UK news in brief

by
14 July 2017

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Sports chaplaincies come together

FIT LIVES, a group of about 45 chaplains who serve gyms, will join forces with the umbrella group Sports Chaplaincy UK later this summer. Warren Evans, the chief executive of Sports Chaplaincy UK, said that it was “vital” that there be a Christian presence in gyms, to show the love and compassion of God. The affiliation will allow more gym chaplains to be recruited.

 

Churches welcome UN nuclear-weapons ban

A STRING of Churches, including the Baptists, Methodists, Church of Scot­­land, and the United Reformed Church, as well as the Quakers, have wel­comed the passing of a UN treaty that totally prohibits the development, acquisition, or use of nuclear weapons. Although the nine current nuclear states, including the UK, boycotted the talks that led to the signing of the treaty by 124 nations, church leaders and peace activists hailed the effort as the first step towards a nuclear-free world. The Quakers said that it would help to stigmatise and de-legitimise nuclear weapons. The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, urged Churches to lobby their governments to sign and implement the treaty as soon as possible.

 

Appeal launched to save possible site of Saxon cathedral

A CHARITY is seeking donations for the purchase of land in Lincolnshire where, it believes, the remains of an Anglo-Saxon cathedral lie hidden. Developers wish to build houses on the site. Walk To Discover, the charity, wants to make an offer for the hilltop site near Louth, in the belief it was once Sidnacester, the seat of the ancient Bishops of Lindsey, sacked by Danes in the ninth century (News, 23 September). Donations must be received by 7 August. Cheques may be sent to Prisca Furlong, Walk to Discover, 7 Thames Street, Louth, Lincs LN11 7AD.

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Scripture Union game reaches one million plays

GUARDIANS OF ANCORA, a mobile app game designed to introduce eight- to 11-year-olds to Jesus and the Bible has now been played more than one million times, its producer, Scripture Union England & Wales, has re­­ported. The game, in which “quests” are intended to bring Bible stories to life (News, 10 July 2015), cost more than £1 million to develop. Scripture Union now says that it wants to open it up to more children by translating it into other languages.

 

Knightsbridge priest sentenced for theft and fraud

THE Revd Andrew Sloane, 63, who joined the staff of St Paul’s, Knights­bridge, in London, for a retirement curacy in 2013, having been the Rector of St Paul’s, K Street, in Washington, DC, for 15 years, has pleaded guilty to stealing from the collection at St Paul’s and deceiving several parishioners into giving him thousands of pounds, which he spent on male prostitutes and an extravagant lifestyle. He took almost £4000 from the collection plate, and persuaded three female members of the congregation into making him emergency loans, which were used for the prostitutes’ services. He repaid the loans before the police were called in, but has received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, for theft and fraud by misrepres­entation. A London diocesan spokesman said that Fr Sloane had been suspended from ministry as soon as the police investigation began, and proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure had now begun.

 

Lincolnshire man denies historic sex offences

ROY GRIFFITHS, an 82-year-old man of South Street, Sherborne, has denied 11 sexual offences against five boys in a case brought after the diocese of Lincoln reviewed its past safeguarding files, writes Richard Vamplew. He appeared at Lincoln Crown Court by videolink last week to deny the charges, which are alleged to have taken place between 1963 and 1972. Lincolnshire Police’s investigation, Operation Redstone, has been investigating allegations of sexual abuse of children in relation to the Cathedral School in Lincoln. Mr Griffith’s trial is set to start in April next year.

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