Faith is in fashion

ALONGSIDE New York, Paris and Milan, London is one of the fashion capitals of the world. London Fashion Week, in which more than 250 British designers showcase their latest collections to funders and buyers, takes place twice a year, in February and September. Its aim is to promote British fashion globally and it welcomes some 5,000 guests including press, buyers, broadcasters, influencers and industry insiders from all over the world.

On the right track

IN 2014, Joel Fearon did something he never thought he would do. He competed as a member of Team GB in the bobsleigh event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The four-man team finished in fifth place, and the experience went down in Joel’s book as one of the most exciting times of his life.

Dedicated followers of fashion?

DESIGNERS, models, retailers and fashion journalists have descended on the UK capital for London Fashion Week, which runs until Tuesday (20 February).

Minister's dream marches on

THE civil rights leader and Baptist min­ister Martin Luther King Jr was born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

His early experiences of segregation laws began at about the age of six, when he and a white friend were sent to different schools. At 14, he won an oratory contest for a speech about equal rights. On the bus journey home he was forced to give up his seat for a white passenger.

We can all serve others through our creativity

 LAST year marked the centenary of the birth of US jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. To celebrate, UK soul singer Mica Paris recorded and released ‘Imagine My Frustration’ and ‘Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye’ – two classics from the Ella Fitzgerald catalogue.

Tomorrow (Sunday 11 February), Mica is setting out on a tour of UK venues to sing more Ella Fitzgerald songs with a live band. As we talk, she tells me about her admiration for Ella and how she is gearing up for the concerts.

Showing the love

LOVE will be in the air next Wednesday as Valentine’s Day is celebrated with cards, gifts and evenings out. But it’s not only happy couples who are being encouraged to show the love.

Environmental group the Climate Coalition is urging people to make green love hearts to show their concern for the planet in the face of the threat of global warming. Over the past three years thousands of people have joined the campaign, including British astronaut Tim Peake, who sent a green heart back to Earth from the International Space Station.

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts. Shrove, or shrive means to be forgiven for sins. In the past, people would go to church to be shriven, to confess their sins and receive forgiveness. People ate simply or fasted during lent to reflect the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before entering public ministry and also as a reminder of others less fortunate than themselves. So pancakes were a way of using up all the luxury ingredients they had left such as flour, eggs and milk to prepare for lent.

Christianity takes a foothold in China

‘KNICK knack, paddywhack, give a dog a bone.’ This catchy song is sung by a hundred children as English parlourmaid Gladys Aylward (played by Ingrid Bergman) walks them to safety across mountains of war-torn China in the film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.

After becoming a Christian, the real Gladys was inspired by a book about China. She wanted to go to the country and preach the gospel. The China Inland Mission turned her down, but she decided to go anyway.

A century of votes – but we have a long way to go

Why are this year’s anniversaries significant?

They are important because some people don’t realise that it was just 90 years ago that women’s voting rights came to be the same as men’s. We know people who are 100 years old, so we can look at them and realise that there was a time in their lifetime when women didn’t have equal rights with men. It shows how far we’ve come, but it also reminds us just how far we have to go.

Growing pains

ADOLESCENCE, that period of time when young people are developing into adults, now runs from the ages of 10 to 24, rather than just the teenage years. That’s according to scientists writing in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal.

They have identified that the physical changes of puberty, which used to begin about the age of 14, now start to take place in children as young as 10 years old.

Their report also notes that a person’s brain continues to develop and mature when they are in their twenties.