2014 — the year in review

by
02 January 2015

Reuters

Lonely vigil, watching for the  forces of Islamic State, which made great advances into Iraq in the early summer.

Lonely vigil, watching for the  forces of Islamic State, which made great advances into Iraq in the early summer.

JANUARY

THE year began, extraordinarily, with the same story with which it ended. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, criticised the Trussell Trust for political "scaremongering" over foodbanks. Archbishop Welby's predecessor, Lord Williams, defended the trust: it was not "political point-scoring" to highlight the realities of those on the breadline. Fast forward to December, when Archbishop Welby attempted to make the same point. In between, 27 Anglican bishops signed a letter that blamed increasing hunger on welfare reforms.

It is, perhaps, predictable, but depressing, that the Government of the day will want to deny evidence of hardship caused, in part, by its policies and priorities. We saw the same with homelessness a few years ago. The tactic of shaming a government into action is unlikely to work if it can get a significant part of the electorate behind it and shift the blame on to the poor's fecklessness.

In other news, St James's, Piccadilly, triggered months of discussion with Jewish groups by erecting a "separation wall" around the church to highlight the plight of Palestinians. Relations were eased with the erection of a sukkah in October. Another relationship was eased when pastoral responsibility for the Channel Islands switched from the diocese of Winchester to Canterbury. The Bishop's Palace in Wells was deemed unsuitable for the next bishop - until local pressure forced the Commissioners to reconsider.

FEBRUARY

THE uneasy peace in South Sudan was shattered by an outbreak of savage violence between political and ethnic factions in South Sudan, which began in December 2013. Archbishop Welby visited South Sudan in February, and was shocked by what he saw, taking part in the burial of the victims of a church massacre. Human Rights Watch has talked of "extraordinary acts of cruelty". More than 10,000 are thought to have been killed during the year, and 1.9 million displaced from their homes. Oil exports, the country's main source of income, have more than halved, and the conflict has interrupted the growing and harvesting of food, leaving thousands starving.

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The Church Times embarked on its health-check of the C of E. More than one quarter of congregations declined in the decade after 2000; only 18 per cent grew. We exposed the extent of the division within the Church over sexuality. Only 20 per cent of Evangelicals agreed that partnered homosexuals could be priests or bishops; among other church traditions, the figure was 60 per cent.

The House of Bishops issued its St Valentine's Day statement asserting its opposition to same-sex marriage. It was reported later in the year that 22 of the Bishops had abstained.

We also uncovered a significant preference for southern parishes among the English clergy: northern dioceses have struggled to fill posts.

MARCH

THE crisis in Ukraine escalated, as Russian troops - consistently downplayed by President Putin - surrounded Ukrainian barracks and assisted with the annexation of the Crimean Peninsular. The Orthodox Church in Ukraine, already divided, could contribute little towards reconciliation, not least because of the close relationship between the Moscow Patriarchate and President Putin. As the year progressed, the language of the Cold War became more applicable. NATO countries, at last extricating themselves from Afghanistan, were slow to move against Russia; but economic sanctions have begun to bite. Another inhibitor has been the conduct of the Ukranian government, an uneasy democracy.

Flooded areas in the West Country and the Thames Valley began the process of drying out, after one of the UK's wettest ever winters. The Government found itself criticised for having withdrawn funds from the Environment Agency, responsible for flood-plain management. Other critics pointed to the human causes of climate change.

There was a surprise windfall for the Churches from the Chancellor: in March, £20 million was granted to cathedrals for repairs, related to First World War commemorations; in December, another £15 million was granted to parish churches and other places of worship.

APRIL

THE Prime Minister made waves at Easter with a robust declaration of faith in an article for the Church Times. He wrote: "I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives." Political commentators saw the article as a play for middle-England voters, currently being wooed by UKIP; we saw it as an expression of faith and gratitude from a parent who had experienced the pastoral care of the Church at a time of trial. Other politicians, by and large, concurred.

