Danny Webster

Danny Webster

Danny joined the Evangelical Alliance in 2008 and has held a range of roles in the advocacy team. He currently oversees the public policy work across the UK and engagement with the parliaments and assemblies, and respective governments. Before working for the Evangelical Alliance, Danny, who has degrees in politics and political philosophy, worked in parliament for an MP. Danny is passionate about encouraging Christians to integrate their faith with all areas of their life, especially when it comes to helping them take on leadership outside the church, and helped initiate the Evangelical Alliance's Public Leadership programme. He frequently provides comment on current political issues, both in Evangelical Alliance publications and to the press.

Tell the Government to improve how it engages with faith

18 November 2020People of faith from across the England are invited to respond to the review, which is already underway. The Government is particularly keen to hear from those with leadership roles within their faith community and individuals who work in the public sector, whether that is the civil service, education, healthcare or any other relevant sector. The call for evidence is available to complete online through this form and can be done anonymously if that is preferred. The survey includes a range of…

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Hate crime bill needs stronger protection for freedom of speech

11 November 2020The Scottish Government has already acknowledged widespread criticisms of the original proposals and has suggested amendments that would require any crime to be intended and not just considered likely by the courts. The Evangelical Alliance joined with many other organisations, both from faith groups and far wider, in highlighting that such proposals were incompatible with key principles of human rights and could see people prosecuted for offences that they did not know they committed.…

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Churches frustrated at forced closure

2 November 2020Schools, colleges and universities are asked to remain open but otherwise the restrictions are very similar to when the first lockdown was imposed in March. This means that churches and other places of worship are required to close for public services and are only allowed to reopen for limited reasons. It was only last week that the government minister for faith thanked church leaders for the lengths they had gone to in order to enable churches to stay open. While further measures to modify…

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Understanding the politics of lockdown

14 October 2020The system of individual local lockdowns in England has now been replaced with a three-tier set of restrictions, with every local authority placed in one of the three categories. At present only the wider Liverpool City Region is in the highest tier of restrictions, which sees the closure of many bars and pubs, but alcohol can still be served in conjunction with a ‘substantial meal’. The other areas of England that had previously been in local lockdown are in the middle tier, which largely…

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Hope has a name, and its name is Jesus

25 September 2020The change in government guidelines and regulations that we’re seeing on a seemingly weekly basis exposes how vital hope is, and yet how easily we place our hope in the wrong things. We hope for a reduction in coronavirus cases to enable our lives to return to some semblance of normality. Better still, we hope for a vaccine that will enable us to return to normal life. We hope for an economy that protects people’s livelihoods and rewards good work. None of these are groundless hopes; we can…

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New lockdown rules: what does it mean for churches?

10 September 2020There are a number of places where more than six people can attend at the same time, and this includes places of worship. Therefore, church services can go ahead as long as they operate according to the Government’s guidance, with social distancing maintained and other hygiene measures in place. The primary exception to the ‘rule of six’ is for households or exclusive support bubbles that have more than six people. In these situations that group can gather together and attend venues together.…

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Reopening churches: acting with confidence and wisdom

4 September 2020However, this year the return to normality is not at all like we're used to. It’s not a six-week break that we’re returning from, but a gradual and hesitant resumption of something akin to the usual after six months of very unusual times. Over the course of the coronavirus crisis, as a society, we have all had to adapt to multiple changes, some of which happened very quickly. Other changes, especially as we continue to emerge from the lockdown, are happening much more slowly: restrictions are…

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Domestic abuse law hijacked by abortion amendments

6 July 2020UPDATE: The Speaker of the House of Commons has not selected the amendment to decriminalise abortion for debate and vote. MPs will however still vote on a proposed amendment to allow women in abusive relationships access to home abortion kits throughout the first 24 weeks of their pregnancy.

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Reopening of church buildings: what now?

25 June 2020In his statement to parliament on 23 June the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, also announced that wedding ceremonies in England will be able to take place from the 4 July with a cap of 30 people. Alongside this are other changes permitting the reopening of restaurants, pubs and many, but not all, other commercial venues. There is also a relaxation of measures relating to private dwellings which will enable one household to visit indoors and stay overnight with another household. Each of the…

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First steps for churches post lockdown as restrictions relaxed

19 June 2020In England and Northern Ireland churches can now open for individual prayer, and in Scotland and Wales this will be permitted from 22 June. This is a permissive move so individual churches and denominations will make decisions as to whether they can open their buildings. Any opening will need to ensure physical distancing can be maintained and appropriate hygiene and cleaning measures in place. Aside from weddings in exceptional circumstances, for example when one partner is critically ill, no…

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Prayer is not private

11 June 2020First, the move presupposes that what they are now allowing is a meaningful accommodation of religious practice, and, second, the very phrase ‘private prayer’ reinforces the public-private divide. The decisions for the other nations of the UK are being taken separately by each devolved administration, and church denominations may choose to reopen at their own pace. I’m all for personal prayer; it’s one of the clearest commands in scripture for the Christian life, and it is a life-giving…

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