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UK news in brief

06 February 2015


Visual trigger: one of a set of cups and saucers designed by Jonty Lees to rekindle memories among the residents at Crossroads House Care Home, Scorrier, in Cornwall, which specialises in caring for patients with dementia

Visual trigger: one of a set of cups and saucers designed by Jonty Lees to rekindle memories among the residents at Crossroads House Care Home, Scor...

NZ judge appointed to lead sex-abuse inquiry

A JUDGE from the High Court of New Zealand, Justice Lowell Goddard, has agreed to chair the UK Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the Home Office announced on Wednesday. She previously chaired the Independent Police Conduct Authority in New Zealand. The Home Secretary also announced that the inquiry will be placed on a statutory footing under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with the power to compel witnesses to give evidence. The current panel will be disbanded.

Bishop Baines questions loss of BBC religion job

THE axeing of the job of Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC has been queried by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines. In a shake-up announced last month, four jobs will be lost, and three new commissioning appointments will be created. Religion will be combined with science, business, and history. "At a time when it is impossible to understand the modern world . . . without understanding religion, why is religion not being prioritised as needing expert interpretation in the public and broadcast sphere?" Bishop Baines wrote on his blog last week.

Canon Saward dies, aged 82

CANON Michael Saward, author, hymn-writer, and former radio and television officer of the Church Information Office, has died, aged 82. He was Canon Treasurer of St Paul's Cathedral from 1991 to 2000. Obituary to follow.


Christian Soldiers of UKIP leaflet 'not acceptable'

UKIP has distanced itself from a publication by the Christian Soldiers of UKIP which refers to gay people as "depraved", The Guardian reported on Tuesday. The article describes the event Manchester Pride as "thousands of people proclaiming their pride in their depravity". A UKIP spokesman said that the group was "authorised but not official. . . They do not represent the party or its policies. . . We do not consider that this leaflet is of an acceptable standard to be associated with the UKIP brand."

Grants of up to £5000 available for Passion plays

GROUPS planning to stage new Passion plays and biblical dramas are being urged to apply to the Passion Trust for a share of £20,000 of "pump-priming" grants. The grants of up to £5000, offered by the Sainsbury's Foundation, were announced at the Trust's annual conference at Liverpool Cathedral. For information about initial applications, visit www.passiontrust.org, or write to: Passion Trust, Sinclaire Cottage, Portsmouth Road, Ripley, Surrey GU23 6EW. The deadline is 8 February.

Human-trafficking links to FTSE 100

LINKS between human trafficking and FTSE 100 companies will be investigated by academic researchers part-funded by Us. (formerly USPG), it was announced on Monday. The global-relations director of the charity said that the research would "dig deep into the phenomenon of human trafficking, taking as our focus the supply chains of the FTSE 100 companies. . . We want to see FTSE 100 companies better informed to help them ensure there is as little risk as possible that their supply chain is somehow touched by the traffickers' trade."

Accepting Evangelicals has new head

A FORMER member of the Archbishops' Council, Jayne Ozanne, will be the new director of Accepting Evangelicals. A press release issued on Monday said that she had "struggled with her sexuality, and was ministered to many times in the hope of 'healing' or change. In 2009, following years of internal struggle and severe bouts of depression and physical illness, Jayne finally embraced her full identity in Christ. Despite knowing the high cost she would pay, she came out to her friends, family, and senior church leaders. What followed was a very bruising time, and it is only more recently that Jayne has felt ready to re-engage with the Church."

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