Theotokos icon painted by St Luke


Today is the feast day of St Luke in the Western churches. At the small Syrian Orthodox Church of St Mark in the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem is this icon of Mary, said to have be painted by St Luke himself. If you visit, ask sister Justina to sing the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic – her native language and our Lord’s – a direct link, down the centuries.

The Collect from the Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, who calledst Luke, the Physician, whose praise is in the Gospel, to be an Evangelist, the Physician of the Soul: May it please thee that, by the wholesome medicines of the doctrine delivered by him, all the diseases of our souls may be healed; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Reform Section 5


It might surprise you to know that under Section 5 of the UK  Public Order Act, the police and the courts can decide if you or someone else might feel insulted.

Nobody has the right not to be insulted or offended. This may seem harsh, but it is an important freedom and one that lies at the heart of our commitment to free speech, pluralism and democracy.

A wide range of views are represented in the campaign from The Christian Institute to the National Secular Society. Campaign groups including Big Brother Watch, The Peter Tatchell Foundation and The Freedom Association are also supporters. In Parliament we have over 60 MPs and Peers signed up to this campaign.

It’s not nice to be rude, and we should all think before we speak. But this campaign isn’t about making it easier to insult people. It’s about protecting our freedom when we debate grand issues, or when we practice our faith or disagree with those who do. It’s about preserving the hard won freedom to speak our mind and stand by our beliefs, whatever they may be.