Church Commissioners receive top investment rating
THE Church Commissioners, who manage about £7 billion of C of E funds, have received top ratings in the latest report from the United Nations organisation Principles for Responsible Investment. The Commissioners received the highest possible rating (A+) in the main strategy and governance category, and A ratings for responsible investment in listed equity, private equity, credit strategies, and indirect property. It is also the first year that the Commissioners have received an A rating for engagement and voting, after filing high-profile shareholder resolutions at Glencore and ExxonMobil earlier this year (News, 3 June).
Children’s society in NHS training programme
NHS staff could be central to ending child sex abuse, by recognising the signs in their work, the Children’s Society has said. The charity has teamed up with the Department of Health in an initiative to train the three-quarters of a million staff across the NHS, through an e-learning course, to “recognise the signs of child sexual abuse or exploitation, as well as understand how to make children feel able to speak about what is happening to them”. The free, hour-long learning programme was developed with help from more than 100 young people, including victims of sexual abuse.
Revise hate-crime laws, says Equality Commission
THE Equality and Human Rights Commission has called for a “full-scale review” of hate-crime laws and strategies in the UK, in response to reports of escalating racial hate crimes since the EU referendum. In its report Race Rights in the UK, published this week, the Commission also calls on the Government to provide stronger evidence on the effectiveness of the current system, and to work with criminal-justice agencies to understand hate crime, and to use the evidence to develop preventative measures. The chairman of the Commission, David Isaac, has also written to employers offering “practical advice on how they can ease racial tensions in the workplace”.
New Wine appoints new leader after scandal
THE Evangelical network New Wine has appointed the Vicar of All Saints’, Woodford Wells, the Revd Paul Harcourt, as its next national leader, to succeed the Revd Mark Bailey, who resigned after disciplinary action over an extra-marital affair (News, 24 June). Mr Harcourt, who is currently the company’s regional director for London and the East, said that he would be “privileged” to take on the position from 1 October.
‘Irresponsible’ companies targeted by Traidcraft
MORE than two-thirds of MPs agree that the positive work of UK businesses in developing countries is being undermined by the few “irresponsible” companies who are committing corporate crimes overseas, a survey by the Christian charity Traidcraft has found. Most MPs would also welcome debate on the accountability of these companies. The survey was produced as part of Traidcraft’s latest campaign, Justice Matters, launched outside the Palace of Westminster this week. It calls on the Government to update the law, which currently prevents the prosecution at home of UK companies that commit corporate crimes abroad.
More volunteers sought to host young homeless
THE national charity for homeless young people Depaul UK has hailed the achievements of its emergency-accommodation network Nightstop, but has called for more people to volunteer as hosts. In 2015, 634 households volunteered with the scheme — a 30-per-cent increase on the previous year. The voluntary hosts provided 13,438 overnight stays to 1563 16-to-25-year-olds, besides hot meals and washing facilities. But the head of Nightstop UK, Nicola Harwood, said: “Sadly, on more than 800 occasions, we had to turn away young people because no hosts were available. It was a successful year for the Nightstop network, but there is still a long way to go to meet demand for our services.”
Correction. Our report of the debate on clergy vesture (Synod, 15 July) stated that Enid Barron (London) was not enthusiastic about change “as it brings canon law into disrepute”. Her point, however, was that it was the wide disregarding of the present canon that brought canon law into disrepute, and so, although she was not an enthusiast for change, change might be wise so that canon law and practice were in harmony. We apologise for not making this clear.