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UK news in brief

20 March 2015

diocese of chester

Settling in: more than 1500 people attended the installation of the Rt Revd Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, in Chester Cathedral, on 8 March, International Women's Day​

Settling in: more than 1500 people attended the installation of the Rt Revd Libby Lane as Bishop of Stockport, in Chester Cathedral, on 8 March, Int...

Bishop addresses rally about housing crisis

BRITAIN cannot afford to leave housing to the Government, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, has warned. After addressing more than 2000 people at the Homes for Britain rally at Westminster Central Hall on Tuesday, he called for "political and public will" to find "creative" solutions to shortages. "In the Churches, we have land and buildings which are sometimes surplus to what we need, or could be used more efficiently," he said.

MPs reject Slavery Bill amendment

MPs have rejected an amendment put forward by the House of Lords to the Modern Slavery Bill, which would have allowed migrant workers to change employer. It was backed by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome. Currently, workers who are brought to the UK by their employer cannot leave their job and find employment elsewhere. The Bill will return to the House of Lords on Wednesday.

Committee questions evidence for 'Trojan Horse' plot

THERE is no evidence of a "sustained plot" by extremists to take over schools in Birmingham, the Education Select Committee concluded on Tuesday (News, 25 July). The chairman, Graham Stuart, said: "One incident apart, no evidence of extremism or radicalisation was found by any of the inquiries in any of the schools involved. Neither was there any evidence of a sustained plot, nor of significant problems in other parts of the country. The Trojan Horse affair is less about extremism than about governance and the ability of local and central agencies to respond to whistle-blowers, and to correct abuses of power within schools."

Priest despairs over food-for-homeless ruling

A PRIEST in Hull has said that he despairs after the council banned volunteers from using his church to serve hot food to the homeless. The Priest-in-Charge of St Mary the Virgin, Kingston upon Hull, the Revd Paul Burkitt, told the Hull Daily Mail: "I do despair, as a parish priest, that the locally appointed officials seem ordained to brush the sun out of anyone's sky."

Number of young ordinands increases

PEOPLE under 30 now make up a quarter of all people accepted for ordination training, figures released by the Church of England last week showed. Last year, 116 people under 30 were accepted - the highest number in the past 25 years. A decade ago, the figure was 71.

Taxi driver to receive award

A TAXI driver who helped to rescue a priest trapped under a car after a crash will receive an award at the House of Commons this week, Luton on Sunday reported. Zulfiqar Afsar helped the Vicar of St Mary's, Luton, the Revd Mike Jones, last year (News, 23 May).

Dr Morgan backs call to scrap nuclear weapons

A CALL to eliminate nuclear arsenals has been issued by 26 faith leaders, including the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan. In a letter to The Times last Friday, the leaders argue that the weapons "violate the principle of dignity for every human being that is common to each of our faith traditions".

Former choirmaster admits sex offences

A FORMER choirmaster has been jailed for three years after admitting to the sexual assault of two teenaged boys in 1975. Andrew Teague, aged 63, a former master of choristers at Bradford Cathedral, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Monday. He was a freelance teacher and organist living in Hertford when he committed the offences.

Corrections: The Rt Revd Paul Bayes was translated to Liverpool, not Durham, as we stated last week. Also, the Priest Missioner of the East Durham Mission Project is the Revd Dr Michael, not Mark, Volland; and the Revd Emma Parker is the Priest-in-Charge, not Associate Minister, of Easington and Easington Village (Features, 13 March). Our apologies.


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