Martin Bashir to head BBC religious affairs
THE journalist Martin Bashir has been appointed as the BBC’s religious-affairs correspondent, taking over from Caroline Wyatt, who is stepping down after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Mr Bashir is best-known for his interviews with Diana, Princess of Wales, and Michael Jackson, and is rejoining the BBC after working for 12 years for television networks in the United States.
Heythrop College to sell its Kensington building
THE Jesuits in Britain have decided to sell their Kensington Square property, in central London, which currently houses Heythrop College. The College’s future has been uncertain ever since the Jesuits announced last year that the institution was not breaking even and would have to leave the University of London in 2018 (News, 22 July). Staff hoped that a tie-in with the University of Roehampton might save a relocated Heythrop, but the College has decided against the move.
Principal of Ridley Hall takes new post in Leeds
THE Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge, Canon Andrew Norman, has been appointed as the new Director of Ministry and Mission for the diocese of Leeds. Canon Norman, who has spent eight years at Ridley Hall, will be in charge of overseeing clergy training, church growth, vocations, and children’s work, among other things.
Aid agency to shut its doors from March
PROGRESSIO, the Roman Catholic aid agency, will close in March next year after failing to raise enough funds to continue its programmes. First established as the Sword of the Spirit in 1940 by lay RCs to promote Catholic Social Teaching, the organisation evolved into an international aid agency, sending volunteers and staff around the world to engage in advocacy for the poor and to speak out against human-rights abuses. Once a government grant expires in December, however, Progressio will be unable to fund itself. The trustees said that the decision to close had been taken “with great sadness”.
Bishop’s fourth marathon is to aid Calais volunteer
THE Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andy John, will run the Snowdonia Marathon at the end of October, to raise funds to support the work of Caroline Gregory, a Christian volunteer in the “Jungle” camp in Calais (News, 5 February). This will be the fourth marathon that the Bishop, who visited the camp in April, has undertaken. His last time was three hours and 40 minutes. He described Ms Gregory’s work as bringing “a very necessary glimmer of light and love to somewhere that at times was frankly shadowy, dark and inhuman”. www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/andyjohn.
Bishop of St Davids to retire
THE Bishop of St Davids, the Rt Revd Wyn Evans, will retire on 4 October, on his 70th birthday, days after completing a three-year pilgrimage that has taken him to every church in the diocese. The final footsteps will be to the cathedral, where he was Dean for 14 years. “In 45 years of ministry I had always focused on trying not to be Bishop,” he said. “I was happy as Dean, and I left the cathedral with things I still wanted to do.” He has urged the diocese to select a successor young enough to have 15 years to complete the work he has begun on structural changes.