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World news in brief

22 August 2014


Fire sale boosts Minster's funds

OLD lumps of masonry and timbers from York Minster have raised more than £44,000 in an auction to raise money for renovation. Hundreds of pieces of stonework and wood were sold last Friday. Most of the stones had been removed and replaced with new masonry during recent repairs, and fetched between £80 and £2000. The timbers were removed after the 1984 fire at the Minster.

Steep fall in insurance claims by churches

INSURANCE claims by churches in the past two years have fallen by 70 per cent, the insurance company Ecclesiastical has said. It reported that, compared with 659 claims in the first half of 2012, there had been only 195 claims so far in 2014. Most of the claims arose from thefts of lead from roofs, but Ecclesiastical said it was concerned that government funding for a police task force to combat metal theft would soon run out.

Parents told to teach children, rapture or no rapture

TWO parents in Texas have lost a court case sparked by a claim that they were not bothering to home-school their children because of Christ's imminent return to earth. The couple, Michael and Laura McIntyre, began home-schooling their nine children in 2004; but Mr McIntyre's brother Tracey told the court he had never seen the children doing school work. He had overheard one child telling a cousin that they did not need to work, as they would soon be raptured. After the local authorities filed truancy complaints against the McIntyres, the couple argued that their religious beliefs exempted them from complying with state education requirements. But the Texas Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month that their right to free exercise of religion did not mean they could educate their children at home without supervision.

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