All Things Considered

All Things Considered


Religious affairs programme, tackling the thornier issues of the day in a thought-provoking manner


An American in Wales  

Human beings have been telling one another stories since they first learned to speak. They amuse, warn, educate, and lull small children to sleep; and our guest today is an American spiritual teacher who believes that a particular kind of storytelling can change communities, deepen relationships and cultivate compassion. He spent six months in Wales last year sharing his enthusiasm, at the invitation of the Anglican diocese of St. Asaph. Mark Yaconelli is a writer and retreat leader, a community activist and youth worker, with a wide following across the United States. Like his celebrated father Mike Yaconelli, who trod a similar path before his death after a road accident 13 years ago, he makes regular appearances at Christian festivals in the UK. During his time based in Llangollen, he helped to establish community storytelling programmes, and developing training for youth leaders and clergy. Mark talks to Roy Jenkins about his belief in the transformational potential of the spiritual tradition of sharing the stories of our lives; why he is not afraid of disappointment and doubt; and how imagination is a vital key to the life of the church. First broadcast 10 July 2016.

New Hengoed Chapel  

Pot noodles, toast with chocolate spread, cocoa pops, tea and coffee, hip hop and gangster rap all in a Grade II listed chapel - some of the essential ingredients of a challenging, pioneering youth ministry which has been running for seven years in the Rhymney Valley. It's the vision of Kath Miller, a Baptist Minister, who felt compelled to offer a place of unconditional welcome to teenagers, young adults and children in the significantly deprived area of Cefn Hengoed. On two nights a week and on Sunday mornings, they offer a different kind of church which doesn't preach or teach but simply aims to live out the gospel of Jesus by extending love, hope and help to those most in need, the excluded, the poor, the marginalised. They have been barricaded in the church, had number plates stolen and items vandalised yet Kath, together with her husband Carl, and their handful of helpers, are adamant that they will not ban anyone from the church. Having built up a relationship of trust and mutual respect over several years, the community is now beginning to see the positive and sometimes lifesaving effects of this project at New Hengoed Chapel. Roy Jenkins meets Kath and Carl Miller, young people and members of the church to hear about why the work exists, the impact it is having and plans for the future.


At the start of Holy Week, in which both Easter and Passover are celebrated, and with Ramadan coming soon, Roy asks what it means for these festivals to be considered as Holy, and explores the meaning of Holiness. Joining Roy are:Father Roger Dawson, Director of St Beunos Jesuit Spirituality Centre near St.Asaph; Rabbi Michoel Rose of the Cardiff United Synagogue; Laura Jones, who spent five years as a university Muslim chaplain and is currently taking a second master's degree examining Islam in contemporary Britain; and Rev James Griffiths, former barrister and law lecturer and now curate at St Mark's Evangelical Anglican Church at Gabalfa in Cardiff.

Living with Grief  

In commemorative events across the country, people have been standing with those bereaved by the Westminster terror attack. But grief is intensely personal: no one can enter fully into another person's pain. On All Things Considered this week Roy Jenkins explores grief with a priest whose daughter died in the 7/7 London bombings, a bishop whose wife died after more than 40 years of marriage, and a professional musician who had to tell his six year old daughter that her mother wouldn't be returning from hospital.

Faith in Northern Ireland  

The death of Martin McGuinness, and before him Ian Paisley, mark the end of an unlikely friendship which spanned a divide. After events in Westminster have again put terrorism in the front of our minds, Roy Jenkins examines the relationship between religious faith and Northern Ireland's historic troubles; finds out how churches there are responding to the new reality; and asks what faith communities of Northern Ireland can teach the world. With Roy are: Dr Gladys Ganiel, a Research Fellow at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast. Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian and leader of the peace and reconciliation organisation the Corrymeela Community. Rev Brian Anderson, Methodist Minister and Vice President of the Irish Council of Churches.

Religion and Humour  

Roy Jenkins and guests explore the relationship between religion and humour ahead of Red Nose Day 2017.


