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News in brief

05 June 2008

Winning voice

Zoe Oputah, 15, from South Bermondsey in London, has won Christian Aid's gospel-singing competition. She beat off the challenge of 35 other acts in a nationwide talent contest, which culminated in a final sing-off at the Commonwealth Church in Mayfair, in London. She will now feature on a new album, Acoustic Gospel II, and proceeds from it will go to Christian Aid projects around the world.

Fairtrade churches ‘number 4000’

THERE are now 4000 Fairtrade churches, 350 Fairtrade towns, and 60 Fairtrade universities in the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation reports after new research. In a survey of British attitudes, 70 per cent recognised the Fairtrade mark, compared with 57 per cent in 2007.

Next Bishop of Huntingdon announced

THE Ven. Dr David Thomson, Archdeacon of Carlisle and Canon Residentiary of Carlisle Cathedral since 2002, is to be the new Bishop of Huntingdon in the diocese of Ely. He will succeed Dr John Inge, who became Bishop of Worcester earlier this year

Business as usual at Spring Harvest

SPRING HARVEST, the Christian teaching festival, will return to its normal format next year, offering participants the choice of three weeks at either Skegness or Minehead from 4 to 19 April. The festival runs simultaneously at the two venues over the Easter holidays, but was affected by the varying school-holiday dates across the country this year. Next year’s theme is “Apprentice — Walking in the Way of Christ”.

Monks join the hit parade

AN ALBUM of Gregorian chant by a group of Cistercian monks in Austria is outselling Madonna, and has reached ninth position in the UK pop charts. The monks from Stift Heiligenkreuz near Vienna won a worldwide competition by Universal Music to find the best practitioners of the ancient art, and are said to be astounded by their success. Profits are going towards an education programme for Cistercians in Vietnam.

Bishop of St Asaph to retire

THE Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd John Stewart Davies, is to retire in December, it was announced this week.

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