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UK news in brief

17 April 2014


Company of saints: Alex Smallbone (Olivia Colman) and Adam (Tom Hollander)

Company of saints: Alex Smallbone (Olivia Colman) and Adam (Tom Hollander)

Welby: Why Rev. doesn't get me down

THE sitcom Rev.is "great viewing" but "doesn't truly tell the whole story", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. Writing in the Radio Times this week, he said that examples of growing and high-impact churches meant that there were "plenty of grounds for celebration". Thus Rev. "doesn't depress me quite as much as you might think". Letter

Bishop of Oxford announces retirement

THE Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, has announced that he will retire on 31 October, at the age of 66, after seven years. In a letter to the diocese, he said at the weekend that it had been a "hugely difficult decision". He and his wife will retire to Richmond, in north Yorkshire.

Urquhart sounds note of caution on schools probe

THE Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, has warned that Muslims must not be "misrepresented", as an investigation is conducted into schools in the city (News, 11 April). On Monday, Birmingham City Council confirmed that the investigation had widened to 25 schools, after reports of religious extremism surfaced.

Lord Carey comes to Mr Kuttner's defence

LORD CAREY, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, has defended the character of Stuart Kuttner, a former managing editor of the News of the Worldwho stands accused of conspiring to intercept voicemails. On Thursday last week, Lord Carey, who wrote for the newspaper after his retirement in 2002, told the court that Mr Kuttner "was and is a good man".

'Business at usual' at St Michael's College, Llandaff

DESPITE a report recommending that it should close (News, 4 April), it will be "business at usual" at St Michael's College, Llandaff, the only theological college in Wales, a statement from the college said on Friday of last week. Any changes would not come into effect until 2016 at the earliest.

Bishop too ill for first court date

A FORMER Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Peter Ball, has been unable to answer allegations of sex offences in court owing to ill health. Bishop Ball was due at Brighton Magistrates Court on 10 April to face charges of indecent assault in 1978, between 1980 and 1982, and misconduct in a public office between 1977 and 1982 (News, 4 April). The case was adjourned until 23 May.

Channel Islands switch parish share

CHURCHES in the Channel Islands will now pay their parish share to the diocese of Canterbury, not the diocese of Winchester. Oversight of the Islands was transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year (News, 24 January) after a dispute over the handling of a safeguarding complaint, but the diocese of Winchester had continued to collect the parish share.

Large donation for monotheism research

BIRKBECK COLLEGE has been given £300,000 to fund new research into Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The gift, from the Exilarch's Foundation, will establish a Fellowship and Ph.D. scholarship named after the foundation's trustee Dr Naim Dangoor. The research will be focused on the sociological and pyschological dimensions of the three main monotheistic faiths.

Bishop urges people to pray on their knees

THE Priest Administrator of the the Anglican Shrine at Walsingham, the Rt Revd Lindsay Urwin OGS, has urged parishioners to return to the tradition of praying on their knees. Bishop Urwin said that an increasing number of churchgoers remained seated during prayers, which, he said, suggested a lack of humility and inappropriate casualness before God.

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