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UK news in brief

31 May 2013


Bishop of Guildford to retire in September

THE Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill (above), will retire in September, after nine years, it was announced on Tuesday. Bishop Hill, who is 68 in October, is the ninth Bishop of Guildford since the diocese was founded in 1927. He has sat in the House of Lords since 2010. "I will leave this diocese with huge respect for its communities, and have been constantly impressed by their level of commitment to the common good," Bishop Hill said. "People here have a deep Christian conscience which I have seen lived out each day. Some of my happiest moments have been the many baptism and confirmation services through­out the diocese, involving so many children and adults from all walks of life - it is truly inspirational to be at the focal point of people's coming to faith." 

Ecumenism not an optional extra, says Welby

GOOD ecumenical relations are the "oxygen of mission and evangelism", the Archbishop of Canterbury said last Friday. Speaking at St Philip's, Leicester, during a visit to the diocese, to members of the Meissen Com­mission, an ecumenical programme between English and German Churches, Archbishop Welby said: "Ecumenism is not an extra that one can fit in because it's an interesting occupation. It is the oxygen of mission and evan­gelism." The financial crisis had challenged churches in Europe to ensure that they remained "hospitable" places, which meant that they should "ex­­tend friendship and hospitality to each other. . . These challenges cannot be met if churches are divided."   

Discrimination appeals rejected 

THE Grand Chamber of the Council of Europe announced on Tuesday that it had rejected a request by three Christians to refer their cases to it.
In January, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the cases of alleged religious discrimination brought by Shirley Chaplin (a nurse prohibited from wearing a cross); Lillian Ladele (a former registrar dismissed for refusing to conduct civil partner­ships); and Gary McFarlane (a counsellor for Relate, dismissed over concerns about his attitude towards the provision of psychosexual therapy to same-sex couples) ( News, 18 January).

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