Category Archives: Spirituality & Money Gate


Bordeaux, March 27, 2017 – On the eve of the historic triggering of Brexit negotiations, VINEXPO has pinpointed five key issues facing the wine and spirits industries which it will seek answers to at the June exhibition.*

The issues will be confronted at a conference in Bordeaux’s Parc des Expositions on Tuesday, June 20 at 4.00 pm.

The five topics identify key challenges for the UK and world wine and spirit industries:

• Trade agreement update
• Main challenges for the W&S industry: The impact on the UK market in terms of duties, consumer prices, category management and distribution
• Whether the UK will lose its leading position for re-export
• Duty Free/Travel Retail opportunities
• Protection of designation of origin areas

The conference opens with a review of the current EU trade agreement regarding wine and spirits imports, exports and tariffs.

Upwards of 48,000 wine producers and buyers from 150 countries are expected to attend VINEXPO in a climate this year of intense questioning about the impact on Brexit of trading conditions, prices and sources of supply

Jane Anson, wine writer who will moderate the conference during Vinexpo says, “Because the UK is the world’s second largest imported wine market and a major spirits exporter, the Brexit challenge is as acute for the UK as it is for wine producers in France, Italy and Spain and elsewhere in the world.”

Guillaume Deglise, CEO of VINEXPO added, “In a wider context, among our 48,000 attendees there will be producers and buyers currently excluded from the EU favourable tariff zone who see Brexit as an opportunity to penetrate the UK wine and spirits market.”

The value of UK wine imports is running at circa GBP28 billion according to VINEXPO/IWSR data for 2015. Volume imports are forecast to slow over the next five years.

Exports of all spirits from the UK reached GBP4.9 billion in 2016, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, the major part lead by Scotch whisky exports.

The line up of speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

* VINEXPO, the world’s leading international wine and spirit exhibition, runs from June 18 to June 21 at the Parc des Expositions, Bordeaux, France.

For more information visit

Vinexpo press contacts:
Anne Cusson –
Katharina Woitczyk –
Tel. +33 556 560 169 Vinexpo UK press contacts:
Eugene Bacot –
Tel. 07802 345030
Peter Ward –
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North West digital workforce should be at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse

Building a skilled technology workforce in the North West is the key to unlocking the potential of the Northern Powerhouse. This is according to several senior digital leaders* who spoke during a roundtable at Advanced’s new regional headquarters on Booths Park in Knutsford on Friday.

The digital sector in the UK is growing at a faster rate than in any other G20 economy, yet companies in the North West are struggling to recruit employees with the skills required to keep up. During the open discussion, experts shared ideas on how to close the well-documented North South Digital Divide along with the initiatives that will deliver a technology workforce that is both skilled and diverse. These include:

• techUK’s Returners Hub – a one-stop shop for people looking to return to the tech sector and for tech companies interested in starting their own returners programme
• Tech North’s Northern Voices – a speaker training programme to address the gender or regional imbalances at conferences and media appearances
• Manchester Metropolitan University’s Digital Innovation – a project that gives students and staff access to emerging technologies as well as creates opportunities for students to work with companies on “live” and industry-relevant projects
• Manchester Digital’s Diversity Toolkit – launching in May, a resource for digital and tech businesses to help them attract and retain a diverse workforce.

The roundtable suitably followed Rt Hon George Osborne MP’s (also chair of the Northern Powerhouse) official opening of the regional hub for IT software and services company Advanced. The newly refurbished offices are now home to over 150 employees and will accommodate digital apprentices in the future too. Advanced has pledged to recruit 60-70 apprentices in the UK each year, with a focus on providing technical training to help address the digital skills gap and improve career prospects in the North.