Birmingham schools were embroiled in a row over Islamist infiltration. A document of dubious provenance was sent to a city councillor, alleging the existence of a plot, "Operation Trojan Horse", to take over the governing bodies of various schools. A government inspection found evidence to support the claim.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton married his partner, Laurence Cunnington, in the first wave of same-sex marriages in the UK. As a result, his appointment to an NHS post was blocked (his bishop denied him permission to officiate) and what looks to be an expensive employment tribunal was initiated.

MAY

BOKO HARAM caught the public's attention when one of its militia groups in northern Nigeria kidnapped 187 girls from a boarding school in April. News filtered out slowly, but, by May, an international campaign for their release had built up. The Nigerian government was ambivalent, especially when some rallies turned into protests at its inability to deal with the terrorist organisation. The girls are still untraced. "The area is vast, with poor communications," Archbishop Welby warned, writing in the Church Times of his experience of Nigeria. External help needed to be offered tactfully, he said, given Britain's colonial past and the US's unpopular present: "External help should involve advice where it can be offered, support for those who are displaced, expertise in training and development, and, above all, support for reconciliation, which will be long and difficult."

Pope Francis visited Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, and Israel - in that order, which was deemed significant by analysts. In a more obvious gesture, the Pope prayed at the separation wall next to Bethlehem, just as he prayed at the Western Wall of the temple in Jerusalem.

The Church Commissioners celebrated their best results for nine years. And Leicester Cathedral won the right to bury the remains of King Richard III.

JUNE

SEXUAL violence is not a new phenomenon, of course, but 2014 brought a new awareness of its prevalence. In June, the actor Angelina Jolie joined William Hague, then Foreign Secretary, at an international summit in London. One of the topics was how religion both helped and hindered: many church groups in Africa were active in educating men that rape was not an acceptable element in conflict, but religion also contributed to the stigma experienced by victims. The Archbishop of Canterbury told the summit of the "breathtakingly terrible" experiences of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo: "The Churches are the main bulwark against this brutalisation." In April, the Church Times had highlighted work being done with victims of sexual violence in countries such as the DRC and Sudan. Another awakening in the UK was to the continued practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in North and East Africa - but also among some immigrant communities in this country. It became a crime not to report evidence of FGM.

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Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian mother forced to give birth in shackles in a Sudanese prison, after being condemned to death for apostasy, was freed after international outrage at her sentence.

The latest attempt to relax the law on assisted dying failed.

JULY

THE Pope's pleas for peace in the Middle East fell on deaf ears. The abduction and murder of three teenage Israelis prompted a violent reaction from the Israeli government. A 50-day assault damaged buildings and the infrastructure in Gaza. The Israelis lost 73 people, all but six of them soldiers; an estimated 2200 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians. The Pope was moved to break into his Sunday homily: "Please stop. I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please." Archbishop Welby spoke of his fears for the Palestinians: "Populations condemned to hopelessness, or living under fear, will be violent."

The new women-bishops legislation passed safely through the General Synod session in York (see November). The Methodist Conference, meanwhile, voted to progress further down the road towards the Anglicans - having seen the two Churches in Ireland speed along the road a few weeks earlier.

The toll of innocent deaths in Ukraine increased dramatically with the downing of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, with the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. Access to the site was restricted for a time, prompting speculation about responsibility for the crash.

A Church Urban Fund survey suggested that ten million people had benefited from the services of the Church (not including church services).

AUGUST

THE rise of Islamic State, and its ability to act brutally and with impunity across the Syrian/Iraqi border, finally prompted a concerted response from the West, not least when Baghdad itself was threatened. Beheadings and mass shootings, publicised widely through social media, created terror throughout Iraq. Christians, Muslims, and members of the small Yazidi sect fled across the desert towards Kurdish territory to avoid the IS militia. "The most terrible atrocities are now being carried out in Iraq," Baroness Nicholson said. Many of the victims are Muslim, and Islamic leaders in the UK repeatedly stated their horror at the conduct of the militia. In September, a coalition involving neighbouring Arab countries began shelling IS positions, and the advance was slowed.

