Former MP Ann Widdecombe has criticised the idea that God could be female, after a bishop said calling God 'He' puts people off church. Widdecombe, who is a Catholic, was asked by Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain whether calling God 'He' was offensive to some. She answered: "I don't think it's remotely offensive. "In fact, I have never heard such nonsense throughout the entire New Testament. "Christ is a 'He' and Christ refers to God as the father. But her main complaint was about the claim that calling God male would put people off Christianity, as the Bishop of Gloucester, Rt Rev Rachel Treweek suggested in the Sunday Times at the weekend.

The Bishop of Ely has defended a decision by staff at the city's cathedral to fly a rainbow flag, at the same time as he attacked "reprehensible" letters and emails the gesture prompted. Rt Rev Stephen Conway said a "large number" of emails and letter received following the display in August were supportive but some were "entirely reprehensibly and violently homophobic". Bishop Stephen said: "What started out as a pastoral response to a request for solidarity - to fly a rainbow flag from the west tower of Ely Cathedral on the day of the Ely Pride festival - has gathered interest and concern across the diocese and further afield.

The Government has launched a consultation on removing the requirement to provide a reason for divorce. Justice Secretary David Gauke confirmed proposals to introduce so-called no-fault divorce and remove the right to contest divorces. The Christian Institute said the Government needed to be “doing more to keep marriages together not helping to break them up”. Currently, divorce claimants must cite adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or two years’ separation when the divorce is consensual, or five years’ separation otherwise.

Hillsong Church has announced it is leaving the denomination that it was formed within after two years of prayerful consideration. Beginning as Hills Christian Life Centre in 1983, the church led by Brian and Bobbie Houston grew and planted into 123 locations across the world. Up until now it has fallen under the governance of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC).

LONDON - Iran's ambassador to the United Nations has asked in letters to its secretary-general and Security Council for condemnation of Israeli threats against Tehran and to bring Israel's nuclear program under its supervision. Iranian state television said Gholamali Khoshrou has asked the United Nation to force Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and bring its nuclear program under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN atomic watchdog.