“As a large technology employer, we are committed to supporting high performing candidates in achieving their potential,” says Advanced’s Chief Marketing Officer, Sally Scott. “With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, we have decided to focus this investment of approximately £500,000 per year on creating apprenticeship opportunities around technology and digital. Our pledge to boost digital skills, and provide people in the North West with an inclusive and dynamic environment to work in, will enable us to play a key role in the development of the Northern Powerhouse. We employ some of the best talent across the UK, but we want to help close the North South Digital Divide. Our goal is to attract and retain a diverse workplace designed to accelerate career opportunities for candidates from all walks of life in the North West.”

Speaking at the roundtable, Rt Hon George Osborne MP commented: “Individual cities like Manchester and Leeds are already innovating but will only prosper if they all work together as one, which is what the Northern Powerhouse strategy has set out to achieve. The north has enormous potential but we need better transport connections, mayors elected in northern cities and crucially the support of the technology and education industries to boost technical skills and drive the next digital revolution.”

Last month, the UK Government published its Digital Strategy with skills at the heart of its plans and revealed significant commitments from some of the biggest UK employers including Lloyds Banking Group, Google, BT and Microsoft to help support and train the next digital generation. Julian David, CEO at techUK, the trade association of tech companies in the UK, believes 2017 will be a critical year for the UK and the technology industry.

Julian comments: “The pace of change is unrelenting. New technology and new business models are disrupting everything from job roles through to established social and political norms. The UK decided to rewrite many of its key relationships and the government has set out a new industrial strategy that puts digital success at its core. Historically, we have done well in digital innovation and adoption such that key centres like London and Cambridge are world renowned. However, the government has also highlighted that this success is not spread evenly across the country and, if we are to succeed in the future, we need to correct this to create a global Britain that delivers for all communities in the UK.”

Note to editors

* List of speakers:
• Julian David – CEO of techUK
• Kirsty Styles – Head of Talent & Skills at Tech North
• Mike Perls – Chair of Institute of Directors North West
• Martin Bryant – Community Editor at Tech North (previously editor of The Next Web)
• Ian Cass – Managing Director of the Forum for Private Business
• Sally Scott – Chief Marketing Officer at Advanced
• Katie Gallagher – Managing Director at Digital Manchester
• Paul Bason – Director of Digital Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan University
• Maya Dibley – Head of Programmes and Partnerships, The Landing
• Becky Boyd – Owner of Social Media Geek

About Advanced

Through our enterprise and market focused solutions we positively impact millions of people’s lives through continually investing in our people, partnerships and own technologies to stay focused on our markets’, customers’ and their stakeholders’ needs.

We enable our customers to drive efficiencies, savings and growth opportunities through focused, right-first-time software solutions that evolve with the changing needs of their business and the markets they operate in.

True partnership is the defining thing that makes us different from the competition.
We pride ourselves on delivering focused software solutions for public sector, enterprise commercial and health & care organisations that simplify complex business challenges and deliver immediate value.

Advanced is a Sunday Times Top Track 250 Company 2016 and was ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50 which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and a winner of the Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards in 2014.

For further media information, please contact

Andrea Hounsham, Firework PR – email: or call: 07783 535928
Clare Wall, Firework PR – email: or call: 07974 161127 All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed.

Jeb Bush: Trump is ‘a distraction in and of himself’

Jeb Bush: Trump is ‘a distraction in and of himself’Jeb Bush says President Trump’s evidence-free claims are kneecapping his first 100 days in the White House. “He should stop saying things that aren’t true, that are distractions from the task at hand,” Bush said in an interview that aired Sunday on Miami’s WFOR-TV. During the bruising campaign, Bush was a prominent critic of Trump — who in turn relentlessly mocked the former Florida governor.

Intershop ranked a Leader in B2B Commerce Suites According to Independent Analyst Firm

- Scores number two in current offering
– Among top score in solution architecture category
– Report highlights: “core commerce capabilities…remain strong”, “strong technical roadmap”, “deep ecosystem of partners”

Jena, Germany, 27 March 2017 – Intershop, the largest independent technology vendor for omni-channel commerce solutions, has been cited as a Leader in B2B commerce suites in a report published by renowned industry analyst firm Forrester Research, Inc. The report, “The Forrester Wave™:B2B Commerce Suites, Q1 2017” ranks Intershop as number two in current offering, and tied for number one in solution architecture category.

