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UK news in brief

28 June 2013


Discovery: a long-forgotten entrance to the famous Shrewsbury burial vault, in the 500-year-old Shrews­bury Chapel, at Sheffield Cathedral, has been discov­ered during building work

Discovery: a long-forgotten entrance to the famous Shrewsbury burial vault, in the 500-year-old Shrews­bury Chapel, at Sheffield Cathedral, has been...

THE Prime Minister spoke in support of Christianity's "vital role in our national life", on Tuesday, in a statement issued before the National Prayer Breakfast at the Houses of Parliament. David Cameron said: "We are a country with a Christian heritage and we should not be afraid to say so." In an address to the prayer breakfast, John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, urged Christians to have "the courage to create public space" for the discussion of a "biblical world-view" in society.

REFORM, the conservative Evangelical group, has appointed Susie Leafe - a member of the General Synod and spokeswoman for the Proper Provision campaign - as its first full-time director. Reform said in a statement that Mrs Leafe would "seek to promote the unique value of women's ministry in keeping with the Reform Covenant". The Covenant affirms "the unique value of women's ministry in the local congregation, but also the divine order of male headship, which makes the headship of women as priests-in-charge, incumbents, dignitaries, and bishops inappropriate".

THE Archbishop of Canterbury presented the Archbishop of Kaduna, the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, with the Cross of St Augustine, in the crypt chapel at Lambeth Palace, on Thursday of last week. Archbishop Welby said that the award was being given "in recognition of his outstanding ministry in promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in Nigeria and across the world".

THE Dean of King's College, London, the Revd Professor Richard Burridge, was awarded the Ratzinger Prize last week - the first non-Roman Catholic to receive the award. The president of the Ratzinger Foundation, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, said that Professor Burridge had "made a great contribution in that decisive area of the historical and theological recognition of the Gospels' inseparable connection to Jesus of Nazareth".

A 23-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested for a suspected arson attack on St Andrew's, Twyford, in Derbyshire, on Wednesday. It was thought that a rare Bible was thrown on to the fire, which started in the church's vestry, the BBC reported. A churchwarden of St Andrew's, Anne Bennett, told the BBC: "When we arrived, all we could see was black smoke billowing out of bell tower and the spire window. It was quite frightening. Our main Bible in the church, which was a beautiful leather-bound huge copy, was taken and put on the fire, along with the vestments, the frontal, and linen from the altar."

THE Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, Rehman Chishti, announced on Tuesday that 139 Church of England churches have been closed for worship since 2007. Mr Chishti obtained the number in response to a question put to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Tony Baldry, MP.

RELIGIOUS leaders have less influence on the lives of young adults than politicians or celebrities, new research suggests. A poll of 940 British adults, aged between 18 and 24, was carried out by YouGov for The Sun earlier this month. The results, published on Monday, show that 12 per cent of respondents said that religious leaders had an influence on their lives. Twenty-one per cent identified celebrities, and 38 per cent politicians, as having influence on them. Eighty-two per cent cited parents, and 77 per cent cited friends. A quarter of those surveyed said that they believed in God.

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