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Archbishop of York challenged over stance on gay marriage

Dr John Sentamu was challenged during a visit in Nottinghamshire Credit: PA Images

The Archbishop of York has been confronted by gay and lesbian rights protesters during an official visit. Dr John Sentamu was in Nottinghamshire, when campaigners questioned his stance against same-sex marriage. They carried placards supporting a gay priest, who says he suffered discrimination because he married his partner. Dr Sentamu said he could not comment on the case for legal reasons.


North East Muslims condemn ISIS in video message

Islamic Diversity Centre, a North East Islamic Awareness Organisation has joined forces with four prominent UK based Imams to produce a hard hitting video entitled "ISIS: the Reality - IDCs Response".

The Islamic Diversity Centre has been running for over a decade, "challenging stereotypes and removing misconceptions" surrounding Islam and the Muslim faith.

Their video aims to provide "clarity" in a situation that they say is becoming "increasingly affected by headlines and propaganda".

Their message is clear: "We are not of them and they are not from us."

You can watch "ISIS: the Reality - IDCs Response" by following the link below.

WARNING: Some viewers may find the content distressing.

Bishop gives final blessing

The Bishop of Newcastle will give his final public blessing this afternoon.

The Right Reverent Martin Wharton will give a service of Thanksgiving and a public blessing on the City and Diocese in Cathedral Square, outside St Nicholas' Cathedral.

The service will begin at 4pm.

Bishop Martin Wharton has served Newcastle since 1998 and many people are expected to gather for his farewell service.

An open invitation has been made to the Diocese which stretches from the Tweed to the Tyne.


Dean of Durham offers prayers ahead of referendum

The Dean of Durham is encouraging people to pray that Scottish voters “use their votes carefully with concern for the common good,” ahead of the Referendum on Independence this week.

The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove said: “In these days leading up to the Referendum, and on the day itself, we are inviting people to pray for the people of Scotland and the whole United Kingdom at this crucial time of decision. We pray that all the people of Scotland will use their vote responsibly and carefully with a view to the things that will enable our mutual flourishing so that these islands remain a secure home for all our people.”

Two prayers have been written, which have been placed at a specially created prayer station at the Altar of St Margaret of Scotland, within Durham Cathedral.

The Dean has been vocal on both his blog and twitter platform about the Scottish Referendum and said: “Although the Church of England has not taken an official stance on this political vote, I believe that people in England should be given the opportunity to pray about something that will, in the end, affect us all.”

North East Muslim group condemns beheading

A group representing Muslims in the North East has condemned the killing of an American journalist.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community North East has spoken out after Islamic State released video footage claiming to show the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff.

“The AMC completely denounces the shocking, barbaric and un-Islamic murder of the innocent journalist Steven Sotloff. The extremists involved say they are acting in the name of Islam, but in reality have betrayed the religion they claim to follow and the Holy Qur'an, which clearly equates the killing of one innocent person to the killing of the whole of mankind.''

– Wadood Daud, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Stockton celebrates Eid festival

Eid Fusion in Stockton Credit: ITV

A special event is being held in Stockton to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid, which marks the end of a month of fasting during Ramadan.

The Community Welfare Trust and Friends of Ropner Park decided to host their first Eid Fusion multi-cultural event to bring the local community closer together.

Food and fashion stalls were among the attractions on offer. Local musicians also entertained the crowds.