The report cites that “Intershop is a best fit for brand manufacturers that have complex channel support requirements, need especially well-developed commerce feature functionality, and are looking for flexibility on global pricing and licensing.”

The new Intershop Order Management System is also noted by the report; the strong core commerce capabilities of the Intershop Commerce Suite including promotions, channel management, and customization features, as well as its strong technical roadmap and deep partner ecosystem.

As organizations in the B2B sector are building out increasingly sophisticated digital commerce channels, they are able to expand outside their traditional markets, as the recent Intershop research report, “Taking the fast track into the digital future of B2B commerce” shows. However, the Intershop study also highlighted that organizations need to have the right technological infrastructure in place to fully leverage the potential of digitalization.

Jochen Wiechen, CEO at Intershop commented: “A strong commerce platform can help companies master the digital transformation of both their commerce and customer relationship processes. We pride ourselves in understanding what the market needs and developing a feature-reach platform that flexibly meets our customers’ requirements, whether they are only just starting to build their commerce channel, or expanding it across borders. We are delighted that Intershop is recognized as a leader in the B2B commerce market.”

The Forrester research report can be downloaded here:….

About Intershop Communications AG
Intershop Communications AG (founded in Germany 1992; Prime Standard: ISH2) is the leading independent provider of omni-channel commerce solutions. Intershop offers high-performance packaged software for internet sales, complemented by all necessary services. Intershop also acts as a business process outsourcing provider, covering all aspects of online retailing up to fulfillment. Around the globe more than 300 enterprise customers, including HP, BMW, Würth, and Deutsche Telekom run Intershop solutions. Intershop is headquartered in Jena, Germany, and has offices in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. More information about Intershop can be found online at

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events or the future financial and operational performance of Intershop. Actual events or performance may differ materially from those contained or implied in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that could lead to such difference could include, among other things: Intershop’s limited operating history, the unpredictability of future revenues and expenses and potential fluctuations in revenues and operating results, significant dependence on large single customer deals, consumer trends, the level of competition, seasonality, risks related to electronic security, possible governmental regulation, and general economic conditions.

Intershop Press Contact:
Heide Rausch
Tel: +49 3641 50-1000
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UK’s oldest wine merchant invests in Cloud technology to boost online sales

Nickolls and Perks chooses WineSuite cloud solution from FHL

Nickolls and Perks, a 220-year-old independent wine and spirit merchant, will ditch old-fashioned software, including its Sage 50 accounting system, in favour of WineSuite, a state-of-the-art cloud-based solution for the wine industry built by FHL, powered by NetSuite. The entire business will be running on WineSuite by September 2017 and online sales are expected to double within the first two years of using the solution.

With 25 per cent of Nickolls and Perks’ business currently coming via their online shop and Amazon, the merchant sees massive growth potential. By having a single technology platform for all parts of the business, growth will be simple to manage, there will be less business risk and the customer experience will be best-in-class – something the merchant hasn’t had with Sage 50, separate ecommerce systems and on-premise servers.

Will Gardener, Managing Director of Nickolls and Perks, says, “We have outgrown our Sage accounting system. It no longer supports our growing business and is holding back our ecommerce plans. As WineSuite comes with pre-configured wine industry features and is powered by NetSuite, we can move quickly, scale when we choose and have the flexibility to respond quickly to customers and our market. The end result will be a more efficient operation, a first-rate customer experience and a significant uplift in sales and profitability. We expect to double online sales by September 2019.”

FHL will manage the WineSuite implementation and integration of Nickolls and Perks’ ecommerce site. Integration with Amazon marketplaces will increase online sales further – up to 20 per cent by September 2019.

Gardener says, “Unlike Sage, WineSuite has a single, powerful database and so all the latest information, from product quantities through to tasting notes, will be available at our fingertips. This will improve stock control and allow us to provide an enhanced customer experience.

