Bad news for sacristans this week: we could be facing an incense crisis, as the number of Boswellia trees plummets.
As a report in the Church Times explains, “Resin tapped from Boswellia trees hardens into frankincense, which is the base ingredient for most incense burned in churches.”
An article in Nature Sustainability warns that frankincense production could fall by half in the next 20 years – though the authors propose ways to conserve Boswellia, such as fire-breaks and cattle enclosures.
It’s not quite what you expect to hear from a Catholic politician. Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, has declared that the Reformation was “the making of this country”.
Duncan Smith, a prominent member of the Leave campaign, told readers of the Sunday Telegraph that we had been “freed from the shackles of the Church”. As a result, “On everything from free trade to parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, Britain was truly a nation that led the globe.” Brexit, Duncan Smith wrote, “is about us breaking from Rome again”.
One Twitter user observed that the Reformation made Duncan Smith’s religion “illegal for 300 years and led to the murder, torture and abuse of his fellow believers”.
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