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UK news in brief

01 December 2017

Honoured: Madeleine Davies (left), the deputy news and features editor at the Church Times, is given an Awareness Foundation award for her work in the Christian media, by the Countess of Wessex

Honoured: Madeleine Davies (left), the deputy news and features editor at the Church Times, is given an A...


Many children not receiving mental-health treatment, charity warns

SPURGEONS has called for the NHS to refer children who self-harm to its own programme, after publishing figures which suggest that the charity’s problem is increasing at the same time as mental-health provision is being cut back. Freedom of Information requests to dozens of NHS trusts by Spurgeons showed that, while admissions to A&E for self-harm had gone up seven years in a row, as many as 60 per cent of children referred to mental-health services by their GP did not go on to receive any treatment. Spurgeons’s programme Family Intervention for Self-Harm is available to young people who do not yet have a formal mental-health diagnosis.The chief executive of Spurgeons, Ross Hendry, said that charities such as his could play a pivotal part in relieving pressure on NHS budgets and tackling the self-harm crisis.


Trussell Trust expects busiest ever Christmas

THE public have been asked to donate more to their local foodbank, in expectation of the annual spike in demand at Christmas. The Trussell Trust, which runs more than 400 foodbanks, said that last December there was a 47-per-cent increase in demand for food compared with the monthly average, and it is expecting this year to be no different. During December 2016, Trussell Trust foodbanks provided 147,000 food parcels: their busiest month on record. The charity’s interim chief executive, Mark Ward, said that foodbanks tried to offer Christmas treats on top of the essentials, but they relied on the generosity of the public.


Bishop of Repton to chair media charity

THE Sandford St Martin Trust, which promotes religious broadcasting, has announced that the Bishop of Repton, the Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, is to be its new chair. She will take over from the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, who has been in the post for nine years. At a time when understanding other faiths has never been more important, “the need for excellence in religious broadcasting is greater than ever before”, Bishop McFarlane said.


Winners of Bible-reflection competition announced

A TEACHER and pastor from Buckinghamshire, Sue Richards, has won a Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) competition, and will be featured in an upcoming edition of their devotional Bible-reading notes, The Upper Room. The contest was announced in August (News, 25 August). Ms Richards’s article, Yet, I Will Rejoice, reflects on verses from Habakkuk and Philippians.


Ashers ‘gay cake’ case to be heard by Supreme Court

THE Christian owners of a Northern Irish bakery found guilty of homophobic discrimination will have their appeal against the verdict heard by the Supreme Court in Belfast next year. Ashers Bakery refused to make a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage” in 2014, which amounted to discrimination, both Belfast County Court and the Court of Appeal ruled (News, 28 October 2016). Five of the judges from the Supreme Court will travel to Belfast to hear cases for the first time in April next year. The owners of Ashers are receiving financial backing from the Christian Institute and the Northern Irish branch of the Evangelical Alliance.



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