News in brief
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
Mark Russell (right), a 30-year-old youth minister and
Reader at Christ Church, Chorleywood, in Hertfordshire, has been recommended to
General Synod as a new member of the Archbishops' Council. If approved in
February, he will replace Jayne Ozanne, who stepped down at the end of last
year after five years.
Mr Russell served as an accredited lay preacher and youth pastor in the
Methodist Church in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, before coming to England in 1999.
He was chosen from 24 applicants.
Bishop berates 'mean-spirited' laity
THE BISHOP of Lancaster, the Rt Revd Stephen Pedley, has berated
"mean and intransigent parishes" for discouraging and obstructing their clergy.
Writing in See, the Blackburn diocesan newsletter, the Bishop makes reference
to "wicked stories of verbal abuse and insensitivity - thrown at clergy by
hard-hearted and hard-headed parishioners".
Every congregation needs at least one "awkward person", says the Bishop. But
he goes on: "What really distresses me and unsettles my faith is those parishes
which seem almost blatantly, almost institutionally, to discourage their
clergy. They ask for leadership and energy and vision, and then obstruct it the
moment it begins to be offered.
"Too many clergy have been destroyed in spirit by mean and intransigent
parishes. I even come away from some parishes thinking that they don't deserve
a priest. Let's move the priest, then, to somewhere where he or she will be
loved and valued." The Bishop declined to comment further.
Scots stand by Angolan pastor
CHURCH LEADERS in Scotland have made an urgent appeal to the Home Secretary
on behalf of Makielukele Nzelengi Daly, an Angolan pastor whose asylum
application has been turned down. Pastor Daly was released with his family from
Dungavel Detention centre last week after local churches raised £4000 bail.
The Scottish Primus, Dr Bruce Cameron, was one of the signatories to the
letter, which described Pastor Daly as "a highly respected church leader". The
church leaders have asked for an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary.
Police halt rampage
A STOCKPORT VICAR has praised the police for successfully moving on a gang
of youths who had been causing a nuisance during services and in the vicinity
of St Saviour's, Great Moor. The 22 youths, all of whom came from outside the
area, burst into the church and shouted abuse during a healing eucharist before
Christmas, said the Vicar, Canon Diane Cookson, on Tuesday. All the youths have
been served with Antisocial Behaviour Orders that prohibit their return.
Bush cash to fund Anglican scheme
A TEACHING programme aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS in South Africa
and funded by $10 million from President Bush's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief
will be implemented by the Anglican Church. The Archbishop of Cape Town, the
Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, and others met the country's deputy president,
Jacob Zuma, this month, to brief him on the Siyafundsia (Teaching our Children)
French Protestants fear secularists
FRENCH Protestant leaders are concerned that their churches are
suffering, as politicians emphasise the division between Church and state, 100
years after the law that separated the two. The Revd Jean-Arnold de Clermont,
president of the Protestant Federation of France, has warned of a climate of
Church in Burundi appeals for help
THREE years of drought and cereal disease in Burundi have led to
food shortages, which now threaten the provinces of Kirundo, Muyinga and Ngozi.
Hunger is widespread, and people are dying every day.
The Anglican Church in the country has appealed for more help. "Life is
particularly hard for those still living in camps for the internally displaced
due to war," it says in a message to the Anglican Communion. Further
information is available from:
Zimbabwe MP jailed over farm taunt
ZIMBABWEAN Christians have condemned as blatantly unjust the
sentence of hard labour on 47-year-old Roy Bennett, an opposition MP from the
Movement for Democratic Change.
He was convicted after a scuffle with Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa,
who had taunted him on the loss of his farm, which had been taken over by "war
veterans", leaving one worker murdered, two girls raped, and others beaten. "We
regard him as a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned for his stand as a popular
opposition MP," said the group, Churches for Justice and Peace.