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UK news in brief

13 September 2013

Bishop Packer announces his retirement

THE Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, will retire at the end of January, it was announced on Tuesday. Ripon & Leeds diocese is due to be abolished and replaced by a new diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales at Easter. Bishop Packer said in a letter to diocesan clergy that his duties as bishop would end on 31 December, even though his retirement will be on 31 January. The diocese said in a statement that between 1 January and the starting date of the new diocese, the Bishop of Knaresborough, the Rt Revd James Bell, "will have episcopal ministry responsibility" for the diocese.

Bishop continues Hillsborough work

TENSIONS between the families of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and senior legal officers are so high that the Rt Revd James Jones, a former Bishop of Liverpool, has stepped in to mediate, The Independent on Sunday reported this week. The report suggests that there is "growing frustration" at the progress of the investigation into the disaster, announced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after an independent inquiry, published a year ago, led to the quashing of the original inquests (News, 14 September, 2012). Bishop Jones, who chaired the independent inquiry, confirmed in June that he would continue his work on the Hillsborough aftermath after his retirement in August.

Intruder who put priest in arm lock sentenced

A MAN who burst into a church during a Sunday service and put a priest in an armlock has been sentenced to 22 weeks in prison. Jobias Pippin Button, of Chamberlain Street, Wells, was brought before Somerset Magistrates, sitting at Yeovil, last week, and pleaded guilty to entering St Michael and All Angels', Yeovil, on 26 May, and behaving in a violent and indecent manner. The Revd Christopher Jones, a non-stipendiary priest, challenged Mr Button after he entered the church and began to threaten to attack people. Mr Button put Mr Jones in an armlock and threatened to break his arm.

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