Diary: Archbishop's sermon may cost him a place in The Sun


I hear from someone in a position to know that Lambeth Palace is not pleased with the unusual “Sunday Service” delivered by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in a column in The Sun on Sunday.

Normally, the Church of England is glad to get its message to as wide an audience as it can, and the newspaper's circulation is way bigger than the biggest congregation that ever packed York Cathedral. And the Archbishop will make no material gain from the column, because all money received is pledged to go straight to charity.

What has not gone down well, apparently, is the peculiar mix of faith and product placement. "Ours is a God of second opportunities," the Archbishop wrote. "With that in mind, live in hope, free from fear, and embrace every day God puts before you in confidence. And if you can buy The Sun seven days a week, even better!"

Dr Sentamu was out of reach on retreat, so until he emerges tomorrow, it is not certain whether this Sun column will be followed by others. The offer is open to him if he wants to write another, but with his chances of ever becoming Archbishop of Canterbury heading the way of the News of the World he might be well advised to say no.

So that explains the long faces...

On the very morning that it was revealed at the Leveson Inquiry that the Metropolitan Police loaned one of its retired horses to The Sun's former editor Rebekah Brooks, the main headline on that newspaper was: "Taking us for a ride."

Unhealthy support for Lansley

There was a notable shortage of cabinet support for Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, as he stood up in the Commons yet again yesterday to defend his tattered health-reform bill. The most senior Tory on the benches beside him was Sir George Young, the Leader of the Commons. "If it had happened to one of ours," a former Labour minister remarked, "it would have been either a sign they are hanging him out to dry or he is in the departure lounge – or they can't get their act together."

Tories not party to revealing findings

The Conservative hierarchy say they have completed their internal investigation into Aidan Burley, the MP who was photographed at a Nazi-themed stag party, but are not going to tell us their conclusions just yet. "It would be inappropriate to release the report's findings while French police are conducting their own investigation," a spokesman said.

H'Angus fires 'cabinet'

When people are asked in local referendums whether they want a directly elected mayor, they usually say no. An exception was the town of Hartlepool, where they voted to have a mayor, then elected a monkey. Actually, it was a man in a monkey outfit, who acted as the Hartlepool FC mascot and got himself on the ballot paper as H'Angus the Monkey.

What started as a joke has become serious. Bereft of his monkey suit, Stuart Drummond is still Mayor of Hartlepool, the first elected mayor to win a third full term, and this week he has sacked six Labour councillors from the "cabinet" that runs the local council because they failed to vote for a plan to privatise the council's IT services. It's a far cry from the days when he entertained Hartlepool FC supporters by cavorting with a blow-up doll.

* Congratulations to Today presenter Jim Naughtie for getting through the entire programme yesterday without once mispronouncing his guest, the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own