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UK news in brief

01 August 2014

Dora Bryan dies, aged 91

THE actress Dora Bryan (pictured with a resident of the Miles Court Church Army Home, Brighton, at an open day in 1992) died on Wednesday of last week, at the age of 91. Born in Southport, Lancashire, she starred in Hello, Dolly in the West End, and won an Olivier award for her portrayal of Meg in The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, and a BAFTA for her performance in the film A Taste of Honey. TV roles included Roz in Last of the Summer Wine. In a Church Times interview she spoke of her "strong faith" (Interview, 13 January 2006).

BBC seeks infested churches

CHURCHES suffering from infestations of rats, cockroaches, bats, or even snakes are being asked to take part in a new TV series about female pest controllers. The production company Keo Films is looking for churches riddled with pests to take part in the four-part series, which will be filmed between now and September. www.keofilms.com

Parliamentary group plans inquiry into anti-Semitism

A PARLIAMENTARY report on anti-Semitism is planned by John Mann MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, it was announced on Monday. It will explore "lessons that can be learned from the current upsurge of anti-Jewish violence emanating from the Middle East conflict".

Government urged to change rules on civil-partnership conversion

MORE than 4000 people have signed a petition urging the Government to change regulations so that couples converting a civil partnership into a marriage can have "a wedding and a marriage certificate". Currently, the conversion has to take place in a register office with a Superintendent Registrar present - excluding religious venues - and a conversion certificate is issued. The change.org petition was started by Jakki Livesey-van Dorst, who has been in a civil partnership for eight years. 

Correction: In our report last week "'Trojan horse' letter finds claims justified", we incorrectly quoted the leader of Birmingham City Council as saying that it had not taken action "because of the risk of being seen as racist or homophobic". This should have read "racist or Islamophobic".

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