Cardinal John Newman, who converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism, will be the first English person born since the 17th century to be declared a saint by the Catholic church on Sunday.
A delegation led by Prince Charles will join thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square for the special Canonisation Mass led by Pope Francis.
For Newman to be declared a saint, two miracles must be verified by the church. Melissa Villalobos says she was cured from serious bleeding during her pregnancy after praying to Cardinal Newman. She speaks to the BBC for the first time and tells Sunday how she feels to be in Rome for the ceremony.
Rajeev Gupta reports from the Birmingham Oratory where Newman spent much of his later life. They've kept his room exactly as it was when he died and now the Oratory is preparing to become a pilgrimage site for catholics.
And what role should saints have in the 21st century? Newman biographer Roderick Strange and Charles Collins from the catholic news website Crux discuss.
Witch Map; LGBT+ Mass; Chibok Girls
An interactive map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots, mostly women, who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time. Sunday hears from Professor Julian Goodare from the University of Edinburgh whose research into witchcraft in Scotland was used to build the map.
Catholic Bishop John Arnold explains why his Salford diocese will be holding a mass for LGBT+ Catholics and their family and friends.
On Saturday it will be 2000 days since 270 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls tells William that the world has let down the Chibok girls.
Handel's Brockes Passion; Unparliamentary language; Religious education
On Good Friday, on the 300th anniversary of its premiere, the Academy of Ancient Music realised a long-held ambition to perform a new version of Handel’s mighty Brockes Passion at the Barbican in London. It will be released on CD next week and Alexander Von Ingen, Chief Executive of the Academy explains why this version is so unique.
In a week of divisions and tensions in Parliament with some MPs criticising the ‘toxic language of betrayal and treachery,' religious leaders have been appealing to politicians to moderate their language and learn to disagree respectfully. The leader of Roman Catholics in England and Wales Cardinal Vincent Nichols joins us along with Bishop David Urquhart and Rabbi Julia Neuberger who both sit in the House of Lords.
The number of schools ‘flouting’ Religious Education laws has risen according to research by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education. Their report found that half of academies without a religious character and 40 percent of community schools do not meet their legal or contractual requirements to deliver RE and the organisation believes pupils are “not being given the access to the religious literacy they need and deserve." Ben Wood is NATRE’s Chair and he debates their findings with Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School & College Leaders.
Gender Neutral Babies, Rahmen Chisti, Persecuted Christians
A family from Bristol are bringing up their baby as gender neutral. They say it's to help their baby avoid unconscious gender bias. We hear from the family and discuss the theological implications of such decisions.
The deadline for responses to a report on the persecution of Christians, led by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, was this week. Some organisations have raised concerns about aspects of the report and its methodology. William talks to Rev Bonnie Evans-Hills, Coordinator for UK Coalition, who is concerned about the report and submitted a response on behalf of a number of faith groups and academics and Andrew Boyd from Release International.
Rehman Chisti is the Prime Minister's new Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief. He discusses what will happen to the recommendations in the report and his priorities for his new role.
Gun-carrying Pastor, Crowdfunding Ethics, William Blake's beliefs
In November 2017 a gunman walked into a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and shot dead 26 parishioners. The pastor of that church, Frank Pomeroy, lost his 14 year old daughter in the attack. He tells William Crawley why he’s now running for political office and why he wears a gun in the pulpit.
A crowdfunding page launched by a Muslim group opposed to LGBT relationships lessons has been removed. GoFundMe said the page violated its terms of service by raising money to fight an injunction preventing protesters from gathering outside a Birmingham primary school. John Coventry, Europe Director of GoFundMe and Anne McElvoy, senior editor at the Economist discuss the ethics of crowdfunding.
Sheikh Yusuf Motala, one of the most significant figures in British Islam, has died. He was head of the Islamic institution, Darul Uloom in Bury. One of his pupils, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra and the BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani explain his influence.
As a new William Blake exhibition opens at Tate Britain in London, Blake author and academic David Fallon explores how his unique and unorthodox beliefs shaped his art.