The other big story was the spread of the Ebola virus, as promised resources failed to appear in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and infection spread rapidly because of poor hygiene and lack of knowledge. The public in the West became interested when medics who had contracted the disease returned from Africa.

The Greenbelt Festival had its first year at a new site: Boughton, in Northamptonshire. Numbers were down, but once people were on the site, they enjoyed themselves. And various cathedral chapters goaded each other to take the Ice Bucket challenge.

SEPTEMBER

THE Churches stayed strictly neutral, officially at least, throughout the campaign for Scottish independence. The vote on 18 September was close, though not as close as feared by Westminster politicians, who spent the last few days of the campaign promising greater autonomy, paradoxically, if the Scots voted to retain the Union. The Primus remarked afterwards that the nature of the discourse, fierce at times, had distressed some people. "It will take some time for those passions to fade." One of the unintended consequences was to spark debate on the nature of Britishness and Englishness - a topic that has benefited from being under-discussed and vaguely defined.

The Church Times was distracted by cricket. First, a close final between London and Lichfield in the Church Times Cricket Cup; next, the paper's first international: a match between an Archbishop of Canterbury's XI and a team from the Vatican. Played under floodlights at Kent County Cricket Club, the match, followed by a gala dinner, was a glittering affair, and proved that ecumenical encounters need not be dull and wordy. (The C of E won, though the match was close.)

New York hosted the latest climate-change summit. The global climate continued to provide examples of instability.

OCTOBER

AS REVOLUTIONS go, it was a modest one. The photographs of ranks of cardinals and archbishops, all male of course, attending the extraordinary synod on the family in Rome reminded Roman Catholics that life under Pope Francis would not be that different, despite the unprecedented step of asking for the views of his Church beforehand. There was a significant shift, none the less: statements that appeared to welcome homosexuals and those who had married again after divorce, although watered down in the final report from the synod, failed to secure a two-thirds majority by a only few votes. There will be another synod next October.

Attention in the C of E was focused on safeguarding issues. An independent inquiry reported on the Church's failings over the late Robert Waddington, a former Dean of Manchester. Victims of abuse were disbelieved in the face of Waddington's denials, and his only sanction was the loss of his permission to officiate, three years before he died. Dr Sentamu said that he was "deeply ashamed" of the Church's lack of vigilance; his predecessor, Lord Hope, resigned as an honorary assistant bishop.

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In a survey for the Oxford Faith Debates, 1500 clergy confirmed the parable of the lost sheep: only five per cent thought that the C of E should prioritise regular churchgoers.

NOVEMBER

MONDAY 17 November 2014 was the date when the General Synod finally passed legislation to permit women to be bishops in the Church of England. The moment was undramatic: a show of hands and the signing of a canon by the Archbishops. A former secretary general of the General Synod, Sir Philip Mawer, was appointed to act as ombudsman should disputes arise over the provisions for traditionalist priests and parishes. In short order, the Archbishop of York appointed a traditionalist, Fr Philip North CMP, to be Bishop of Burnley; and the Archbishop of Canterbury resurrected the post of Bishop of Maidstone to be filled by a conservative Evangelical. In the mean time, the media convinced themselves that the announcement of the first woman bishop was imminent.

The plight of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria was highlighted by the Prince of Wales, who later showed his concern by visiting exiled congregations. The threat to Christianity in the Middle East was an "indescribable tragedy", he said.

Pope Francis used language of a similar force when addressing the European Parliament. EU funding for the maritime rescue service for migrants, and those being trafficked from north Africa, had just been cut. "We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery," the Pope warned.

