National Cathedrals Conference announced
CATHEDRAL deans, precentors, and senior lay staff across the country are to come together for the first time next year for a National Cathedrals Conference, the first of its kind, due to take place in September. The event, “Sacred Space: Common Ground”, is being held by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to encourage more “strategic, joined-up thinking” between cathedral staff, the fund-raising director at Manchester Cathedral, Anthony O’Connor, said this week. It is being chaired by the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber. The vice-chair will be the Dean of York, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull. www.sacredspace2018.org
Bishop of Derby to retire in August 2018
THE Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern, has announced his retirement. In a letter sent to all clergy and staff in the diocese on Tuesday, he said that he would be retiring on 31 August. “It is an enormous privilege to be working with you in the diocese, and I hope that this early notice will give time for prayerful discernment of God’s call into the future.”
Plenty to defend, says Forward in Faith after 25 years
THE organisation Forward in Faith has marked the 25th anniversary of its foundation with a declaration that it is not a “single-issue movement” despite its origins in the decision to introduce women priests in November 1992: a “dark day” for many Anglicans, since it placed in question “the Church of England’s commitment to catholicity”. In a statement on Friday, the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, said that the organisation would “defend, for the Church of England, Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; the Eucharist as requiring the presidency of an episcopally ordained priest; Confirmation as integral to Christian initiation; Marriage as ‘according to our Lord’s teaching . . . a union . . . of one man with one woman’; the inviolability of the Seal of the Confessional; and Anointing as a priestly ministry.” The anniversary will be celebrated with a mass at the Forward in Faith National Assembly on Saturday, 18 November.
New website will celebrate women composers
A NEW website, Cecilia’s List, is to be launched this month to make it easier for church musicians to choose service repertoire composed by women. Created by Kathryn Rose, a composition Ph.D. student at the University of Aberdeen, and previously organist at St Andrew’s, Leytonstone, in east London, it will go live on St Cecilia’s Day, 22 November, with a catalogue of works by women composers, organised seasonally. It will introduce week-by-week recommendations matched to the lectionary, and regular features such as interviews with composers and church musicians. “Music by women is often sidelined in the English sacred choral tradition because of practical barriers to introducing new music, and the administrative challenge of finding pieces suitable for particular occasions,” Ms Rose said. It will be at ceciliaslist.org.
Millions of teenagers struggling, says Children’s Society
ALCOHOL abuse by parents in the UK is damaging the lives of an estimated 700,000 teenagers, new research published by the Children’s Society this week suggests. Of the parents of these teenagers, three in five (59 per cent) also suffer from depression or anxiety, the survey of 3000 families with children aged 10-17 has concluded. The charity has estimated that this equates to more than 1.6 million teenagers who have a parent with depression or anxiety, and 1.7 million teenagers living in homes struggling with problem debt. The Children’s Society is calling on the Government to address urgently the £2-billion funding gap for local-council children’s services. Its chief executive, Matthew Reed, said: “Millions of teenagers in the UK are suffering in silence with problems that would floor an adult. . . Without support at an early stage as problems emerge, these families can quickly reach crisis point and the risks for the children involved grow.”
New ‘resource church’ planted in Leeds
A FORMER assistant curate of St George’s, Leeds, the Revd Mark Harlow, has planted a new church, St Paul’s, Ireland Wood, in the north of the city, with 45 churchgoers from his previous congregation. Mr Harlow, now Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s, is joined by his wife, Kathryn, who is Associate Priest. The move is part of the Church of England initiative “Resource Churches”, by which designated churches plant or “revitalise” existing churches. St George’s is the first in the diocese to be designated a Resource Church. The Bishop of Richmond, the Rt Revd Paul Slater, who is responsible for the Leeds area, said this week: “The idea is that there’s a cascading effect, so our hope is that St Paul’s, Ireland Wood, will eventually become a Resource Church itself, and will develop leaders who can help revitalise another church.”
CLIFF COLLEGETwinned: students of Cliff College, a theological college in Calvar, Derbyshire, helped to raise £1500 in the past year to become a Toilet Twinned College and improve sanitation in developing countries