Focus

by
17 February 2017

your news from around the dioceses

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Brian Pickering

1 Sixteen young people from across Nottingham were the year’s first candidates to be confirmed in South­well Minster this month. Aged 11-14, they came from the Minster School; St Wilfrid’s, Kirkby-in-Ashfield; St Thomas’s, Aslockton; and St Andrew’s, Nottingham. They were confirmed by the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Paul Williams, this month. “As we look to the future of the Church,” he said, “it is vitally important that we support and encourage the emerging generation of Christians in their disciple­ship.” Southwell

 

 

2 An array of curious creatures and images of the “Green Man” on the ceiling of Manchester Cathedral have been freshly appreciated during the construction of the new Stoller organ. The medieval carvings are said to resemble others at Chetham’s Library, which was established next to the collegiate church (which is now the cathedral) as a residence for priests in the early 15th century. An exhibition of photos taken from the scaffolding, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Revealing a Medieval Ceiling”, was this month by Grace Timperley, who is studying for a Ph.D. in medieval literature at Manchester University, and Chetham’s Librarian, the cathedral archivist, Michael Powell. The exhibition was sponsored by Harvey Nichols. Manchester

 

 

3 St Botolph’s, Boston (Boston Stump), in Lincolnshire, has received the Animal-Friendly Church Award 2016 from the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals. The church is known for welcoming pets to its services, providing dog treats and bowls of water, besides products from sustainable “animal-friendly” sources in its coffee shop. It also commissioned a survey to establish the species of bats living in the church, and how it could “humanely” deter pigeons from roosting in the church tower and “causing distress” to the bat population. Flower beds and “wildflower areas” have also been planted in the grounds. Lincoln

 

4 A grant of £370,000 has been made for the reordering of St Andrew’s, Charmouth (pictured), by the Erskine Muton Trust Fund, which makes grants to Church of England buildings in Dorset. The Team Rector, the Revd Stephen Skinner, said that the grant would pay for new flooring, chairs, a heating system, and a sound system, “while preserving the beauty and prayerful atmosphere for which St Andrew’s is treasured”. The Archdeacon of Sherborne, the Ven. Paul Taylor, said: “People have been praying and serving their neighbours at St Andrew’s for 150 years, and this grant will help ensure this continues for at least another 150.” The church has also submitted a matched bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for structural work on the tower, and is hoping to hear by March. Salisbury

 

5 More than 100 people celebrated the opening of a glass-fronted community centre this month in the grounds of St Paul’s, Aberavon, in south Wales. The church closed for worship in 2013. St Paul’s Centre has a café and lounge (pictured), conference facilities, a hall, a meeting-room, and offices for services such as debt coun­selling. The interior features stained glass from the church. The parish secured £0.5-­­million from the Big Lottery Fund, and £300,000 from the Welsh Government, to build the centre, besides donations from parishioners and the county council. The Team Rector, Canon Nigel Ca­­hill, said: “We are hugely excited to have a building with these qualities that can reach into the community. . . We have discovered that there is a huge amount of debt in this area, and already we have a three-month waiting list to help people.” Llandaff

 

6 The Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman (pictured), visited St Luke’s, West Holloway, last month, to bless two icons that are to hang in the church. Trinity — After Ruby (left in photo), by the artist Meg Wroe, is an interpretation of Christian icons by the 15th-century Russian painter Andrei Rublev. It was inspired by an observation that BAME communities were not represented in iconography or visual art in churches, Bishop Newman spoke to the congregation of St Luke’s of “countering the unconscious bias in our attitudes and approaches — especially with reference to diversity and difference.” The second icon (right), by a 19-year-old art student, Daisy Holland, reflects the refugee crisis. It depicts Jesus walking through the waters of the Mediterranean carrying a small child. London

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