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UK news in brief

09 October 2015

brian pickering

Bless you, my lizard: the Precentor of Southwell Minster, Canon Jacqui Jones, will lead the cathedral’s annual service of pet-blessing on Sunday at 3.30 p.m.

Bless you, my lizard: the Precentor of Southwell Minster, Canon Jacqui Jones, will lead the cathedral’s annual service of pet-blessing on Sunday at 3....

Dismissed NHS worker granted right to appeal

AN NHS worker who was disciplined for giving a Christian book to a Muslim colleague has received permission to appeal. An employment tribunal ruled against Victoria Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, in April 2015. The East London NHS Foundation Trust had disciplined her for harassment after she prayed for her Muslim colleague, with consent, and invited her to church. Judge Eady QC said on Monday that the tribunal should consider applying the European Convention on Human Rights’ protection of freedom of religion and expression.


Steelworks closure ‘hammer blow’, says Dr Sentamu

THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has said that the announced closure of of SSI UK’s Redcar steelworks on Teesside was a “hammer blow” to the community. Dr Sentamu said last week that the closure of the site, with the expected loss of 1700 jobs, was the “result of poor trading conditions”, as the plant’s owner entered liquidation. He called on the Government to give better support to the manufacturing sector, which, he said, played a “critical role” in the UK economy. On Friday last week, the Government announced an £80-million package of support for the workers losing their jobs.


Ten-year jail sentence for sexual abuse

A PRIEST in the diocese of Chichester, the Revd Christopher Howarth, of Rocks Park Road, Uckfield, in East Sussex, has been jailed for ten years after being found guilty of sexually abusing two boys. As an NSM at Holy Trinity, Uckfield, he befriended the boys, now aged 19 and 20, before assaulting them at his home between 2004 and 2012. He was sentenced last Friday at Lewes Crown Court.


Priest’s murderer back in custody after absconding

THE murderer of a Welsh priest has been recaptured after absconding from a secure hospital. The patient, Richard Bracken, known as Richard Dennick when he killed Canon Alun Jones in Llanberis in 1982, was given an hour’s unescorted leave last month from the Bryn y Neuadd secure unit in Llanfairfechan Conwy. But he failed to return, and a nationwide manhunt was launched. He was discovered in London the next day and was returned to police custody. He was 15 when he committed the crime.

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