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UK news in brief

18 December 2015


Synthesis: dancers from Essex Dance Theatre joined the Girls’ Choir at Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday to interpret Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols

Synthesis: dancers from Essex Dance Theatre joined the Girls’ Choir at Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday to interpret Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols

New Bishop of Dunwich announced

THE next Bishop of Dunwich has been named as the Revd Dr Mike Harrison, who has been Director of Mission and Ministry in the diocese of Leicester for the past ten years. Before this, he was Vicar of Holy Trinity, Eltham, and Chaplain at the University of Bradford, and Bradford and Ilkley Community College. He was also diocesan world-development adviser. He is married with four children, has a doctorate in doctrine from King’s College, London, and before ordination worked as both a management consultant and a social worker in London.


‘There is no right not to be offended,’ says Commission

THE Equality and Human Rights Commission said last week that it “strongly disagrees” with the decision by Digital Cinema Media (DCM) not to show the Church of England’s “Just Pray” advert (News, 27 November). The Commission, which will explore the issues raised by the decision in a “major report”, has offered its legal expertise to the Church and written to DCM expressing concern. “There is no right not to be offended in the UK,” its chief executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said. “What is offensive is very subjective, and this is a slippery slope towards increasing censorship. We strongly disagree with the decision not to show the adverts on the grounds they might ‘offend’ people. We also understand why people were confused that a commercial Christmas can be advertised but the central Christian prayer cannot.”


Street preacher’s conviction is overturned

A CHRISTIAN street preacher, Mike Overd, has won his appeal against a public-order conviction issued after he quoted an Old Testament passage condemning homosexuality. He was convicted in March and fined £200. Last week, a Circuit Judge, His Honour Judge Ticehurst, upheld his appeal, ruling that the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify the conviction.


Attacked convert speaks of ‘dire dilemma’

A CHRISTIAN man, Nissar Hussain, who has been repeatedly attacked after his conversion from Islam, has said that he forgives his assailants. Last month, he was hospitalised for 11 days after a brutal assault in Bradford involving a pickaxe handle, the latest in a string of attacks that have forced him and his family to move house (News, 30 April, 2008). The attack was condemned by the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Toby Haworth, and the president of the Council for Mosques, Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal. This week Mr Hussain told the Eden Christian Centre in Ilford that his family had forgiven the attackers, and called on the Church to recognise its “moral duty” to converts, who faced a “very grave and dire” dilemma.


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