I watched open mouthed as the news went from Milly Dowler’s phone being hacked to Rupert Murdoch being custard pied, reeled from Anders Brevik’s killing spree in Norway, and debated the use of the label ‘Christian fundamentalist’. I wrung my hands about the way society treats drug addicts after Amy Winehouse’s death…but I also felt an overwhelming sense of despair about the news that had been forgotten, as well as the news that had been reported. We’re not talking enough about the ethnic cleansing in Sudan or the famine in East Africa. We’re not talking about living in a country where babies are aborted for having cleft lips, and where, post ‘hackgate’, it feels as if there is nothing left to trust any more (see Martin Saunders’ culture column on p14). It was Karl Barth who said we should pray with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other, though it is often attributed to John Stott. It feels like a fitting time to remember a man who so passionately believed in the word and the world. This month, when the news makes it easy to lose faith in everything, it has never felt more pertinent to cry out to God to intervene, and show us our part in making things a little bit better. • In spite of everything, we decided to keep our originally planned cover feature looking at the issue of singleness in the Church, partly because of the astonishing number of testimonies we received from single Christians. It’s an issue which is magnified in a church context – it’s a bigger deal to be single in church than outside of it, where the 2.4 children family is becoming less and less common. Marriage is not the be all and end all of life. It’s not an automatic ticket to happiness, fulfilment or contentment. And yet, somehow we’ve all, married and unmarried, built it up to be some kind of Holy Grail. Singleness being seen as a ‘waiting’ phase is unhelpful and unhealthy. I’ve heard Christian teaching – particularly aimed at women – about how if you’re single, this is a time of ‘preparation’ and we should work at ‘readying’ ourselves for when our husbands come along. It just breeds discontentment – and disappointment if it doesn’t happen. There are so many things I wish we did differently as the Body of Christ, but one thing we could easily do is ask ourselves what we can do to affirm singleness. This means better teaching, better resources, and a responsibility on every one of us to check our attitude in this area. Do we deep down regard single people as incomplete? We also need to remember that everyone needs community, whatever our marital status. We weren’t meant to do the Christian life superficially, so let’s build deep, lasting, challenging, honest relationships with all kinds of people. Let’s take a risk and be vulnerable with each other.