Surprise party held for Leamington centenarians
THREE parishioners of Holy Trinity, Leamington Spa, who are due to celebrate their 100th birthdays this year were thrown a surprise party on Trinity Sunday. Nesta Jones, a former head of Kingsley School, and Dorothea Baker still attend church most Sunday mornings. Norman Jones, a former Reader and RE teacher, is frailer, but was able to get to the party. The Vicar, the Revd Christopher Wilson, said that it was “an opportunity to express our love for the oldest members of our congregation”.
USPG’s chief executive retires
THE chief executive of USPG, Janette O’Neill, is stepping down from the post after six years, to retire. She was the first woman and first lay person to lead the charity. Canon Chris Chivers, who chairs the charity’s board, said that she had made “a lasting difference” in many people’s lives. A successor is being recruited.
Suffolk rector convicted of voyeurism
THE Rector of St Mary’s, Hadleigh, in Suffolk, and Dean of Bocking, the Very Revd Martin Thrower, pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court last week to voyeurism charges. The offences took place between 2014 and 2016 (News, 23 December). The Archdeacon of Sudbury, the Ven. Dr David Jenkins, said that Dean Thrower had been immediately suspended after the diocese learned of the allegations. “I apologise unreservedly to those affected by his behaviour,” he said.
Salisbury parishes buy bikes for South Sudan
FORTY “toughened” bicycles have been bought for the diocese of Cueibet, in South Sudan, by churches in the Chalke Valley and Western Downland Benefices of the diocese of Salisbury. They raised £12,000 during Lent. Geoff Taylor, who helped to organise the project, said that the bicycles, made by World Bicycle Relief, would be “a great asset to the clergy and people of the diocese: they are used to travel distances, and carry loads that few people here would imagine possible”.
Charity celebrates 21 years in the UK
CBM (Christian Blind Mission) UK is marking its 21st birthday — the international CBM of which it is a part, is more than a century old — with a booklet, 21 Stories, introduced by the former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett. Available online, it tells the stories of people with disabilities who have been assisted by the charity, including Editha, from Tanzania, who suffered with obstetric fistula and had been ostracised in her community. “Too many people with disabilities in developing countries are unable to fulfil their potential,” Lord Blunkett writes. www.cbmuk.org.uk