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UK news in brief

15 September 2017


Starting young: a group of children dressed as novice monks, with their parents, at the Family Day at Whalley Abbey, in the diocese of Blackburn, last month. The day was organised by the diocesan Board of Education’s Children’s Team

Starting young: a group of children dressed as novice monks, with their parents, at the Family Day at Whalley Abbey, in the diocese of Blackburn...


Grammar-school governors’ chairman resigns

THE Revd Peter Galloway has resigned from the chair of the governors of St Olave’s Grammar School, Orpington, in south London, in the wake of a scandal over the school’s policy of expelling pupils halfway through their A levels if their results were not good enough (News, 8 September). A spokeswoman for the diocese of Rochester confirmed that Mr Galloway had stood down, but said that it was not connected to the outcry over the A-level policy.


Children’s Society compensates those abused in homes

PEOPLE who were sexually, physically, and emotionally abused while living in homes run by the Children’s Society have been quietly paid compensation by the charity over decades, it has emerged. A search of its files as part of the society’s submission to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse turned up 20 cases where the charity had paid compensation to those abused while living in one of the 100 homes it used to run. The last home was shut down in 1997. A further 33 children were given counselling, but no financial compensation, after a claim of abuse. In a statement, the Children’s Society apologised for failing the dozens of victims, some of whose cases which date back to the 1950s.


Poverty is pushing parents to ignore birthdays, says CUF

ONE in nine adults did not celebrate their birthday, Christmas, or another special occasion last year because they did not have enough money, new research by the Church Urban Fund (CUF) has found. The survey also suggested that, during 2016, four per cent of respondents had skipped meals to afford to buy food for their family, and two per cent — almost one million people — had used a foodbank. The CUF’s executive director, Canon Paul Hackwood, said that the findings showed that those suffering from food poverty did not just go hungry, but were excluded from social activities, and experienced anxiety, too.


BELINDA HASTIECreating a buzz: Canon Adrian Rhodes, an honorary canon at Manchester Cathedral, referred to as “Canon Apiarist”, has been looking after colonies of Manchester bees on the cathedral’s roof since 2011. Infra-red cameras have been installed on the cathedral’s roof and inside one of the hives


Contest seeks to boost women’s church music

A GROUP of church musicians in Salisbury are asking for submissions from women only to create a musical composition for a new liturgy suitable for Anglican worship. Multitude of Voyces, a collective of musicians who work largely with vulnerable communities, launched the project because they felt that there were too few works written for congregations by women. The winning composition will be performed with the lyrics from Sing a New Church, written by Sister Dolores Dufner in 2012, at the International Women’s Day Service at St Thomas’s, Salisbury, in March. www.multitudeofvoyces.co.uk/competition-details


Coroner confirms priest burnt himself to death

THE Revd Martyn Neale, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Hawley, in Hampshire (News, 4 August; Deaths, 11 August), took his own life by dousing his clothes with petrol and then setting himself on fire in his garden, days after he had been arrested on suspicion of historic sexual offences. He was found dead eight days after learning of the police investigation. The coroner, Andrew Bradley, found that Fr Neale, a member of the General Synod and the council of Forward in Faith, had “effectively incinerated himself”, and that the allegation of abuse had “clearly weighed on him . . . a tortured soul”.


Minister sentenced for disabled-badge fraud

THE Revd Williams Haymaker, of Suffolk Road, Bexhill, who says that he represents St Paul’s Independent Anglican Church, Bexhill, part of the Independent Anglican Communion, was sentenced this week to 200 hours of community service for fraudulently using a dead woman’s disabled blue badge to park for free. He was accompanied to the Court by his dog, the Venerable Mr Piddles. He said that he had intended to return the badge to the council, but had simply forgotten.

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