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UK news in brief

10 June 2016


Investigation: Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, headquarters of North Yorkshire Police

Investigation: Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, headquarters of North Yorkshire Police

Lord Hope investigated by North Yorks police
THE former Archbishop of York Lord Hope is under investigation by the North Yorkshire police for a possible offence of misconduct in public office over his response to allegations of child abuse against a former Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Robert Waddington, The Times reported on Wednesday. Lord Hope resigned as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales in October 2014 after he was criticised in the Cahill Inquiry report on allegations that Waddington abused choirboys (News, 31 October). In a separate case, a retired priest and former chaplain to the British Olympic team, the Revd Kevin McGarahan, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, 20 years ago (News, 13 May). He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Tuesday.


Address ethnic diversity in C of E, says priest
“THERE is not enough ethnic diversity among Church of England clergy,” the interim chair of the Anglican networking group AMEN, the Revd Dr Chigor Chike, said this week. He called the C of E Ministry Statistics 2015, which state that minority-ethnic clergy make up 3.4 per cent of the clergy, and 2.2 per cent of senior leadership, “embarrassing”. “Urgent and sustained action is needed to address this matter.”


Vicar fined after assault faces discipline
THE Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Great Ilford, the Revd Gareth Jones, has been ordered to pay more than £700 in fines and compensation after lashing out at a police constable and paramedic, having consumed 53 units of alcohol, Highbury Magistrates’ Court heard last Friday. Mr Jones — who had sworn at the PC and had claimed that he had “diplomatic immunity” from the Vatican — pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating. A spokesman for the diocese of Chelmsford said that it was “deeply shocked by Mr Jones’ behaviour” and confirmed that he had been suspended from his duties, and would face disciplinary measure. “We are holding all those affected by this serious incident in our prayers,” he said. Press


Climate-change campaigners must pay damages
FIVE members of the campaign group Christian Climate Action have been found guilty of causing criminal damage, after painting the walls of the Department for Energy and Climate Change white, in November, and renaming it the “Department for Extreme Climate Change”, using black paint. The defendants were ordered to pay £340 each in damages at Hammersmith Magistrates Court on 31 May.


Coal returned to Ashington memorial chapel
A PIECE of coal which was stolen from a Miners’ Chapel of Remembrance at Holy Sepulchre Church in Ashington has been returned, the Newcastle Chronicle reported. The artefact was taken on 24 April and recovered last week after an appeal by the police; a 71-year-old man was cautioned for theft by finding, though the thief has yet to be found. The Miners’ Chapel of Remembrance was built inside the church after an appeal that raised more than £10,000.

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