News in brief
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
The Conservative leader, Michael Howard, gave the Faithworks
address to churches via a live webcast on Wednesday of last week (
web page, 28 January). He promised a "fairer deal" for faith-based
organisations involved in social action.
The Prince of Wales talks to Joel Lafferty, a craftsman who worked on the
restoration of Christ Church, Spitalfields, in east London. They met at a
viewing of the work last week. Empics photo
Assembly to scale down
CHURCHES TOGETHER in Britian and Ireland (CTBI) said at its
three-yearly assembly at Swanwick in Derbyshire last week that it could be the
last time that the assembly meets on such a large scale. The assembly reviewed
how the CTBI had worked together over the past 18 years, and agreed to be more
closely integrated with the national ecumenical bodies for England, Scotland,
Wales and Ireland, and to give itself "a more flexible shape". The Assembly
affirmed that it was a body that should continue in some form, not be scrapped
nor split into national bodies.
Bishop to sign treaty
THE BISHOP of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, is to sign a
petition calling for an end to nuclear proliferation. Hereford Peace Council
has invited the anti-nuclear campaigner Bruce Kent to the city to encourage
people to sign the petition in the run-up to the Review Conference of the
Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is to take place in New York in May.
CMS on the move
THE Church Mission Society (CMS) is to move from its premises in
Partnership House, Waterloo Road, in London to a site in or around Oxford, it
announced this week. An agreement whereby Partnership House accomodates USPG
and other mission agencies in addition to CMS expires at the end of 2007.
Increased security at Lea Cross
HEREFORD DIOCESE won permission last week to take "all measures
that seem appropriate" to keep the church and grounds of St Anne's, Lea Cross,
secure, after locks were unlawfully removed. The church has been the subject of
a seven-year dispute between the diocese and four self-appointed trustees
(News, 11 February). The Diocesan Chancellor, Roger Kaye QC, called the
ignoring of a court order "an intolerable situation".
Abuse of 'possessed' children condemned
CHURCHES involved in "deliverance ministry" with children must be
like Jesus, "approachable, gentle and never frightening", David Pearson,
director of the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS), said last
week. He said that churches must follow strict guidelines, which included
asking the child and parents for permission, referring to the proper
authorities in the church, never telling a child that he or she was
demon-possessed, and making sure to spot psychological or physiological
factors, which "are far more likely to be the real cause of the child's
difficulties". Mr Pearson gave evidence at the inquiry into Victoria Climbié's
death in disturbing circumstance five years ago. Abuse could "never be
overlooked or mitigated by cultural or religious factors", he said.
The Evangelical Alliance (EA) and the African and Caribbean Evangelical
Alliance (ACEA) have also condemned churches that put children in danger
because of bad practice in exorcism. The Revd Joel Edwards, director of EA,
said this week that "Churches undertaking this kind of ministry must be
scrupulous and transparent, exercising discernment between spiritual and
psychological needs, and act in the best interests of the individual concerned."
The Revd Katei Kirby, general manager of ACEA, said: "We want to make sure
that everyone is aware of child-protection issues, and has policies and
procedures in place."
An investigation was broadcast on Newsnight on BBC2 last week.
'To my PM - on Mothering Sunday'
CHILDREN should send a Mothering Sunday card to the Prime Minister
to urge him to save lives in the developing world, the Mothers' Union has
suggested: in Africa, a woman is 100 times more likely to die in childbirth
than in the UK. Cards can be downloaded at