not afford the local houses but still regarded themselves as belonging to that village.
Now there are plans to make it easier for couples to get married in the Anglican church of their choice. But this is far from meeting with universal approval.