Archdeacon Ashcroft appointed Bishop of Bolton
THE Archdeacon of Manchester, the Ven. Mark Ashcroft, is to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Bolton in the diocese of Manchester. Archdeacon Ashcroft, who said that he was “honoured and thrilled” by the announcement, is to be consecrated in York Minster in October. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, after working in the catering industry in Edinburgh, and was ordained in 1982, before serving as a curate in Burnage. He took up his present appointment in 2009 after 13 years as Rector of Christ Church, Harpurhey.
BMA retains opposition to assisted suicide
THE British Medical Association (BMA) remains opposed to assisted suicide, after a motion to bring it to a neutral position was lost by 198 votes to 115. It was tabled by the South Central Regional Council at the BMA’s annual representatives’ meeting. The decision was welcomed by the Christian charity CARE, which called the motion a “cynical effort to try and silence a respected opponent” of assisted suicide.
Friends of Cathedral Music celebrate 60 years
ENTHUSIASTS for cathedral music are to gather in London this weekend for events to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Friends of Cathedral Music, which has distributed more than £3 million around the UK since 1956. The weekend will include services in St Bride’s, Fleet Street, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Southwark Cathedral.
Youth for Christ launches ‘Disciple’ series
THE charity Youth for Christ (YFC) has launched a series of ten short films as part of a new course to encourage young adults to return to the Church. The course, Freedom in Christ: Disciple was created by Freedom in Christ ministries in partnership with the Awaken Movement and UCB TV, and is available in several languages. www.yfc.co.uk/youngadults
New Wine leader disciplined
THE leader of the Evangelical network New Wine, the Revd Mark Bailey, has been prohibited from exercising ordained ministry in the Church of England for two years after an investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure relating to an extra-marital affair. Mr Bailey, who “stepped back” from his post as Team Rector of Holy Trinity and St Paul, Cheltenham, in January (News, 5 February), has resigned his post. The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, who imposed the ban, said in a statement: “The matter concerned an extra-marital affair which had just ended. Clergy in the Church of England are expected to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct within their ministry and such behaviour is dishonouring to God and the Church. . . In imposing this penalty I have sought to acknowledge God’s grace whilst also taking into account the importance of living with consequences.”
BPCA launches matchmakers’ website
THE British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) has created a new dating website, Shaadi4Christians, in an attempt to “change the dynamic” of arranged marriages. The site, which went live in May and is free of charge to access, is to give children of Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani Christian parents “more insight” into proposed matches, and arrange safe meetings. Wilson Chowdhry, who chairs the BPCA, said that many Christian families from these countries had been misled by suitors. “This site will enable parents to better understand the nature of the suitor.”
Cambridge declines to disinvest from fossil fuels
THE University of Cambridge has rejected calls from academics, Christian campaigning groups, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams to disinvest from fossil fuels (News, 6 May). In a report last Friday, the university’s working group on investment responsibility argued that it was better to keep investments in oil and gas companies, and ruled out future investments in coal and tar sands.
Exeter Book is given Memory of the World status
THE Exeter Book, an anthology of poetry in Anglo-Saxon written down around 970, which is kept in Exeter Cathedral’s library, has been granted UNESCO Memory of the World status, owing to its “outstanding significance”. It is one of only four surviving substantial poetic manuscripts in Old English, and joins 50 other documents on the UK register listing important historical documents.
Correction: in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (News, 17 June), David Ashton was appointed MBE for “services to the Church of England and the community in Batley, West Yorkshire”, not Chapelthorpe, as stated. Mr Ashton has served on the General Synod since 1973, and is a churchwarden of St Andrew’s, Batley.