Forest Gate clerics face Crown Court trial
THE Revd Brian Shipsides, Priest-in-Charge of All Saints’ with St Edmund’s, Forest Gate, East London, and the Revd Elwon John, Associate Minister in the same benefice, both pleaded not guilty to conspiring to facilitate breaches of immigration law on Monday. The two clerics were charged in February after an inquiry into sham marriages; they were arrested last year and suspended from their duties by the diocese of Chelmsford (News, 18 March). They are due to stand trial at Inner London Crown Court in January.
Metal-thieves deface war memorial
THIEVES have stolen two metal plaques from a war memorial on raised ground in the churchyard of Christ Church, Willaston. The Vicar, the Revd Raymond Dent, told the Wirral Globe that he was “absolutely disgusted. . . This is a sin against humanity.” The cash value of the metal was minimal, PC Mike Lockett, of Cheshire Police, said.
Bishop of Wakefield criticises Religion nightclub
THE Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, has criticised a new nightclub in Wakefield which is called Religion and holds themed club nights with names such as Mass, Resurrection, and Salvation. The Bishop said: “If any other aspect of people’s lives was taken and trivialised in this way, I think people would be upset.” A statement from the owners, Leisure 99, said that the names of the club nights were not linked to any specific faith, and that religion was defined as “a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion, which is what partygoers in the city are doing”.
Diocese puts recycled windows in clergy houses
THE diocese of Winchester has announced that recycled PVC-U windows will be used in all future window-replacements in its 250 clergy houses. The diocesan houses manager, Chris Mariner, said that the decision was made after clergy requested green alternatives.
LGBT coalition asks to help bishops in sexuality review
THE LGBT Anglican Coalition, chaired by the Revd Benny Hazlehurst, has written to the House of Bishops to offer help with its review of clergy civil partnerships and the wider issue of homosexuality (News, 1 July). The letter asked that bishops “meet a small team representing the Coalition to discuss how our members can contribute to this work”.
Hymns A&M’s 150th to be celebrated in St Paul’s
A SERVICE to celebrate 150 years of Hymns Ancient & Modern (which owns the Church Times) will be sung in St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday 24 October at 5 p.m. Choirs will be directed by Matthew Owens, the Organist and Master of the Choristers at Wells Cathedral. Readers of the Church Times are welcome to attend.