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UK news in brief

19 August 2016


Prize for small firm that took on HMRC
A SMALL Christian company, Envelope Systems, which saved churches and charities thousands of pounds by persuading Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to delay changes to gift-aid envelopes (News, 13 November) has been given the overall “Heart of Gold” award at the International Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. It fought off competition from large firms including Cisco Systems and Aldi, and also won in the customer-service category.


CAP victim of ‘sophisticated’ hack
THE campaigning group Christians Against Poverty (CAP) has had its computer systems hacked into. Information about its supporters and clients, including bank details, may have been accessed, it warned this month. IT experts have reported that it was subject to a “sophisticated, illegal, external attack”. The chief executive, Matt Barlow, sought to reassure supporters that the charity was contacting all those affected. A dedicated web page has been set up, as well as an email address and phone line, for those with concerns: datasecurity.capuk.org/.


Bishop joins opponents of ‘damaging’ Housing Act
A LETTER to The Guardian, warning that the new Housing and Planning Act is “ill-conceived, damaging, divisive and unworkable”, has been signed by the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman. It warns that council and housing-association tenants will suffer “massive” rent rises, and that “family life will suffer as people are priced out of their neighbourhoods.” Starter homes costing up to £450,000 are unaffordable to many, say the ten signatories, many of whom are housing campaigners.


Tottenham priest plans to appeal against ruling
A RETIRED priest, the Revd Paul Nicolson, is appealing under the Equality Act, after losing his case against Haringey Council at Tottenham Magistrates’ Court earlier this month (News, 12 August). In addition to other grounds of appeal, he will seek a judgment on the grounds that he was unable to hear Haringey’s witness. He says that he informed the court of this four times during the hearing.


Suspended sentence for priest guilty of assault
A RETIRED priest, the Revd Grahame Humphries, from Charlbury, has been convicted of indecent assault, and given a suspended sentence of eight months. The court heard that he had indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl, 45 years ago. After retirement, he secured permission to officiate (PTO) in Oxford in 2013. A statement from the diocese of Oxford said that it had co-operated fully with the police and courts, and that the PTO had been removed as soon as the allegations came to light.

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