DECEMBER

THE foodbank row was revisited. The bishops were also off-message on the issue of Syrian migrants, comparing the dozens accepted for refuge in the UK with the thousands accepted by other EU countries. The British Government was being "miserably mean", one bishop said. Any concession, though, would have bumped into the immigration row: the Government and the Opposition were conscious of their vulnerability on this issue, given the number of defections to the UK Independence Party. The coming of winter raised concerns about the welfare of the hundreds of thousands displaced by the fighting.

Internal matters came to the fore with news of the Green report on talent management, reviewing training for those destined for senior posts. Correspondents were unhappy with both the proposals, and the way they were being implemented without wider consultation. One episcopal defender said that the reforms were vital, since the C of E was in the "last-chance saloon".

Church of England news hotted up, however, on 17 December, when the next Bishop of Stockport was unveiled: the Revd Libby Lane, one of the women invited to participate in the House of Bishops in lieu of any women bishops. A Bill was tabled to fast-track future women diocesans into the House of Lords.

THE Royal College of Organists celebrated its 150th birthday in 2014, and C. P. E. Bach's tercentenary fell during the year; but it was the First World War centenary that provided the theme for the largest number of special exhibitions and concerts, some of which included special commissions.

ARTS

Art exhibitions included "Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War" (Somerset House); Giorgio di Chirico (Estorick Collection); Veronese and late Rembrandt (National Gallery); Michael Kenny (Bath); "Art and Ownership" (Sam Fogg); John Ruskin's photos (Watts Gallery, Compton); Matisse's cut-outs (Tate Modern); Feller Collection embroideries (Ashmolean, Oxford); El Greco (Prado, Madrid); Richard Wilson (National, Cardiff); and Edwin Smith's photos (RIBA).

Contemporary art included Sean Scully (Pallant House); Jeremy Deller (Walthamstow); Chris Gollon (Guildford); many-handers such as the Stations of the Cross (St Marylebone Church, and Tube), the Manchester Lenten art trail, and "Crucible 2" (Gloucester Cathedral), and "The Way of the Wilderness" at Discoed; Geoffrey Clarke (Woking), just before he died; Martin Creed (Hayward Gallery); Angela Wright and Edmund de Waal (Southwark Cathedral); Stephen Raw (Bloxham); Gerry Judah (St Paul's); Paul Benney (touring); John Maine (Salisbury Cathedral); Martin Cosgrove (Bradford); Barbara Kruger (MoMA, Oxford); Hynek Martinec (Parafin, London); and, of course, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red (Tower of London), Paul Cummins and Tom Piper's poppies.

In churches, the Judas window by Laurence Whistler was installed in St Nicholas's, Moreton; Chichester's Consistory Court refused a faculty for a Richard Whincop painting in Lavant; and Gloucester's lambasted the sale of Franz Ittenbach's Mary, Queen of Heaven, at Emmanuel, Leckhampton. St Paul's acquired Bill Viola's Martyrs; Aidan Hart's Virgin and Child was put in Lincoln Cathedral; Timothy Schmalz's Jesus the Homeless sought a resting-place; the Wells Jesse Tree was restored.

Musically, Handel's Theodora was revived, and the première of Messiah was recreated in costume. Other works given an outing during the year included Janáček's Glagolitic Mass (Proms); Somervell's The Passion of Christ (Leeds); Debussy's Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien (Edinburgh); and Maurice Greene's Jephtha (Oxford). Roderic Dunnett reviewed an emotionally charged concert in the cathedral in Kiev.

