Home Office to permit entry to Syrian pastor
THE Home Office has overturned a decision to refuse a visa to the Revd Rola Sleiman, a representative of the National Evangelical (Protestant) Church of Syria and Lebanon. Ms Sleiman is due to attend the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this weekend.
Priest’s brother resigns from police after tip-off
THE deputy crime commissioner of Cambridgeshire, Andy Coles, who is the brother of the Revd Richard Coles, the parish priest and radio presenter, has resigned after being accused in news reports of “deceiving” a woman “into a sexual relationship”. He said that he was resigning because the reports, which appeared on Channel 4 and in The Guardian, were affecting his duties. He said that he was “unable to comment” on the reports. The allegations, referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, relate to his work as an undercover police officer in the 1990s, when he allegedly had a relationship with a political activist. A member of the public spotted a reference to Mr Coles’s work undercover in his brother’s autobiography, Fathomless Riches, and tipped off a group that monitors the deployment of police spies.
Survey to gather experiences of women in the Church
A SURVEY exploring the “barriers, hopes and everyday experiences” of women in the Church has been launched by the Sophia Network, to mark its tenth anniversary. The charity champions women’s leadership in the Church. The survey is open to all women in the UK and Ireland, and includes questions about whether respondents experienced sexism, and also whether they can list examples of being supported by men in the Church. It will run online until 18 July.
GERRY LYNCH/DIOCESE OF SALISBURYAt last: Norma Ralph, 82, was baptised by the Bishop of Salisbury, and confirmed by the Bishop of Sherborne, on Saturday. “My son has been encouraging me to get baptised,” she said. “I should have done it a long long time ago, but never got round to it”