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UK news in brief

15 July 2016


Songs of praise: Dave Stewart and Holly Quin-Ankrah perform at All Saints’, Langport, in a concert in the “Church Keys” project, a partnership between Mr Stewart and the Churches Conservation Trust to bring new music to churches

Songs of praise: Dave Stewart and Holly Quin-Ankrah perform at All Saints’, Langport, in a concert in the “Church Keys” project, a p...


Berwick to have first Bishop for four centuries

THERE is to be a Bishop of Berwick in the diocese of Newcastle for the first time since the 16th century. The title will be assumed by the successor of the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Frank White, who retires in September. Created in 1537, it was last held by Thomas Sparke, until his death in 1572. There will be little difference between the work of a Suffragan Bishop and an Assistant Bishop, the Berwick Advertiser reported, but the change would allow Bishop White’s successor to be recruited from a wider field.


New regulator launched for charities

A NEW regulator for the charity sector, the Fundraising Regulator, was launched on Thursday of last week. Forty-five of the top 50 charities, based on income, have agreed to contribute to the start-up costs of the regulator, which has been set up in response to a review of fund-raising regulation by Sir Stuart Etherington, conducted last year in the wake of widespread concern about practices in the charity sector. The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, urged charities to sign up to the regulator, which was “working hard with the sector to protect vulnerable and older people”. www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/


Cathedral apologises for post-referendum comment

AN APOLOGY has been issued by Canterbury Cathedral after a visitor born in Argentina was told by a member of staff: “Dover’s that way, love.” Silvina Fairbass, who has lived in Britain for 12 years, visited the cathedral in the week after the result of the EU referendum. Cathedral staff told the Kentish Gazette that they had reprimanded the staff member, who was “mortified” at having caused offence, and had written a letter of apology to Mrs Fairbrass, who said that the cathedral had been “very supportive”. The Receiver General, Brigadier John Meardon, said: “This is not how we expect our staff to behave. They should definitely know better.”



URC votes in favour of same-sex marriage

THE General Assembly of the United Reformed Church voted last weekend in favour of allowing its churches to conduct and register marriages for same-sex couples. It is the largest UK denomination to do so. The Assembly voted in favour of the resolution by 240 votes to 21. The decision whether an individual congregation hosts a same-sex marriage lies with each local church.


Leeds drops ‘West Yorkshire & the Dales’ name

THE diocese of Leeds is no longer using its permitted alternative name, the diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, as of yesterday. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said that the use of two names was “too confusing for people both inside and outside the Church”.


Bible Society seeks new owner for CRE

A NEW owner is being sought for the Christian Resources Exhibition by the Bible Society. The CRE to be held in Kent in October will be the last under the charity’s management. The director of Bible Society Resources Limited, Derek Hill, said that the decision had been taken with a “heavy heart” after a strategy review. The charity will continue to sponsor Christian Resources Together.


BBC Religion clocks up 700 hours

THE BBC broadcast more than 700 hours of religious programming across its four main TV channels and radio stations last year, its annual report states. The output on BBC1 rose from 86 hours in 2014 to 92.

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