New works included Maxwell Davies's Tenth Symphony; St Luke Passion by James MacMillan, who also initiated a music festival in Cumnock; June Boyce-Tillman's The Great Turning; Gabriel Jackson's The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ (Merton College, Oxford); Torsten Rasch's A Foreign Field (Three Choirs, Worcester); Alexander L'Estrange's Song Cycle: Vive la vélorution! (York); Stabat Mater settings by Alissa Firsova, Matthew Martin, and Tŏnu Kõrvits (The Sixteen); Requiem Fragments (Tavener, Proms); Paul Spicer's Unfinished Remembering; Jonathan Rathbone's Under the Shadow of His Wing; Roger Shelmerdine's The Poppies Blow and Requiem for George Butterworth; Laurence Armstrong Hughes's English Requiem; Patrick Hawes's Eventide: In Memoriam Edith Cavell (Norwich Cathedral) and The Angel of Mons (Edenham); and Jonathan Dove's For an Unknown Soldier. Karl Jenkins's The Armed Man and Jonathan Harvey's Passion and Resurrection were revived.

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Drama included Inheritance by Bridget Foreman (touring); 14-18, Dirk Brosse's musical (Flanders); Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (Covent Garden); Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini and John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary (ENO); Holy Warriors by David Eldridge (Shakespeare's Globe); Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans (Bush Theatre); the York Mystery Plays; Rona Munro's The James Plays (Edinburgh and London); Matthew Hurt's The Man Jesus (Simon Callow, touring); and Love Beyond, a musical by Richard Haley.

In the year when Richard Attenborough died, films included: Mandela; The Railway Man; The Fold; Noah; Calvary; Looking for Light: Jane Bown; Age of Uprising; Camille Claudel 1915; Deliver Us from Evil; The Remaining; Stations of the Cross; Exodus; and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.

BOOKS

ST AUGUSTINE's Confessions topped the Church Times list of the best 100 Christian books.

Among the Lent titles, the most prominent were Looking Through the Cross by Graham Tomlin, and Barefoot Prayers by Stephen Cherry. Marriage was the subject of many books, including More Perfect Union? by Alan Wilson; Love, Sex and Marriage by Dan Cohn-Sherbok, George D. Chryssides, and Dawould El-Alami; and Covenant and Calling by Robert Song.

Books on the God debate included The God Argument by A. C. Grayling; The God Confusion by Gary Cox; and Atheists by Nick Spencer. Apologetics included The Living God by Alister McGrath; The Question that Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey; and God Matters by Peter and Charlotte Vardy.

Among titles on liturgy and worship were Why Sacraments? by Andrew Davison; Echoing the Word by Paula Gooder and Michael Perham; Table Manners by Simon Reynolds; and At All Times and In All Places by Simon Jones.

Books on the Bible included Old Testament Theology by R. W. L. Moberly; The Book of Job: A biography by Mark Larrimore; Finding God in the Psalms by Tom Wright; Journey to the Empty Tomb by Paula Gooder; Pauline Perspectives by N. T. Wright; and The True Herod by the late Geza Vermes.

Ageing and end-of-life issues were tackled in At the End of the Day by David Winter; Still Caring by Dorothy M. Stewart; and Inside Grief by Stephen Oliver; mental health in Psychology for Pastoral Contexts by Jessica Rose, and Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health by Christopher C. H. Cook.

Books by well-known authors included The Soul of the World by Roger Scruton; Are You An Illusion by Mary Midgley; Culture and the Death of God by Terry Eagleton; The Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong; The Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu; and The Heart in Pilgrimage by Eamon Duffy.

Among titles exploring multi-culturalism were Jews, Christians and Muslims in Encounter by Edward Kessler; Making Sense of Pluralism by Alan Race; and Traditions and Modernity by David Marshall. Titles by Rowan Williams included his Being Christian, and The Edge of Words.

The memoir Fathomless Riches by Richard Coles featured in our Christmas Books, and there were lives of Cardinal Pole, George Herbert, Hensley Henson, Edward Thring, Billy Graham, Norman Nicholson, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Novels reviewed included Lila by Marilynne Robinson; Eyrie by Tim Winton; The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber; and Acts and Omissions by Catherine Fox.

