News in brief

02 November 2006


Ecumenical friends: left to right: the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Graham Smith, and the Bishop, the Rt Revd Graham James, with two Ecumenical Canons installed at the Cathedral at the weekend: the RC Bishop of East Anglia, the Rt Revd Michael Evans, and the Chairman of the East Anglia Methodist District, the Revd Graham Thompson Jan McFarlane

New Bishop of Cashel & Ossory

THE DEAN OF CORK, the Very Revd Michael Burrows, was last week elected the next Bishop of Cashel & Ossory. Dean Burrows, who is 45 and was ordained in 1988, has been Dean of Cork since 2002. He succeeds the Rt Revd Peter Barrett, who resigned in January after separating from his wife ( News, 27 January).

Dr Smith criticises police merger

THE BISHOP of Shrewsbury, Dr Alan Smith, has criticised plans to merge West Mercia police with the Warwickshire, West Midlands, and Staffordshire forces. At the High Sheriff of Shrewsbury’s annual legal service in St George’s, Telford, Dr Smith said that a "state of fear and anxiety" after recent terrorist attacks was being used to push through significant changes. The full text is at

Scheme to keep the clergy safe

NATIONAL CHURCHWATCH, the organisation that encourages churches to improve their security, has launched Clergysafe, a three-year project to raise awareness of violence against clerics of all faiths. The scheme, sponsored by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, also aims to provide personal safety training for them.

New head for Salvationists

COMMISSIONER John Matear took up his post on Monday as leader of the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland. He and his wife, Commissioner Elizabeth Matear, have for the past five years led the Salvationists in the Caribbean. He succeeds Commissioner Shaw Clifton, who becomes the General of the Salvation Army.

Kirk minister to be Chaplain-in-Chief of RAF

FOR WHAT is believed to be the first time, a Church of Scotland minister has been appointed to serve as Chaplain-in-Chief of the Royal Air Force. The Revd Air Vice-Marshal Peter Mills took up his post last week.

Welsh Christians visit Middle East

A delegation of eight Christians from the National Council of Churches in Wales visited the Middle East for 12 days last month to further friendship with the Middle East Council of Churches and to encourage links between Wales and Syria and Lebanon. In Lebanon, the group met representatives of Hezbollah to learn about peace-building in the region.

Prison for country-church thief

CHRISTOPHER COULTHARD, a burglar who was convicted after raiding at least 80 churches in Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, and Norfolk was last week sentenced to five years in prison. He was caught when a builder recognised his description from a police texting service ( News, 3 March).


The year of the flood on last week's cover was given wrongly. The feature gave Bishop Ussher's date correctly: 2348 BC

The photo ( News, 24 March) of the Archbishop of Canterbury at a service organised by the Prayer Book Society in Oxford in memory of Thomas Cranmer was by Gareth Hardwick.

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