It's 50 years since the Act which legalised Abortion. More than eight million pregnancies have ended this way in that time, and arguments surrounding the issue have never gone away: there's a ten-minute bill before parliament this week. As demonstrators picket clinics offering abortion, Roy Jenkins explores the current situation. Is change needed? And with religious figures vocal on both sides, to what extent are insights of faith being sought or listened to? With Roy are: Josephine Quintavalle, co founder of think tank Comment on Reproductive Ethics Canon Steven Saxby, Anglican priest and supporter of Christians for Choice Dr Sandy Kirkman, former principal lecturer in midwifery at the University of Glamorgan.

Famine and South Sudan  

The haunting pictures have returned. Every few years, it seems, we're confronted with amaciated men and women, and skeletal children. Now the United Nations has declared famine in South Sudan, and at least three other African nations face the same threat. Roy Jenkins asks what constitutes famine. Can it be prevented? And in a country which is overwhelmingly Christian, what are the churches doing?

Nicky Gumbel  

Roy Jenkins visits the offices of Holy Trinity, Brompton, now one of the most famous churches in the world. It gave birth 40 years ago to the Alpha course, a way of exploring the Christian faith reckoned to have been followed by more than 29 million people in 169 countries and 112 different languages. More than 300 churches in Wales are running it at the moment. The man who's been responsible for Alpha for the last 27 years is the Rev Nicky Gumbel. He's been described as one of the most influential Christians in the country. What's that like? What's he like? Roy meets him to find out.


Roy Jenkins explores the impact of gambling on individuals, families and society, asking what can be done by support groups, churches and government.

St Winefride's Well  

Mary Stallard visits a unique location in North Wales, the site of an ancient and horrific legend. St Winefride was brutally murdered and then miraculously restored to life. Today, visitors from around the world still come to her holy well to honour her memory and find solace and healing. What are they looking for, and what do they find? How far can the experiences of a legendary saint impact lives today? Mary talks to the well's assistant custodian Lolita L'Aguille, Bishop of Wrexham Peter Brignall, and parish priest Canon Francis Doyle.

Dr Una Kroll, Part 2  

The second of two programmes focusing on the late Una Kroll - nun, doctor, author, campaigner for justice, and one of the first women priests ordained in the Church in Wales.

Dr Una Kroll  

First of two programmes focusing on the late Dr Una Kroll - nun, doctor, author, campaigner for justice, and one of the first women priests ordained in the Church in Wales.

Faith in Russia  

This week Roy Jenkins explores the role of religious faith in Russia (and particularly the dominant Orthodox Church). He looks at the extent to which it influences policy decisions in the Kremlin which have implications around the world, at a time when Russia appears to be asserting itself with increasing confidence; and how much the church it is itself shaped by the state. Is religion now flourishing in a country where secular atheism was until relatively recently the official creed, or is it struggling?

Dr Gemma Simmonds  

Theologian Dr. Gemma Simmonds talks to Roy Jenkins about her work with street children in Brazil, as a chaplain in Holloway Prison and the place of women in the Catholic Church.


The country is said to be more disunited today than at any time in recent memory. As well as huge political uncertainty there's division in areas from the gap between the comfortable and the struggling to relationships between the generations. There have been many calls for reconciliation. But what would that look like? Would it mean giving up what you believe? And how could it be achievable? With Roy Jenkins are: The Rev Aled Edwards - Chief Executive of Cytun (Churches Together in Wales); Lucy Williams - a hospital social worker in Torfaen and a member of the international Focolare movement, inspired by the Christian gospel, which aims to build a united world; Dr Matteo Bonotti - lecturer in political theory at Cardiff University; and the Rev Dr Peter Francis, warden of Gladstone's Library at Hawarden: a place dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning.

Archbishop Barry Morgan  

Roy Jenkins presents an in-depth interview with Dr Barry Morgan, longest-serving archbishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion, ahead of his retirement as Archbishop of Wales.

Review of the Year: People  

Roy Jenkins looks back on some of the guests who appeared on All Things Considered in 2016.

Review of the Year: Events  

Roy Jenkins looks back at some of the events of 2016, including the EU referendum, the US presidential election and the fiftieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

Annual Book Review  

The annual book review features All Things Made New by Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain and Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life by Henri Nouwen.

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