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UK news in brief

01 April 2016


Marian Cristian Nitu was sentenced to two years and eight months for his part in a raid on the lead roofs of two Norfolk churches, St Peter’s, Guestwick, and All Saints’, Thwaite Hill, Alby (above). Mr Nitu was identified from DNA found on a cigarette butt. His lawyer said that he had been recruited by another Romanian and put under pressure to take part in the theft

Marian Cristian Nitu was sentenced to two years and eight months for his part in a raid on the lead roofs of two Norfolk churches, St Peter’s, G...

NHS trust suspends director

A MAGISTRATE, Richard Page, removed from office over his views onsame-sex adoption (News, 18 March), has now been suspended as a non-executive director of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. A spokewoman said: “We have come to the decision that Mr Page’s comments could potentially impact on the confidence of current or future patients, and for that reason we have suspended Mr Page from his non-executive position.” Mr Page has replied: “It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian, to state what the Bible actually says and what the Church has believed for 2000 years, and maintain a role in public life in today’s Britain.”


ExxonMobil must come clean

THE US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled that ExxonMobil must permit a consortium of investors, including the Church Commissioners, to table a motion asking about the oil company’s green credentials at its annual shareholders’ meeting in May. ExxonMobil had argued that the wording of the motion was too vague, but this was dismissed by the SEC lawyer, Justin Kisner, who stated: “It does not appear that ExxonMobil’s public disclosures compare favourably with the guidelines of the proposal.” The Church Commissioners’ head of responsible investment, Edward Mason, said: “We are delighted that shareholders will have the opportunity to confirm that they would like ongoing assurance from ExxonMobil that the company is positioning itself for the transition to a low-carbon economy.”


Hearing left churchwarden ‘almost in tears’

A CHURCHWARDEN was almost reduced to tears during a consistory-court hearing before the Chancellor of the diocese of London, the Worshipful Nigel Seed QC, last month, according to the Priest-in-Charge of St George’s, Hanworth, the Revd Paul Williamson. The PCC of the church has made a formal complaint to the Bishop of London. Fr Williamson said that he was refused permission to speak during a hearing about a land boundary. The Chancellor also made “offensive remarks” to him, and shouted at his churchwarden, Janet Tewkesbury, he said. “We are left in disbelief at the travesty of a hearing when evidence was refused, and the pictorial evidence was ridiculed.”


More funds for Near Neighbours

THE Near Neighbours Fund, which gives small grants to community-building projects to counter division and hatred, has been awarded £1.5 million in a third round of government funding. Since its inception, the fund has disbursed £3.66 million as seed capital to 1120 projects. The charity builds bridges between faith communities. More than half the projects supported have offered new skills to unemployed people. The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he was delighted: “The innovative, collaborative, and inspiring work of Near Neighbours has enabled diverse local communities across the country to work and live together effectively.”

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