Lichfield to appoint Online Pastor
THE diocese of Lichfield will appoint an Online Pastor to reach
out to young people through the internet. The pastor, who could be
ordained or lay, will share the gospel in digital-friendly
language, respond to online prayer requests, and disseminate links
to online resources and communities for Christians. It is thought
to be the first time that the Church of England has appointed
someone for an exclusively digital ministry.
Priest suspended after indecent-assault
A PRIEST in Hampshire, Canon Simon Sayers, has been suspended
while police investigate allegations that he committed an indecent
assault in London in the 1990s. Congregations at St James's,
Emsworth, and St Thomas à Becket, Warblington, were told before
services on Sunday that their Rector, Canon Sayers, had been
arrested on suspicion of indecent assault. In a statement, a
spokesman for the diocese of Portsmouth said that alternative
arrangements for ministry were being made while Canon Sayers was
suspended, and that their prayers were with all involved.
Group launches Richard III RC burial campaign
A CAMPAIGN to ensure Richard III is prepared for burial using
Roman Catholic rites, or in an RC church or cathedral, has been
launched. Academics and archaeologists from the team that
discovered his body buried under a Leicester car park in 2012 have
backed the demand, and nearly 3000 people have signed a petition.
The king's body, currently lying in the University of Leicester,
will be buried at Leicester Cathedral in March, and a mass will be
said at the nearby Holy Cross Priory near by. A joint statement
from the RC diocese of Nottingham and Leicester Cathedral said that
the RC Church fully supports the funeral arrangements.
Insurers raise limit on metal-theft cover
THE church insurers Ecclesiastical have raised the limit on
their cover offered for metal theft to Anglican churches in the UK.
The change follows discussions with the Church Buildings Council,
and a related adjustment to the criteria for grants from the
Government's £15-million fund for listed churches' roof repairs
(News, 16 January).
Red top causes red faces
SEVERAL organisations campaigning for The Sun to drop
its Page Three topless model have been left red-faced after
celebrating the feature's reported demise, only for it to reappear
days later. The Evangelical Alliance was among a number of groups
that had welcomed the apparent end of Page Three, and, after it
reappeared, the general director of the Alliance, Steve Clifford,
accused the newspaper of having a "vacuum of moral leadership". As
we went to press, however, a Page Three model had not appeared in
any edition since its re-emergence on Thursday of last week.
Christian Aid leads campaign against tax
CHURCH leaders have lent their names to a Christian Aid campaign
to make political parties promise to tackle tax avoidance if they
are elected. The campaign demands that a new tax-dodging Bill be
passed to prevent multinational companies from avoiding paying
their fair share of tax in both the UK and developing countries. It
has been supported by the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alistair
Redfern, as well as leaders from the Methodist Church, the Quakers,
and the Salvation Army. Campaigners estimate that reducing tax
avoidance could generate £3.6 billion a year for the Treasury, and
billions more for poor countries around the world.
Meet and greet, says Welby: don't tweet
THE Archbishop of Canterbury has urged tweeters to show caution,
warning that "Electronic media breaks through locked doors, and
pierces people painfully. It is not for all of us to set everyone
right on everything. There's a point at which we need to leave it
to those who know people to speak to them personally and quietly -
in spaces where the tone is subtle and full of love. That is how
people can be put back together rather than torn apart and left
lying around in electronic media space." The blog, on Wednesday,
concludes: "Love often says don't tweet."