Beyond the gift giving, the Christmas turkey and the latest drama in EastEnders, this festival is important for Christians marking the birth of baby Jesus. As the story goes, he was visited by three wise men delivering gold, frankincense and myrrh. These may seem like pretty strange gifts to give a baby, but what value would the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh have today? Marc discusses this with Adrian Ash from Bullion Vault and Shehbaz Khan of The Frankincense Store.
This week Marc looks at the idea that 'Money is the root of all evil' and out obsession with wealth and materialism. Diana Chambers, the family wealth mentor joins Marc to discuss this idea and what religion has to say on the subject of money.
One of the big focuses of the Autumn Statement was housing, with pledges to build more affordable homes. But where does the statement stand on a spiritual level. Marc Spoke to Jacob Quagliozzi, deputy Director of Housing Justice and Paul Morrison from the Methodist Church, to go over the chancellors statement.
For many the thought of living forever is one of science fiction, but it was recently brought to reality with the news of a 14 year-old cancer sufferer whose dying wish was to be cryogenically frozen in the hope a cure would bring her back to life in the future. There has been plenty of debate around the emotional, financial and ethical questions of Cryonics, but where does faith come into it? To answer this, Marc is joined by Reverend Mark Woods and Rabbi Benjy Rickman
Christmas is supposed to be a time where Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but in modern times, Christmas is much more heavily defined by consumerism. Marc looks at the ramifications of this with Harry Farley of Christian Today and Reverend David Cloake.
Religion is often associated with what takes place behind the closed doors of places of worship. But, increasingly, religion is reaching out into the great outdoors and one area that’s growing in popularity is sport. In fact, the diocese of London has a plan - as part of its Capital Vision 2020 targets - to engage more closely with sport. Marc speaks to Reverend Pete Nichols and to Paul Bryant, founder of the Christian-focused motorbike team Faith Fueled Racing.
As the nights begin to draw in and the clocks go back, there’s one sure sign that we are entering winter, and that’s Diwali. The Hindu festival of lights starts today - a five-day festival, the biggest in the Hindu calendar, which is marked with fireworks and gift giving, traditionally gold. Marc also finds out how the gold price affects Diwali.
Former chaplain Richard Gamble wants to build a national prayer landmark, akin to other UK landmarks such as the Angel of the North or Stonehenge. Many of these represent key moments in history such as military victories or to show off art and culture, but Richard wants to build one for prayer, representing a million answered prayers. He’s managed to raise just over £47,000 and is now launching a competition for the best design for the monument, which he wants to build next to a motorway.
From priests to rabbis and imams, there are plenty of job roles within various religions, but you don't have to become a member of the clergy to share your beliefs. There are other ways to bring your worship into the workplace and one entrepreneur, Nick Law, has set up a biblically-inspired brewery in Sheffield called Emmanuales.
According to the Home Affairs Select Committee, approximately 1,600 Syrian refugees have been processed into the UK. It says the UK should do more to resettle Syrian refugees and strengthen border controls to clamp down on the smuggling of migrants. This is a call that many faith leaders have already been making. Marc talks to Edie Friedman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and Nina Kaye of Refugees at Home.