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UK news in brief

03 November 2017


Victor: Rafael Bellamy Plaice, a pupil at Lancing College, in West Sussex, has been named the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2017. He was previously head chorister of Chichester Cathedral

Victor: Rafael Bellamy Plaice, a pupil at Lancing College, in West Sussex, has been named the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2017. He was pre...


Ten Commandments’ hold loosening, survey says

ONLY six of the Ten Commandments are still thought by most British people to be worth following, a YouGov survey has suggested. Prohibitions on murder, theft, lying, adultery, and coveting others’ possessions, and the commandment to honour one’s father and mother were thought to be “important principles to live by” by at least 61 per cent of respondents (rising to 93 per cent for murder and theft). The four commandments — against making idols, taking God’s name in vain, having other gods, and to keep the sabbath holy — were deemed unimportant by most of those surveyed. Although the Christians surveyed in the poll placed more importance on each commandment than the general population, less than half of the believers questioned said the last four remained important principles today.


City of London priest to be next Dean of Montreal

THE Vicar All Hallows’ by the Tower, in the City of London, the Revd Bertrand Olivier, who is a member of the General Synod, is to be the next Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, in the Anglican Church of Canada. He will take office next February, and said that he was looking forward to combining the Anglophone and Francophone aspects of his identity in the bilingual ministry in Quebec.


Birmingham text-message initiative hailed a success

A PROJECT by the diocese of Birmingham to follow-up with those who visit churches but don’t regularly attend services has been hailed a success. The scheme, “Ssoul[food]”, involves handing out pocket-sized cards to visitors at weddings or Christmas services which offer them an easy way to sign up to receive short mobile-phone texts on the theme of the service just attended. Some 87 per cent of recipients reported that the messages left them wanting more, and 61 per cent said they had prompted them to “see things differently”. The team for the project is now working with the Church of England’s digital team on a Christmas campaign, #GodWithUs.


Social-work student to go on fighting expulsion

FELIX NGOLE, a social-work student expelled from a Master’s degree course at the University of Sheffield for Facebook posts that argued that same-sex marriage was a sin, has lost his High Court appeal against the university’s decision. On Friday, the court ruled that the decision was lawful, but Mr Ngole has already said he will appeal against the ruling. Christian Concern, which has funded his legal battle, said that the university had acted as “thought police” and the case would scare Christians into hiding their views or face losing their jobs.


Bishops in London support landlord licensing

FIVE bishops in the Greater London area have signed a letter calling on the Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, to allow a scheme to protect tenants from bad landlords to continue. The Bishops of Barking, Edmonton, Stepney, Croydon, and Greenwich have added their names to a letter that asks Mr Sharma to permit a landlord-registration scheme in Newham to be rolled over for another five years, as required by law. The licensing process had helped to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords, tackling a serious problem in their communities, the Bishops wrote.

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