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UK news in brief

18 August 2017


Thanks: the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Steve Ashman, whose force success­fully prosecuted a gang of mostly Asian men who groomed and abused young women in Newcastle, has been thanked in a statement by community leaders, who emphasised the importance of not “casting blame on entire communities”. The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman, was a signatory

Thanks: the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Steve Ashman, whose force success­fully prosecuted a gang of mostly Asian men who groomed and abuse...

Prince Charles steps in to help

THE campaign to raise funds to restore the Anglican St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, the capital of Malta, has received a boost with the news that Prince Charles has given a “generous donation” to the cause. Cam­paigners are trying to raise £2.6 million to repair the ceiling, roof, spire, and external stonework (News, 17 March). The appeal has so far raised about £450,000.


Pagans demand restitution

A GROUP of pagans have written to the Archbishops and several bishops asking for a public apology for what they claim is “centur­ies of persecution”, and that two Church of England churches be given to them to turn back into temples. The Odinist Fellowship, a charity that promotes English paganism, has accused the C of E of attempting a “spiritual genocide” during the conversion of England in the seventh century, and of turning pagan temples into today’s parish churches. “The Church has never come to terms with its past crimes,” the Fellowship’s director, Ralph Harrison, said.


Home Office releases more money

THE Home Office has announced that a further £300,000 will be made available for groups that work to prevent hate crime, support victims, and increase the reporting of attacks. The Community Demonstration Fund is open to fund work for all forms of hate crime, including that motivated by religion.


Where RCs outnumber Anglicans

FOR the first time, there are now more Roman Catholic than Anglican prisoners in England and Wales. Official Ministry of Justice figures show that 14,691 inmates declared themselves to be Anglicans at the end of June, compared with 14,961 who said that they were RCs. There were also 13,100 Muslims, although the largest group are those of no religion, who number 26,443. By law, every prison must have a C of E chaplain.


Christian publisher rescued

THE future of Lion Hudson, the Christian publishing house, has been secured after the company was sold to AFD Group, a firm that specialises in Christian media and technology products. Lion Hudson went into adminis­tration in February, after two-thirds of the staff had been made redundant in January (News, 3 February). The adminis­trators, FRP Advisory, said that the sale would safeguard the remaining 15 jobs.



Appeal for infor­ma­tion on stolen hood of ‘precious’ cope

Southwell Minster and Notting­ham­shire Police are appealing for infor­ma­tion after the hood of a cope was stolen from the cathedral after a eucharist this month. The hood was hand-stitched by women in the diocese in 1896 for the first Bishop of Southwell, and has been worn on special occasions ever since. The Dean, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, said that, while the hood had little monetary value, it was “precious in the history of the diocese” and its theft had “deeply upset” the Minster staff.

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