Other books of interest reviewed included Learning to Dream Again by Sam Wells; Morality, Autonomy, and God by Keith Ward; Ten by John Pritchard; The Ark Before Noah by Irving Finkel; A Brief Theology of Sport by Lincoln Harvey; Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller; Managing Clergy Lives by Nigel Peyton and Caroline Gatrell; The Dark Box by John Cornwell; The Love of Wisdom by Andrew Davison; The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart; Women in Waiting by Julia Ogilvy; Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor; A Silent Melody by Shirley Du Boulay; What Clergy Do by Emma Percy; Bread Not Stones by Una Kroll; and Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell.

APPOINTMENTS

THE Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier, was elected Primate of Australia during the year.

Other episcopal appointments included those of the Rt Revd Robert Atwell as Bishop of Exeter, translated from Stockport; the Rt Revd Nicholas Baines as first Bishop of Leeds, translated from Bradford; the Revd Robert Gillion as Bishop of Riverina, NSW.

Canon Robert Innes as Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe; the Rt Revd Paul Bayes as Bishop of Liverpool, translated from Hertford; the Rt Revd Richard Frith as Bishop of Hereford, translated from Hull; the Revd Kenneth Kearon as Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert, Aghadoe, Killaloe, Kilfenora, Clonfert, Kilmacduagh & Emly; the Rt Revd Andrew Watson as Bishop of Guildford, translated from Aston.

Canon Martin Seeley as Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich.

Suffragan appointments included those of the Revd Richard Jackson as Bishop of Lewes; the Ven. Peter Hill as Bishop of Barking; Canon John Thomson as Bishop of Selby; the Ven. Roger Morris as Bishop of Colchester; the Ven. Paul Ferguson as Bishop of Whitby; the Revd Dr David Court as Bishop of Grimsby; Canon David Williams as Bishop of Basingstoke.

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Canon Toby Howarth as first Area Bishop of Bradford; the Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs as first Bishop of Huddersfield; Fr Philip North CMP as Bishop of Burnley; the Rt Revd Nicholas McKinnel as Bishop of Plymouth; and the Rt Revd Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, the Church of England's first woman bishop.

The Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, to be also Bishop of the Falkland Islands and to the Forces; the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, was appointed Visitor of the Church Army; the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Steven Conway, as Chairman of the Board of Education; the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, as Lead Bishop for environmental affairs; the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, as Lead Bishop for cathedrals and church buildings; the Bishop of Sherwood, the Rt Revd Tony Porter, as Archbishops' Sport Ambassador; the Bishop of Pontefract, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, as Chairman of Forward in Faith.

The Rt Revd Humphrey Southern has resigned as Bishop of Repton to be Principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon. 

THE Revd Dr Alan Gregory was appointed Principal of the South East Institute for Theological Education; the Revd Dr Emma Ineson as Principal of Trinity College, Bristol; the Revd Dr Jeremy Morris as Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge; the Revd Gerwyn Capon as Dean of Llandaff; Canon Jane Hedges as Dean of Norwich; the Revd Paul Bogle as Dean of Clonmacnoise; the Revd Dudan Watterson as Archdeacon of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe; the Revd Helene Steed as Archdeacon of Clogher.

The Revd Judith French as Archdeacon of Dorchester; Canon John Dobson as Dean of Ripon Cathedral; the Ven. David Butterfield as York Diocesan Archdeacon for Generous Giving, and Canon Residentiary of York Minster; the Ven. Christopher Long as Archdeacon of Waterford, Lismore, and part of Cashel; the Revd Andrew Orr as Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin, and more of Cashel; the Revd Adrian Wilkinson as Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne & Ross; the Revd Arthur Barrett as Dean of Raphoe; the Revd Dr Alexander Hughes as Archdeacon of Cambridge; the Revd Dr Paul Moore as Winchester diocesan Archdeacon for Mission Development.

