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UK news in brief

15 August 2014


Weeping sculpture: the 17th-century wooden bust Mater Dolorosa by Pedro de Mena, on show at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, as part of the museum's efforts to buy it. www.fitzwilliam.cam.ac.uk

Weeping sculpture: the 17th-century wooden bust Mater Dolorosa by Pedro de Mena, on show at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, as part of the museum...

Richard III to be buried in March

LEICESTER CATHEDRAL will be the setting for the reburial of Richard III in March next year. The 15th-century king's remains were discovered by archaeologists underneath a car park in Leicester in 2012 (News, 14 September 2012). After a week of commemoration events and a service at the cathedral, the king's coffin will remain there for three days, to allow the public to pay their respects.

Bishop to lead Manchester Police ethics committee

THE Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd David Walker, is to chair a new committee set up to address the moral issues faced by the Greater Manchester Police (GMP). The committee is the first of its kind, and will make recommendations on questions about water cannons, surveillance, and body cameras, among others. GMP has been investigated by the police watchdog for allegedly mishandling rape accusations ten times in the past three years, it was reported this week. 

Commission to hear evidence of discrimination

THE Equality and Human Rights Commission is asking for people who believe they have been discriminated against because of their religion to tell it about their experiences. The director of the Evangelical Alliance, Steve Clifford, said that Christians who had been marginalised for their beliefs should respond to the survey. The Alliance said that the current human-rights agenda was biased against Christians. 

New chair for Chichester safeguarding panel

MARTIN RICHARDS, the former chief constable of Sussex Police, has been named as the new independent chairman of the diocese of Chichester's safeguarding panel. The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said that Mr Richards' appointment would build on the good work of his predecessor, Keith Akerman, who stepped down earlier this year. 

Vicar's sadness at 'suicide' couple

THE Vicar of Bosbury, the Revd Nicky Seabright, has paid tribute to John and Anne Knott, who were found shot dead in the village of Bosbury, Herefordshire, on Monday. Ms Seabright said that Mrs Knott, aged 70, had been suffering from a "progressive illness"; the village was deeply shocked by the news. West Mercia Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths, and believe that the deaths were either a suicide pact, or a murder and suicide. Both died from a single gunshot wound. 

Churches produce new guide to organ donation

A FREE guide exploring the ethics of organ donation has been produced by the Methodist, Baptist, and United Reformed Churches, before a change in the law in Wales next year, when consent will be presumed. "Sharing the Gift of Life?" looks at concerns about organ donation, the rights of patients, personal experiences, and whether there is a distinctly Christian way of seeing the body. www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/organdonation 

Air ambulance attends fireball-burns-victim deacon 

THE Assistant Curate of Corringham and Fobbing, in Chelmsford diocese, the Revd Justin Hutcherson, was injured in a small domestic explosion on Saturday. The Essex Air Ambulance attended, after which Mr Hutcherson was taken to the specialist burns unit at the Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. Mr Hutcherson was made deacon at Petertide, having trained at St Stephen's House, Oxford. Jamie Gater, a third-year ordinand at St Stephen's House, said: "We are devastated to hear about Fr Justin's accident; we only hope he will not be permanently affected, and will soon be able to get back to the work to which God has called him, and which he loves so much." At the time of going to press, Mr Hutcherson's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. 

Jamaican pastor found dead after two weeks

A JAMAICAN pastor was found dead only after maggots were spotted outside his flat in Catford, south-east London, an inquest heard on Tuesday. Ronald Bennett, 67, had not been seen for two weeks, when the alarm was raised August last year. He had recently returned from visiting Nigeria, where he contracted an unknown illness and was admitted to hospital. It was impossible to ascertain the cause of death, and the coroner ruled that he had died of natural causes.

Correction: The diocese of Gloucester has asked us to record that the Bishop of Tewkesbury was given permission to act as diocesan bishop from Tuesday of last week. We apologise for the error in last week's story.

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