Covenant’s fate could be settled this weekend
SIX more diocesan synods — Lincoln, Oxford, Blackburn, Exeter, Guildford, and Peterborough — will vote on the Anglican Covenant this weekend. If two dioceses reject the Covenant, it will not be returned to the General Synod for approval, because it will have been rejected by 22 dioceses. Twenty dioceses have so far rejected the Covenant; 12 have endorsed it. Last weekend, the Covenant was rejected by three diocesan synods: Ely, Liverpool, and St Albans; and accepted by two: Chester and Norwich. Voting in the remaining dioceses will take place until the end of next month.
Water shortages are ‘wake-up call’ says Bishop
THE Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, speaking at a meeting of Ely diocesan synod last weekend, said that water shortages were a “wake-up call” for people to “cherish water more as a precious gift from God, and not as a commodity to waste”. They should “conserve our water supply and collect water wherever we can”, he said. “The drought is now far worse than last year, and we are already beyond the time when rain will do much to alleviate the challenge for growing crops. The predictions seem to be that we face domestic water shortages, too, this summer.”
Former organist cleared of abuse charges
THE former organist of St Andrew’s, Wiveliscombe, in Somerset, Nigel Parkin, was cleared on Thursday of last week of sexually abusing two girls (News, 9 March). Mr Parkin, aged 56, was acquitted at Taunton Crown Court of eight charges of rape and two of indecent assault.
PEVs oversee 247 parishes
THERE are 247 parishes overseen by Provincial Episcopal Visitors (PEVs), as of January this year, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Tony Baldry MP, said on Monday. Mr Baldry was responding to a written question submitted by Sir Peter Bottomley MP. Mr Baldry said that 383 parishes had petitioned for special oversight, but “not all petitioning parishes are overseen by PEVs, as in many cases it is possible to provide this ministry either from within the diocese, or region.”
Near Neighbours awarded government grant
THE Department for Communities and Local Government has awarded £240,000 to the Near Neighbours programme, a three-year initiative set up last year by the Church Urban Fund and the Church of England to promote interfaith relations in the community (News, 18 November). A statement from Near Neighbours said that the money would be put into the Near Neighbours Fund, “a small grants programme aimed at getting relatively small sums of money into communities where it can do the most good”.