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UK news in brief

11 March 2016


A portrait bust of Erinma Bell, a Manchester peace activist, by the artist Karen Lyons, was unveiled at Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday. Cast in iron retrieved from guns, it is part of the Guns to Goods campaign

A portrait bust of Erinma Bell, a Manchester peace activist, by the artist Karen Lyons, was unveiled at Manchester Cathedral on Tuesday. Cast in iron ...

New Chief of Staff at Lambeth Palace

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed David Porter as the new Chief of Staff and Strategy at Lambeth Palace. He takes over from Kay Brock, who is retiring this month after four years in post. Mr Porter has been the Archbishops’ Director for Reconciliation in the Lambeth Palace leadership group since 2013. Before this, he was the Canon Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral. He will start his new position in early May.


Bishop Treweek makes maiden speech on gender equality

THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, who is the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords, gave her maiden speech on Monday. It coincided with International Women’s Day, which she said, was “not about gender competition, but gender parity”. She said that for this reason she would be spending Holy Week (21 March) in Eastwood Park Women’s Prison. “I am committed to supporting the work and campaigns of those who seek to engage with the unequal treatment of women across the world,” she said. To mark International Women’s Day, Bishop Treweek joined six other women bishops to nominate “inspirational women” in their lives.


Charity shops cost more than they are worth, report finds

THOUSANDS of charity shops are, on average, less profitable than some high-street retailers, and should be curbed, to save the Government more in tax breaks, a new report suggests. Lifting The Lid, published by the True and Fair Foundation, which campaigns for more efficiency in the charity sector, reports that more than 4000 of the 10,500 charity shops in the UK have been making a profit of less than 17p in the pound. The report said that this was despite being run by volunteers, funded by donations, and receiving 80 per cent off the business rate. It found that UK charity shops made profits of £290 million — less than the benefits they received — and called for a “fundamental rethink” of their position on the high street.


Clerics guilty of child abuse await sentencing

TWO clerics, the Revd Leonard Skinner, of Brighton Grove, Whitley Bay, Tyneside, and the Revd Stephen Crabtree, who was Rector of Washingborough and Heighington with Canwick, in the diocese of Lincoln, until 2014, await sentencing after pleading guilty to several offences of sexually abusing children. Mr Skinner, 79, pleaded guilty at Highbury Magistrates’ Court to four counts of indecent assault against a 15-year-old boy, and another boy under 14, in the 1970s. The Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Ven. Geoff Miller, issued an “unreserved apology” to the survivors. Mr Crabtree, 59, of Ollerdale Avenue, Bradford, admitted six charges of indecent sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl in the 1990s, when he appeared before Lincoln Crown Court. He has been told to expect a custodial sentence.


TTIP prayer pack produced

THE Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently being negotiated between the EU and the United States, is the subject of a new prayer pack being distributed to churches and Christian groups across the UK. The pack, issued by Global Justice, includes prayers, poems, and quotations, liturgy on trade justice, and briefings on TTIP, and a similar trade deal between the EU and Canada.

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