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News in brief

17 May 2007

Cash for the question

The winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing, Timothy Radcliffe OP, was presented with a cheque for £15,000 by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park. His winning book was What is the Point of Being A Christian:?, published by Burns & Oates (Continuum)

World leaders plead for Burmese captive

Lady Thatcher and Sir John Major, as well as former prime ministers from Japan and Malaysia, former presidents of Pakistan and Indonesia, the three former Presidents of the United States, and more than 40 other former heads of state have signed a letter to Senior General Than Shwe, the head of the military government of Burma, to release the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. She has spent 11 years in detention over the past 17 years. The latest phase of detention is due to end a week on Sunday.

No-smoking signs ‘daft’ says Dean

the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Colin Slee, this week criticised new rules, which come into force in July, about displaying no-smoking signs in churches (News, 9 March). People knew they did not smoke in churches, he said, and the rule was “daft”: “Historic religious buildings should be exempt,” he told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. A spokesman from the Department of Health said that “an exemption would have created a dangerous precedent.”

Ban old-fashioned lightbulbs, says bishop

THE Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, told the House of Lords that the Church of England was “eagerly awaiting an outright ban on incandescent light bulbs”. It had asked its 16,000 churches to stop using them. Lord Rooker replied: “My Lords, this is a terrible thing to say, but usually the answer is to tell people it is cheaper and that they can save money.” His Lordship said that if every household changed one regularly used bulb to an energy-efficient bulb, the country would save the equivalent of one power station. Three bulbsper household, however, would be the equivalent of saving the whole of the UK’s street-lighting capacity.

Northern Irish college wins community award

ARMAGH College in Northern Ireland has won the President’s Award for its community-rebuilding course. It has also won the Churches’ Beacon Award for supporting students’ development as “whole people”. It was an example of the achievements through good college and faith-community partnerships, a statement said.

Further reports from the General Synod of the Church of Ireland (News, 11 May) will appear next week.

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