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Home news in brief

05 August 2009

New Bishop of Shrewsbury named

CANON Mark Rylands, Canon Missioner in the diocese of Exeter, has been named as the next Bishop of Shrewsbury, it was announced on Tuesday. Canon Rylands has served in Exeter for seven years, and is married to Prebendary Amanda Rylands, who served most recently as Director of Ordinands in Exeter, and as Bishop’s Adviser for Women’s Ministry. Canon Rylands will be consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 28 October.

Archdeacon of Sudbury dies

THE VEN. David Brierley, Archdeacon of Sudbury, died of a heart attack at his home at Great Welnetham, near Bury St Edmunds, last Saturday, aged 55. The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, des­cribed Archdeacon Brierley, who was appointed in 2006, as “an inspira­tion for the parishes and clergy in the diocese”, and “a valued friend and colleague”. He had previously served in the dioceses of Manchester and Bradford. His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday 11 August, in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Ian Smith, member of Synod, dies

IAN R. SMITH, a General Synod member since 1990, died on 29 July, aged 61. He had served on the Board of Mission, the Council for Christian Unity, the Communications Committee, and the Mission and Public Affairs Council. A Reader who did much work with the Church Mission Society, Mr Smith had been diagnosed as having cancer in January. His funeral took place on Tuesday; a memorial service will be held later in the year at St Oswald’s, Fulford, in York diocese, which he represented. Obituary to follow.

Church winner: St Andrew’s, South Warnborough, in the diocese of Winchester, has won Country Life magazine’s “Village Church for Village Life” award. The £10,000 prize honours historic rural churches that have successfully engaged with the wider community. St Andrew’s was praised for a refurbishment that added a kitchen and a lavatory for the disabled, enabling the church to be used regularly for meetings and concerts. The second prize went to St James the Great, Aslackby, in the diocese of Lincoln.

More families hit by ‘couple penalty’, charity claims

A NEW report by the Christian charity CARE has found that, owing to the nature of the tax-credit and benefits system, more couples than before would be better off if they lived apart. The Third Annual Review of the Couple Penalty for 2008-09 showed that, where maintenance is not paid, 76 out of the 98 families surveyed would be better off if the parents lived apart. The Labour MP Frank Field endorsed the report, urging that welfare should be addressed “without creating perverse incentives for the parents of children on low-to-modest incomes to live apart”.

Fiji Church cancels meeting to avoid arrests

THE Methodist Church in Fiji has cancelled its annual conference after the detention of its President, the Revd Ame Tugaue, its General Secretary, the Revd Tuikilakila Waqairatu, and five others. They were charged with break­ing an order that outlawed meetings (News 31 July). The Church, fearing that more church members might be arrested if the conference went ahead, said it was looking at “other ways of expressing” its opinion.

Iran Interfaith champion confesses to collusion

Mohammed Ali Abtahi, a former Vice-president of Iran, and champion of interfaith dialogue (News 19 June), who was arrested after questioning the validity of President Malmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election in June, appeared in court in Tehran on Saturday. He was on trial with other opposition activists on charges of rioting, threatening national security, and con­spiring against the ruling system; and admitted to having colluded with reformists to encourage public unrest. He said that in prison he had changed his mind. His wife, Fahimen Mousavinejad, told Associated Press that she was in no doubt that he had been drugged before making his appearance. He appears gaunt and distant in a video on YouTube.

Newspaper wrong about Canadian PM’s mass manners

A CANADIAN newspaper, The Telegraph-Journal, has apologised to the country’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, an Evangelical Protestant, for reporting on 8 July that he had pocketed a consecrated communion wafer at a Roman Catholic funeral. There was “no credible support” for the story, which had been added during the editorial process, the paper said.

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