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UK news in brief

12 June 2015


"Bless yew": the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, looks on as the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, blesses 43 yew saplings; one will be sent to each diocese. Bishop Holtam was launching the We Love Yew campaign to promote yew trees during the 800th-anniversary celebrations of Magna Carta. Lottery funding is available for churches to protect their yews and to put on events celebrating their place in history and faith

"Bless yew": the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd June Osborne, looks on as the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, blesses 43 yew sap...

£16-million tourism project for Lincoln Cathedral

LINCOLN Cathedral has secured a £900,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to finance the first phase of a £16-million 20-year development project. In addition to "essential conservation work", it will seek to improve its offering to visitors and tourists as "one of the finest cathedrals in Europe with the lowest visitor figures". It recently lost a "substantial" English Heritage grant and is currently on the Heritage at Risk Register.


Former Truro press officer to be sentenced for abuse

A FORMER press officer for the diocese of Truro, Jeremy Dowling, 76, has admitted sexually abusing boys over more than a decade. He assaulted five children from 1959 to 1971, while he was working as a teacher in Devon. He retired from the diocese in 2009, after 25 years, and served on both diocesan and General Synods. He will be sentenced on 10 July. The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, said: "Crimes such as his cause people to doubt themselves, their relationships, their faith - all aspects of life."


New bid to change law on assisted dying

A NEW effort to change the law on assisted dying will be debated by MPs, after a Private Member's Bill topped the ballot last week. The Bill, tabled by Rob Marris, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West, is based on the draft regulations drawn up by Lord Falconer, whose Assisted Dying Bill ran out of debate time in the last Parliament (News, 23 January). The regulations would mean that patients with no more than six months to live, and who had demonstrated a "clear and settled intention" to end their lives, would be prescribed a lethal dose of drugs on the authority of two doctors. The Prime Minister, who opposes a change in the law, has said that Mr Marris's Bill will not be given government time in the House of Commons.


Christian disability charity welcomes ruling on PIP delay

DELAYS in paying Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to two disabled people - of 13 months and ten months - was unlawful, the High Court ruled last week. But the judge ruled that their human rights had not been breached. Liz Mell of Livability welcomed the decision: "We hope that it will force the Government to act quickly and take some of the strain off the disabled people." There are currently 78,700 waiting for their applications for PIP to be decided, of which 3200 have been waiting for more than a year.

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