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News in Brief


Converted
The interior of St Nicholas's, in Ipswich (right), which has been turned into a conference and resource centre for £800,000.

Public view

7424_donatellomadonna

A bas-relief of a Madonna surrounded by cherubs and holding two thorns, attributed to the Rennaissance sculptor Donatello, is now on show for the first time at the Palazzo Venezia Museum in Rome, after being in private hands for 400 years. AP/EMPICS

TV boss defends Channel 4
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of Channel 4, Andy Duncan, said this week that Big Brother winners were role-models of honesty, integrity, constancy and kindness. In a Faithworks lecture in Waterloo, London, on Tuesday, he described himself as a Christian "on what might be called the Evangelical wing of the Church". He defend the reputation of his programmes against Dr Williams' s criticism last week ( News, 17 June; press). Impartial, accurate broadcasting was a point of honour for the public-service channels, he said. Channel 4 was "trusted to give a fair and proper portrayal of sensitive religious material". It had "got closer to the real issues where faith and politics, faith and society collide". But it was not its job to "patrol moral or religious boundaries".

Bishop sees theology in Africa report
THE BISHOP of Coventry, the Rt Revd Colin Bennetts, in a debate in the House of Lords on Monday, said that there was "implicit theology" in the Commission for Africa's report. "There is an underlying assumption that the universe has, in Gordon Brown's words, 'a moral trajectory'." The report was optimistic that good could triumph. Faith-based communities had good networks and were effective conduits of aid, but the report was unclear about how they would be involved, how they would be structured, and whether they could continue evangelism and teaching, he said.

Longest married man dies, aged 105
THE WORLD'S longest married man, Percy Arrowsmith, once a chorister in Hereford Cathedral, died earlier this month, two weeks after the 80th anniversary of his marriage to Florence, aged 100. The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, had visited the couple at the time of their anniversary. He said that he was sorry to hear of Percy's death: the couple had been churchgoers all their lives, and had been very much in love with each other.

Destitute asylum-seekers sleeping rough
DESTITUTE ASYLUM-SEEKERS in Leicester are sleeping on the streets and in doorways, train stations, squats, parks, corridors and car parks, says a new report by the Leicester Forum and Refugee Action. The experience of 168 people, recorded at the start of the year, is recounted in A Report of Destitution in the Asylum system in Leicester.

Corrections
In the report on the General Synod of the Episcopal Church of Scotland ( News, 17 June), there was no formal acceptance of the Windsor report, as we stated.

Two paragraphs in Tom Peryer's article on city academies (Education, 10 June) were mistakenly conflated. As Mr Peryer wrote originally, the Government's academies programme had started a little before the publication of The Way Ahead, and not as a result of it. Our apologies.

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Top feature

Veteran of the spoken Word

Veteran of the spoken Word

The actor David Suchet has made an audio recording of the entire Bible. He tells Olly Grant about this fulfilment of a long-term ambition  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should parishes be able to sell treasures that no longer reside in their churches?

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Top comment

What really makes a nation Christian

The Great North Passion was more accurate than celebrity atheists, argues Paul Vallely  Read More

Thu 24 Apr 14 @ 17:18
What has Christianity ever done for the world, asks @themiltonjones http://t.co/CJL1Y4lsyS

Thu 24 Apr 14 @ 14:50
"Infused by Christianity" - @nick_clegg on the 'Christian country' debate and disestablishment http://t.co/WTlodncSky