“Our new ecommerce site will be easier to navigate, more interactive and highly responsive, especially from tablets and Smartphones, encouraging repeat custom and boosting sales.”

With specialist features including multi-currency capabilities, reserves and portfolio management, bonded warehouse management, an en primeur sales module and duty and bond management, WineSuite has been specifically developed to make operating within the wine trade as hassle-free as possible.

Gardener comments, “10,000 cases of wine stored in reserve for private clients need to be effectively monitored to ensure they are provided with the latest information. WineSuite’s reserves management feature will make it quick and easy to provide our clients with up-to-date intelligence, such as when they should be considering drinking or selling their wines.”

Although Nickolls and Perks is principally focused on growing its online retail channel, the merchant expects that WineSuite will also increase trade sales, which currently account for up to 40 per cent of total business sales.

Trade clients will be able to clearly see historic purchases and have up-to-date pricing, availability and location information at a click of a button, streamlining the whole buying process. The merchant anticipates a 10 per cent increase in trade sales within the first two years of using the solution.

Looking ahead, Nickolls and Perks is excited about working with FHL to develop the WineSuite solution further.

Gardener adds, “FHL’s partnership-led approach was a real selling point for us. The company is keen to work closely with us to create an even better and more tailored solution, and so we’re excited about where our journey to the Cloud takes us.”


Notes to Editor

About Nickolls and Perks
Established in 1797, Nickolls and Perks is in its fourth century of trading. Consisting of a small, dedicated team including three fourth generation family members, the merchant provides quality and specialist wines and spirits.

Nickolls and Perks is focused on providing quality merchandise, personal service and value for money. Despite its long heritage, the merchant is keen to keep up with the latest technologies to make trading with the merchant as easy and possible and to ensure customers always receive first-class service.

About FHL
FHL is a specialist UK-based cloud solutions provider. The company has been name NetSuite’s EMEA Solution Provider Partner of The Year on five occasions – more than any other company. With a specialist team that has over 200 years’ combined NetSuite experience, FHL can boast over 100 successful implementations. Customers include UK Flooring Direct, Mr Fothergill’s, Wigan Warriors, Appellations and Optegra.

For further information contact:
Liz Boote
TRB Consultancy
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What Is Really Best for Me? Applying the Bible to the Same-Sex-Attracted

What Is Really Best for Me?

Which produces better fruit for same-sex-attracted men and women: the traditional or the progressive interpretation of the Bible’s sexual ethic?

The exegetical debate between these two stances has been well-documented. Ultimately, the truth of either position hinges on the interpretation of biblical passages concerning sexuality. Although it’s important to make strong, exegetical arguments that the historic Christian interpretation of these passages is biblically faithful — and that the progressive interpretation is not — that is not my intention here.

Rather, my goal is to defend this traditional sexual ethic against an argument progressives level against it downstream from exegesis. This argument is not about what the Bible says, but about the fruit these two interpretations produce in the realities of a same-sex-attracted person’s life.

The Progressive Argument

The argument, as fairly as I can put it, goes like this: The progressive interpretation of the Bible’s sexual ethic bears good fruit in people’s lives. Progressives claim that affirming same-sex marriage and monogamous same-sex relationships produces the good fruit of love, relational care, intimacy, and a hundred other benefits. The historic interpretation, they say, does not produce any of these things; rather, it often bears the bad fruit of pain, discouragement, and even despair.

Affirming theology gives. Non-affirming theology only withholds. That is the argument.

It’s true that historic biblical interpretation teaches that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4–5), and that “men who have sex with men” is a sin listed alongside drunkenness, greed, and slander as worthy of exclusion from God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9–10). So, the traditional sexual ethic does restrict in a way the progressive ethic does not.

But does this necessarily lead to bad fruit? And do progressive interpretations have a corner on good fruit? Far from it. Consider three counterarguments to the progressive claim that the traditional ethic produces bad fruit.

