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UK news in brief

09 December 2016

Joint Public Issues

No room: young Christians play Mary and Joseph in a modern interpretation of the nativity, set in London, in a video to draw attention to the plight of asylum-seekers in the UK. The video, A Very British Nativity, is part of a joint initiative by the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church

No room: young Christians play Mary and Joseph in a modern interpretation of the nativity, set in London, in a video to draw attention to the plight o...

Church Commissioners win investment awards

THE Church Commissioners for England won three awards at the Investment and Pensions Europe Awards in Berlin, last week, in Climate Related Risk Management; Environment, Social and Governance; and Real Estate. The Commissioners scored highly on Climate Related Risk Management (19.75 of 20 points), and were also shortlisted for Best European Pension Fund. The head of Responsible Investment for the Commissioners, Edward Mason, said that there was still “much work to be done” to improve climate investments, however.


Man found guilty of stealing Lazarus painting

A MAN who stole an 18th-century Greek Orthodox painting, The Raising of Lazarus, from Chester Cathedral in August 2014, leaving a toy angel in its place, has been found guilty. Vasilijs Apilats, 61, of Edleston Road, Crewe, denied theft. He told Chester Crown Court that he had bought the painting — estimated to be worth about £2000 — for £135 from two men whom he believed to be cathedral staff. It was taken from the altar of the Chapel of St Anselm, and recovered from his home a month later. Mr Apilats will be sentenced in January.


Archbishop seeks Dean and Prior’s Clerk for St Anselm

THE Archbishop of Canterbury is seeking to recruit a Dean and Prior’s Clerk to serve the Community of St Anselm, at Lambeth Palace. The Dean will be responsible for finances, marketing, communications, and the spiritual leadership of the community; and the Clerk will provide administrative support for the Prior. Applications are also open for young Christians to join the community for ten months beginning in September. See stanselm.org.uk/jointheteam/ for details


Government to spend further £4 million to protect refugees

THE UK is to double its contribution to the protection of female refugees in the Mediterranean from trafficking and exploitation to £8 million, the International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, has announced. The fund is to provide shelters for vulnerable female refugees and support counter-trafficking mechanisms in Greece and the Balkans. Ms Patel told a Freedom Fund event in London last week that the Government was committed to abolishing modern slavery. “But . . . we will only succeed if we join forces — businesses, governments, charities, activists, faith groups, and individuals — to stop these crimes for good.”


Clergy among most trusted professions

NURSES are the most trusted profession in the UK, a joint report by Mumsnet and the annual index Ipsos MORI has suggested. An online survey of Mumsnet members, and data from Ipsos MORI, suggested that nurses and doctors were considered 93 per cent and 91 per cent trustworthy by the public, respectively; more than teachers, judges, and scientists. The clergy ranked seventh on the list of 24 professions (69 per cent), marginally above hairdressers (68 per cent), newsreaders, lawyers, and civil servants. Politicians were bottom of the rankings (15 per cent), down by about six per cent on the previous year.


Rachel Harden to be Lay Canon of Liverpool

RACHEL HARDEN, the deputy director of communications for the Church of England, is to be installed as a Lay Canon of Liverpool Cathedral at evensong, today, in recognition of her contribution to the Church and communications. Ms Harden was a reporter for the Liverpool Post and Echo, contributed to BBC Radio Merseyside, edited the diocesan magazine Livewire, and was on the staff of the Church Times before leaving for Church House, Westminster, in 2008.

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