Canon Professor Martyn Percy as Dean of Christ Church, Oxford; the Revd Timothy Harford as Director of Fundraising of the United Society; the Very Revd Alison Simpson as Dean of Moray, Ross & Caithness diocese; Canon Paul Shackerley as Dean of Brecon; the Revd Nigel Genders as Chief Education Officer; the Revd Fiona Windsor as Archdeacon of Horsham; Canon Andrew Broom as Archdeacon of the East Riding.

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The Revd Jonathan Chaffey as Chaplain-in-Chief and Archdeacon of the RAF; the Ven. Philip Jones as Archdeacon of Hastings; the Revd Martin Lloyd Williams as Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewes; the Revd Robert Jones as Archdeacon of Worcester; the Revd Sarah Clark as Archdeacon of Nottingham; the Revd John Lomas as Archdeacon of St Asaph; the Revd Simon Heathfield as Archdeacon of Aston; Canon John Gibaut as Director of Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion, and Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan as interim Secretary-General.

The Ven. Terence Scott as Archdeacon of Armagh; the Ven. Michael Edson as Acting Archdeacon of Barnstaple; the Revd Anders Litzell as Prior of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth; the Ven. Simon Waine as Dean of Chichester; the Revd Mark Poulson as the Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary for Inter-Religious Affairs.

Canon Alan Billings was elected as South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner; and the Revd Dr Samuel McVeigh was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Londonderry. 

LAY appointments included those of Poppy Allonby and Graham Oldroyd as Church Commissioners; Sam Richardson as Chief Executive of SPCK; Tracey Byrne as Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement; Baroness Eaton as Guardian of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham; Martin Richards as Chichester Diocesan Panel Chair of Safeguarding; Judge Singleton QC as Diocesan Chancellor of Sheffield; Graham Tilby as Church of England Adviser for Safeguarding; Professor Linda Woodhead as President of Modern Church.

OTHER appointments included those of Dr Michael Barry as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; Mor Ignatius Aphrem II as Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church; the Revd John Proctor as General Secretary of the United Reformed Church; Dr Jane Clements as Director of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Bishop Donald Bolt as Overseer of the New Testament Church of God; Dr Krish Kandiah as President of the London School of Theology; and the Revd Gareth Powell as Secretary of the Methodist Conference.

OBITUARIES

THE Most Revd Dr Solomon Tilewa Johnson, Bishop of The Gambia, and Primate of West Africa, died suddenly in January.

Other deaths in the episcopate during the year included those of the Rt Revd Peter Hall, former Bishop of Woolwich; the Rt Revd Clifford Wright, former Bishop of Monmouth; the Rt Revd Christopher Luxmoore, former Bishop of Bermuda; the Rt Revd Michael Henley, the first Director General of the Naval Chaplaincy Services, and later Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane.

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The Rt Revd Colin Scott, former Bishop of Hulme; the Rt Revd John Austin Baker, former Bishop of Salisbury; the Rt Revd John Richard Satterthwaite, first Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe; the Rt Revd Donald Arden, former Bishop of Nyasaland and Archbishop of Central Africa; the Rt Revd John Bone, former Bishop of Reading; the Rt Revd Stephen Sykes, theologian and former Bishop of Ely.

The Rt Revd Mark Wood, former Bishop of Matabeleland, and later of Ludlow; the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, former Bishop successively of Stafford and of Winchester; the Rt Revd Colin Docker, former Bishop of Horsham; and the Rt Revd Michael Hare Duke, former Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane.

THE Revd Dr John Hughes, Dean of Jesus College, Cambridge, died after a car crash in July.

Other deaths among the clergy which were noted during the year included those of the Revd Christopher Courtauld, former Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Vicar of St Paul's, Knightsbridge; the Revd Francis Vere Hodge, former Rural Dean of Glastonbury and Prebendary of Wells Cathedral; Canon John Pretyman Waller, Suffolk squarson and yachtsman; the Revd Kenneth Ward, long-serving Rector of Daventry; the Revd Michael Hardy, former Appointments Secretary of USPG, Rector of Stretford, and Team Rector in Keighley.