1. The best fruit comes from self-denial.

First, we need to distinguish between bad fruit and self-denial. While it is true that the traditional sexual ethic requires denying desires that feel natural for many of us who experience same-sex attraction (SSA), self-denial comes with any gospel worth its salt. Jesus himself said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). If there is no daily cross-carrying, no moment-by-moment crucifixion of the remaining vestiges of the flesh in all of our hearts (Romans 8:13), then it is not Christ we are following.

In order to consider this self-denial bad fruit, we must believe that sexual and romantic fulfillment are required for human flourishing. Are we really willing to go there? As Sam Allberry said, “The most fully human and complete person who ever lived was Jesus Christ. He never married, he was never in a romantic relationship, and never had sex. If we say these things are intrinsic to human fulfillment, we are calling our Savior subhuman.”

That doesn’t make self-denial easy. Many like me are laying down desires for sexual and romantic fulfillment on a daily basis. But make no mistake, giving up a lesser pleasure for the greater pleasure of Christ is no loss at all in the end, for “in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). We deny now in order to gain the reward later, and that reward is most definitely good fruit. This is the model of Christ, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).

Jesus promises good fruit at the other end of all godly self-denial. And that includes the self-denial of the traditional sexual ethic.

2. A tradition’s abuses don’t equal the tradition.

Second, and related, we must identify the specific “bad fruit” that traditionalist theology is accused of producing. Much of what progressives label “bad fruit” reflects abuses of the traditional sexual ethic rather than the ethic itself.

To be clear, the abuses do exist. During a question-and-answer session at the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference, seminary president Al Mohler confessed what he called “the sins of evangelicalism” in responding to the gay community with fear, bravado, and stereotypes. These attitudes have produced bad fruit, and it is right to acknowledge past failures and repent of ways we have joined in these harmful expressions.

However, the abuse of a thing does not equal the thing itself. When applied in love, the historic Christian interpretation does not tell homosexual people that they are worthless. Rather, it tells them that their ultimate worth is found in the image of God that they bear (Genesis 1:27), instead of in their sexual expression. It does not encourage SSA Christians to hate themselves or deny who they are, but rather to find their identity in the loving Savior who gave his very life for them (Ephesians 5:2). It does not treat SSA believers as second-class citizens, but rather as beloved brothers and sisters whose gifts are necessary for the church to function properly (Romans 12:4–8).

Insofar as the traditional sexual ethic is wielded as a weapon, it produces harmful fruit. But the harm is in the wielding, not in the ethic itself.

3. Intimacy doesn’t depend on marriage or sex.

Third, although the conservative position does withhold same-sex sexual activity and marriage, it does not withhold sacrificial love, life-giving intimacy, and deep relational community. The only way someone could argue that the traditional ethic withholds these good gifts is if they believe that a sexual relationship is the only place to experience them. But this is patently false. Deep friendship, loving community, and kinship in Christ’s blood are all beautiful occasions for sacrificial love and intimacy that are not contingent on sexual expression.

Most progressives would not disagree with that last statement, but some might push back that these good gifts are not the direct fruit of the traditional sexual ethic. But that’s the point. Love, intimacy, and community do not depend on marriage or sex, and therefore they are not the direct fruit of any sexual ethic — progressive or traditional. What, then, is the good fruit reserved for the affirming position? Sexual fulfillment? See point one.

Yesterday, Today, Forever

Every day, thousands of SSA brothers and sisters faithfully live out the beauty of the traditional sexual ethic. To say that good fruit does not flow from the historic Christian interpretation is to ignore their stories and the grace of God at work in their lives. The path does involve self-denial. It isn’t always easy. But the fruit is clear: real love on earth that leads to the eternal love of Christ.

The fruit doesn’t get any better than that.

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Concerns After Texas School Opens ‘Prayer Room’ That’s Attracting Muslim Students

The state attorney general has raised constitutional questions about a public school’s move to establish a room to accommodate all students and their religions. The debate has embroiled the community.

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