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UK news in brief

13 October 2017

St Peter’s, Selsey

Blessing: the Rector of Selsey in West Sussex, the Revd Andy Wilkes, meets Murphy the horse at the annual Blessing of the Animals service at St Peter’s, Selsey, on Sunday. More than £100 was raised for Search Dogs Sussex

Blessing: the Rector of Selsey in West Sussex, the Revd Andy Wilkes, meets Murphy the horse at the annual Blessing of the Animals service at St Peter&...


Next Dean of St Davids announced

THE Dean of St Davids Cathedral, from next spring, is to be Canon Sarah Rowland Jones, Priest-in-Charge of St John the Baptist’s, Cardiff, it was announced this week. Canon Jones is a former diplomat, appointed LVO in 1993 for arranging the Queen’s state visit to Hungary, and the OBE in 1997. She also worked as an adviser to successive Archbishops of Cape Town, and served on international Anglican commissions. She is married to Peter, who is also Welsh. Her first husband, the Rt Revd Justus Marcus, a regional bishop in Cape Town diocese, died from cancer the year after they married. Her doctorate is in philosophy of religion and public theology. She said this week: “The Cathedral and its surroundings so strongly convey the sense of being holy ground. It will be a tremendous privilege to join the community.”


Woman dies after fall at St Paul’s

A WOMAN died after falling from the Whispering Gallery to the floor of St Paul’s Cathedral, on Wednesday. The incident is being treated as non-suspicious by the police. A statement from the cathedral said: “First aid trained staff were immediately at the scene and police and paramedics arrived within minutes. . . We think and pray especially at this time for the woman who died, and for all those who were close to her and who loved and cared for her.” www.stpauls.co.uk


New awards pause Lambeth degree custom

NOMINATIONS for Lambeth degrees that are not awarded under the Archbishop’s Examination in Theology (AET) are being deferred until further notice, because of overlap with the six new non-academic awards announced by the Archbishop last March, Lambeth Palace confirmed this week. A statement on the Archbishop’s website said: “Not least given that the new suite of awards includes one for education and scholarship, Archbishop Justin Welby does not plan to award any such degrees in the short term, so such nominations are not currently invited.” Nominations for all other Lambeth awards are now open for 2019. Lambeth degrees have long been awarded, using the Archbishop’s right of dispensation, to recognise distinguished intellectual service to the Church.



PAKirk appointment: the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from next May is to be the Revd Susan Brown, Minister of Dornoch Cathedral, it was announced this week. She was the officiant at the marriage of Madonna and Guy Ritchie 


Domestic-abuse survey launched in Cumbria

A CHRISTIAN campaign group against domestic violence, Restored, has launched a new survey with Churches Together in Cumbria of views on how adept the county’s churches are at responding to domestic abuse. The research is being conducted by Coventry University and the University of Leicester. The lead researcher, Dr Kristin Aune, who is a senior research fellow at Coventry University, said: “This is the first major survey research study of churchgoers and domestic abuse in the UK, and we hope it will lead to a major national study.” The director of Restored, Mandy Marshall, said: “We need to hear from as many people who go to church in Cumbria as possible. We want all churches to be able to respond appropriately and effectively to this critical issue.” coventry.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/cumbria


Detained British-Iranian mother faces two more charges

A BRITISH-IRANIAN mother, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has served 19 months of a five-year term in Iran for alleged security offences, is facing two more charges amounting to 16 more years in prison, it was announced on Monday. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has worked for the charity the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the BBC, was arrested at Tehran Airport in April last year while visiting family in Iran with her daughter (News, 24 June 2016). She lost her final appeal in April. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe rejects the latest charges, that she joined organisations that worked to overthrow the Iranian government, and attended a demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy in London. Her husband has been unable to bring their two-year-old daughter back to the UK (News, 27 January). Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said that the charges were an outrage. “It is high time the Government intervened with tangible effect.”


Lord Bragg: Read the AV in school every month

LORD BRAGG has called the decline in Bible-reading in the UK a “disgrace” and suggested that the Authorised Version (AV) should be read every month in every school. He told the Henley Literary Festival on Saturday: “It is no accident that the decline of the Anglican Church coincides with the decline of the King James Bible. They say it’s too complicated; what are they talking about? Shakespeare gets more and more popular, and nearly always Shakespeare is played in the original Shakespeare.”

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