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News in brief

29 August 2014


Fears: the Revd Kathy Robertson outside the home of Shannon Matthews, after Shannon had been found, in March 2008

Fears: the Revd Kathy Robertson outside the home of Shannon Matthews, after Shannon had been found, in March 2008

Unease at planned kidnap drama

A PROPOSED BBC series about the faked kidnapping of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews has been criticised by parish clergy. Shannon disappeared for 24 days in 2008 from her home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, but the kidnapping was later discovered to have been invented by her mother in the hope of claiming a £50,000 reward. Canon Kevin Partington, Team Rector of Dewsbury, told The Guardian that the community had moved on, and a TV show would needlessly aggravate matters. The Revd Kathy Robertson, Team Vicar, said that she feared the programme might unwittingly expose Shannon - who has been given a new identity - to more scrutiny.

Derbyshire churches remember Indian murders

THE sixth anniversary of anti-Christian violence in India which claimed more than 100 lives has been marked by churches in Derby, which has links with the Church of North India. Almost 300 churches were destroyed and more than 56,000 people were displaced by the outbreak of violence in Orissa State on 25 August 2008. The Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Humphrey Southern, who chairs Derbyshire Churches in Partnership with the Church of North India, said that they were observing the anniversary to spur the Indian government into action to protect survivors and ensure that further attacks were prevented.

US bishop writes about same-sex marriage

THE Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Shannon Johnston, has written to his diocese seeking to reassure both sides in the debate about same-sex marriage, which is close to being legalised in the state. Virginia's ban on gay marriage was deemed unconstitutional by an appeals court in July, but one day before couples could begin to marry, the Supreme Court stayed that decision to consider it further. Writing before the Supreme Court intervened, Bishop Johnston said that clergy were free to marry gay couples in civil ceremonies, but he pledged that no priests would be forced to officiate at same-sex unions against their convictions.

How Would Jesus Vote?

A SURVEY has been launched to find out how Evangelicals are planning to vote in the General Election next year. The online poll, organised by the Evangelical Alliance, will also explore Evangelicals' views on politics in general, and whom they believe Jesus would have voted for.

Church of Scotland keeps out of independence fray

THE Church of Scotland has insisted it is neutral on the question of Scottish Independence, after 33 serving and retired ministers signed a pro-independence statement. The Moderator of the Church's General Assembly, the Rt Revd John Chalmers, said that there was a broad range of views within the Church. The 33 represented only 1.8 per cent of the total number of ministers, he said.

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

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