UK news in brief

11 July 2014


Canal chaplaincy is backed by waterways Trust

THE charity in charge of 2000 miles of historic waterways has backed a chaplaincy system to care for those who live and work on canals. The Canal & River Trust (CRT) has agreed to support the ecumenical charity Workplace Matters to keep running the chaplaincy service, and to help with future fundraising. Approximately 7000 boats on CRT waterways are used as homes, and the volunteer chaplains have already supported boat-owners suffering with mental-health problems, drug-addiction, or licensing disputes with local authorities.

Three years jail for sex with 14-year-old

THE former assistant director of music at Rochester Cathedral has been sentenced to three years in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Sam Rathbone, a 28-year-old teacher, began a relationship with the girl when he was 26, and pleaded guilty to the charges at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.

Anglicans urge G20 action on climate change

A NEW Anglican pressure group calling for the world's richest nations to do more to combat climate change has been formed. Oceans of Justice has been set up by the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Anglican Overseas Aid, Anglican Board of Mission - Australia, and the Anglican Alliance. It will lobby the G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, later this year on behalf of the poor Pacific nations hit hardest by rising sea levels.

University of Cumbria claims student awards

THE student union from the University of Cumbria (UCSU), which was formed from a C of E further-education college, has scooped two awards at the annual National Union of Students award ceremony. UCSU was given the Students' Union Evaluation Initiative Silver Award for improving the student experience at the six-campus university. A member of UCSU, a criminology student, Natalie Atkinson, was named Student of the Year for graduating with a first-class honours degree despite a chaotic and deprived childhood that included a spell in prison. 

Toughen sentences for church theft, say Ecclesiastical

PRISON sentences for thefts from churches should be lengthened to deter criminals, the specialist insurers Ecclesiastical have said. Responding to a government consultation on sentencing for theft offences, the company said in a statement that putting off potential thieves with longer sentences was preferable to covering churches in barbed wire and security fences to prevent access. Ecclesiastical's figures suggest that in the past five years 6700 churches have suffered from metal thefts, costing millions of pounds. 

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