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UK news in brief

21 December 2012


Under the wing: Bishop Justin Welby at the Angel of the North, soon after taking office as Bishop of Durham 

Under the wing: Bishop Justin Welby at the Angel of the North, soon after taking office as Bishop of Durham 

Welby: parishes are frontline of the Church

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, told BBC Tees, on Wednesday, that his short time in Durham had "reinforced in me that the real frontline of the Church is the local church, the parish church". He said: "As I go around and work with clergy and lay leaders, and lay people in churches, you see just the incredible things that are going on, like the real day-to-day work of people running food-distribution centres and going into schools." Bishop Welby expressed "a real sense of sadness" about leaving Durham, and "huge excitement" about becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bishop Allister to chair Council for Christian Unity

THE Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, has been appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to chair the Council for Christian Unity. Bishop Allister, who has been a member of the Council since 2006, will succeed the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, when he steps down in June, after five years in the chair.

New Dean of Brechin appointed

THE Rector of St Mary's, Broughty Ferry, the Revd Dr Francis Bridger, was appointed Dean of the diocese of Brechin, by the Bishop of Brechin, Dr Nigel Peyton, on Friday of last week. Dr Bridger will be installed as Dean of the diocese in St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee, on 13 January. 

Retired priests face abuse charges

AT NORWICH Crown Court on Monday, a priest, the Revd Haley Dossor, 71, admitted six counts of indecent assault, relating to boys as young as 13. The offences happened during the early 1990s.

Chichester diocese confirmed last week that a priest formerly licensed in the diocese, the Revd Robert Coles, had been "committed for trial to face charges relating to allegations of sexual abuse", in the 1970s and '80s.

Priest Idol church reopens after fire

A CHURCH in South Yorkshire, which was the subject of the Channel 4 television series Priest Idol ( News, 4 February 2005), has reopened after an arson attack in October 2007. St Mary Magdalene's, Lundwood, near Barnsley, held a special carol service, on Saturday, to celebrate its re-opening.

Fund launched in memory of the Revd John Suddards

A FUND has been launched at St Nicholas's, Witham, Essex, in memory of the late Revd John Suddards, Vicar of Thornbury, in Gloucestershire, who was stabbed to death in his vicarage, in February ( News, 17 February). Mr Suddards had been Team Rector of Witham for ten years, before he moved to Thornbury in July 2011. The fund will be distributed for educational purposes. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, is patron of the fund. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/JohnSuddards.

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