The Revd Brian Bason, long-serving Vicar of St Hilda's, Audenshaw; the Ven. James Rone, former Archdeacon of Wisbech; the Revd Desmond Parsons, a respected contributor to the Irish peace process; Canon Donald Johnson, for four decades an incumbent in Chichester diocese; the Revd John Richardson, a well-known Evangelical figure; the Revd James Cotter, first Hon. Secretary of LGCM; the Revd Ivan (Snowy) Davoll, noted youth worker and NSM in Bermondsey; the Revd Fred Wright, former Rector of St Kenelm's, Romsley.

The Ven. Walter Ewbank, former Archdeacon successively of Westmorland and Furness, and then of Carlisle; the Revd Barbara Clement, pioneer of women's ministry; the Revd Desmond Probets, former Dean of St Barnabas's Cathedral, Honiara, Melanesia; the Ven. Geoffrey Sidaway, former Archdeacon of Gloucester; Canon Alan Pyburn, former Rector and Rural Dean of Henley.

The Revd Dr Basil Bevan, biblical scholar; the Revd Beryl Morgan, former Head Deaconess in Lichfield diocese; the Revd Dr Malcolm France, author and theologian; the Revd John Wickens, pastoral theological educator; the Revd John Roland Morgan, parish priest in Birmingham and Oxford dioceses; the Revd Philip Brownless, rural incumbent in Hampshire; the Ven. Ernest Stroud, former Archdeacon of Colchester and Chairman of the Church Union and of the Additional Curates' Society.

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The Revd Desmond Ker, former Rector of Bovey Tracey and Rothesay; the Revd Ronald Treasure, former incumbent in York diocese; the Ven. David Jenkins, former Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness; Prebendary Michael Moreton, successively Rector and Priest-in-Charge of St Mary Steps in Exeter for more than three decades. 

AMONG lay people whose deaths were recorded were Geoffrey Wheeler, broadcaster and Reader; Paul Goggins MP, former director of Church Action on Poverty; Shirley Temple Black, former child star and ambassador; Helen Lee, evangelist; Alan Spedding, for 42 years Organist and Director of Music at Beverley Minster.

Tony Benn, former peer and cabinet minister; Margaret Pawley, former SOE operative, and widow of Canon Bernard Pawley; Dr Denise Inge, writer and authority on Traherne; Margaret Laird, former Third Church Estates Commissioner; Oscar Turnill, Church Times designer; Barry Lyndon, former Clerk of the Royal College of Organists; Dora Bryan, actress; Robin Williams, actor; Mark Cole, noted lay servant of Chelmsford diocese; Frances Martin, former President of the Church of England Moral Welfare Workers' Association.

Sir Douglas Lovelock, former First Church Estates Commissioner; Helen Bamber, founder of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture; Jim Dobbin MP, who chaired the All-Party Pro-Life Group: Anthony Sadler, former Archbishops' Secretary for Appointments.

Alvin Stardust, musician; David Trendell, Organist and Lecturer in Music of King's College, London; Anne Frances Potts, former Church Times Children's Editor; Baroness James (P. D. James), novelist; Peter Middlemiss, founder of ARCHWAY; and John Holroyd, former Prime Minister's Appointments Secretary.

ALSO noted were the deaths of the Revd Dr Kenneth Greet, former President and Secretary of the Methodist Conference; Patriarch Zakka of the Syriac Orthodox Church; Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, Ukrainian Primate; and Lord Bannside (the Revd Ian Paisley), Northern Irish politician.

Forthcoming Events

16-18 February 2018
Church Times Festival of Faith & Literature

Our literary festival with a theological slant in Bloxham, Oxfordshire. Speakers include Francis Spufford, Ruth Valerio, Eve Poole, Mark Oakley, James Runcie and many others. Find out more

5-6 May 2018
Church Times Festival of Poetry
With Sarum College, Salisbury. More details coming soon - register your interest here

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