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UK news in brief

by
06 September 2013

PA

Handover at the top: the Prince of Wales is greeted by the outgoing Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks (centre) and his successor, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Rabbi Mirvis was formally inducted as the 11th Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the UK and the Commonwealth, at St John's Wood Synagogue, in north London, on Sunday

Handover at the top: the Prince of Wales is greeted by the outgoing Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks (centre) and his successor, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mir...

Wonga profits rise, despite Welby criticism

THE Archbishop of Canterbury's wish to force Wonga, the payday lender, out of business hit an obstacle this week (News, 2 August). On Tuesday, the company announced that its annual pre-tax profits rose by more than a third last year, to £84.5 million. More than one million people used its loans. A Church House spokesman told ITV News that the C of E was working with the Church of Scotland "towards establishing the Churches Mutual Credit Union", which was "unlikely to be established before autumn 2014".

Bishop of Swindon diagnosed as having cancer

THE Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, it was announced on Wednesday. In a letter to the diocese of Bristol, Dr Rayfield said that it was "good news that I have Hodgkin's lymphoma rather than another tumour since Hodgkin's is a better understood malignancy with an effective treatment regime and good prognosis. . . The not-so-good news is that the first line of treatment involves four cycles of chemotherapy . . . followed by a short course of radiotherapy." Dr Rayfield said that the risk of infection made it "necessary to absent myself from public ministry"; but he planned "to engage as much as I can from home and the office, following medical advice." 

Pope bestows award on head of Anglican-RC college

THE Principal of Christ the King College, Newport, a joint Anglican-Roman Catholic College on the Isle of Wight, Patricia Goodhead (right), is to receive an award from Pope Francis, it was announced on Tuesday. Mrs Goodhead is to be appropriated a Dame of the Papal Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great, in recognition of her service to the RC Church. A statement from the college said: "Such awards are made only with the personal authority of His Holiness Pope Francis, and are seldom made to those who are not themselves Catholics." 

Rise in confessions attributed to 'papal effect' 

CLERGY from Roman Catholic cathedrals in England and Wales have reported an increase in the number of confessions being heard. An informal survey of the 22 RC cathedrals, published this week, suggests that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK in 2010, and the election of Pope Francis this year, have had an impact on worshippers. The Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales polled deans and other staff; and 65 per cent of those who responded reported a growth in confessions. They attributed the rise to either the papal visit, the inaugurationof Pope Francis, or both.

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