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Home news in brief

by
24 February 2011

Former tax official to head Pensions Board

THE former director general of personal tax at HM Revenue & Customs, Bernadette Kenny, has been appointed chief executive of the Church of England Pensions Board. She retired from the civil service, after 30 years, in January. She succeeds Shaun Farrell, who retires at the end of March after six-and-a-half years in post. He has worked for the Church of England since joining the Church Commissioners’ staff in 1969.

No civil partnerships in RC churches, archbishop says

THE Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Revd Peter Smith, said this week that the RC Church did “not believe it is either necessary or desirable to allow the registration of civil partnerships on religious premises. These will not take place in Catholic churches.” Archbishop Smith issued a statement on Monday after the Government announced last week that it planned to allow the use of religious buildings to host the registration of civil partnerships for same-sex couples (News, 18 February).

Former army chaplain sues MOD

IT WAS reported this week that a former army chaplain was suing the Ministry of Defence (MOD) on the grounds that he lost his commission because of allegations of drunken behaviour. The Daily Telegraph reported that the High Court in London heard claims that the MOD had in 2003 decided not to continue the commission of the Revd Andrew Crosbie because of his alleged drunken behaviour at two military units. Mr Crosbie ad­mitted being drunk on one occasion when “utterly miserable”, the news­paper reported, but he said that he had been unlawfully denied an indepen­dent hearing. The hearing continues.

Dr Williams ‘really looking forward’ to royal wedding

THE Archbishop of Canterbury said this week that he was “really looking forward” to presiding at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton which will take place on 29 April at Westminster Abbey. After preaching at Little St Mary’s, Cambridge, Dr Williams told Cambridge News: “If my mother were alive today, she’d tell me to make sure my shoes are polished for the wedding. It will be fantastic. I am thrilled to be part of it.”

EHRC to investigate ‘gay-only’ hotels

THE Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will investigate whether “gay-only” guesthouses breach equality laws, The Sunday Telegraph reported this week. Last month, a judge ruled that Peter and Hazelmary Bull, the Christian hotel-owners from Cornwall who denied a gay couple a double room, acted unlawfully (News, 21 January). The Sunday Telegraph reported the EHRC as saying that it intended to establish an “objective balance” by considering if “gay-only” hotels also breached equality legisla­tion.

Lent course focuses on reconciliation

A NEW course for Lent, exploring the theme of reconciliation, has been launched by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). The theme will also be explored on BBC Radio 4 during Lent in the programmes Sunday Worship and Daily Service. In a statement, CTBI said that the course, “The Unreconciled”, will “look at issues of Christian reconcilia­tion — not just the initiatives and works that everyone knows about, but some of the things which are never talked about, where deep divisions are covered over by smiling faces and ‘doing the right thing’.” The study materials, by Dr Anne Richards of the Mission Theology Advisory Group, can be downloaded at www.ctbil.org.uk/lent 
Leader comment

A NEW course for Lent, exploring the theme of reconciliation, has been launched by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). The theme will also be explored on BBC Radio 4 during Lent in the programmes Sunday Worship and Daily Service. In a statement, CTBI said that the course, “The Unreconciled”, will “look at issues of Christian reconcilia­tion — not just the initiatives and works that everyone knows about, but some of the things which are never talked about, where deep divisions are covered over by smiling faces and ‘doing the right thing’.” The study materials, by Dr Anne Richards of the Mission Theology Advisory Group, can be downloaded at www.ctbil.org.uk/lent 
Leader comment

Birthday vigil for Claudia Lawrence

PRAYERS will be said in York Minster on Sunday at a vigil to mark the 37th birthday of Claudia Lawrence, the chef from York who went miss­ing almost two years ago (News, 24 April 2009). The Archbishop of York, who has written a special prayer for Miss Lawrence, and the Dean, the Very Revd Keith Jones, are expected to attend the vigil.

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