Festival of Preaching to be launched in September
THE inaugural Festival of Preaching will be held on 10 to 12 September at Christ Church, Oxford. Speakers will include the American pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Canon Sam Wells. It is part of Hymns Ancient & Modern’s expansion of its events programme. “Sermons and homilies continue to be a resilient feature of our common spiritual and public life, and this Festival will celebrate their ongoing role in our contemporary culture,” said the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy.
Church doors open after seven-year-old’s death
THE doors of St James the Deacon, York, were opened on Wednesday to welcome people for prayer and reflection after the death of Katie Rough, a seven-year-old, near by. A 15-year-old girl has been charged with the murder of the child, who was found with serious injuries in a sports field on Monday. The head teacher at Westfield Primary School, Tracey Ralph, described Katie, one of her pupils, as a “kind and thoughtful child”, and her death as a “terrible loss”.
Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway suffers minor stroke
THE Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, the Rt Revd Gregor Duncan, suffered a minor stroke last week and is currently in hospital, the diocese of the Scottish Episcopal Church has reported. “He continues to make progress and it is expected that he will remain in the hospital at least for the next few days. If you wish to send a card or message, the Diocesan Office is happy to receive them and they will be forwarded,” a statement on the diocesan website reads. “The bishop is extremely grateful for the outpouring of prayers and well wishes. Please continue to keep Bishop Gregor in your prayers as he continues on the road to recovery.”
Qur’an chanted at Epiphany eucharist in Glasgow
A PASSAGE from the Qur’an was heard during a Epiphany eucharist in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, last Friday. Madinah Javed sang in Arabic from Surah 19, “Mary”, which tells the story of the Virgin birth and includes the baby Jesus telling people that he is a “prophet”. This section of the Qur’an also stated that “It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son,” the Revd Peter Ould, a priest in Canterbury diocese, wrote in a blog. The Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, a former Bishop of Rochester, also criticised the inclusion of the reading. The Provost, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, said: “In the course of our celebrations of the birth of the Saviour, we listened with interest to the story that Muslims tell of the annunciation of Jesus in the Qur’an. Such readings have happened a number of times in the past in this and in other churches and have led to deepening friendships locally, greater awareness of the things we hold in common and to dialogue about the ways in which we differ.”
Professor Keri Thomas appointed OBE
THE former Bishop of Edmonton, the Rt Revd Peter Wheatley, has paid tribute to Professor Keri Thomas, a former worshipper at Holy Cross, Cromer Street, in London, who was appointed OBE for services to end-of-life care in the New Year Honours list (News, 6 January). Professor Thomas wrote Caring for the Dying at Home (2003) before founding the Gold Standards Framework Centre in End of Life Care (GSF). She was married to Andrew Rodger, churchwarden at Holy Cross, before his premature death. She later married the Revd Mark Thomas, retired Vicar of St Chad’s, Shrewsbury.
Tribute paid after Oak Hill Principal dies
THE Principal of Oak Hill College, the Revd Dr Mike Ovey, died last Saturday, aged 58. Oak Hill announced the death “with profound shock and sadness”. He is survived by his wife, Heather, and their three children Charlie, Harry, and Ana. The Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, said that Dr Ovey had left “a big hole which it will be difficult to fill. Not only has he been an outstanding Principal at Oak Hill, but he has given himself unstintingly to the Evangelical cause within the Church of England and indeed within the worldwide Anglican Communion. His brilliant mind has been greatly used in the service of the gospel.”