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UK news in brief

31 March 2017


Jubilant: supporters of “Marine A”, Alexander Blackman, celebrate a decision at the Royal Courts of Justice to reduce his sentence for manslaughter; he will be released within weeks. Lord Carey said that he was praying for the soldier, who shot dead a wounded Taliban fighter in 2011

Jubilant: supporters of “Marine A”, Alexander Blackman, celebrate a decision at the Royal Courts of Justice to reduce his sentence for man...


Former Wakefield Registrar gets seven years

A FORMER Diocesan Registrar of Wakefield, Linda Box, 67, of Halifax Road, Dewsbury, has been jailed for seven years, after admitting to fraud, theft, and forgery while working as a solicitor. Over the course of 12 years, she stole £4 million from clients’ accounts, targeting the estates of those who had died, and taking more than £63,000 from the Bishop of Wakefield’s Fund. She held her diocesan post until 2005. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke of a “painful ordeal for all concerned”.


Bethnal Green chapel has £1.4m Lottery boost

A CAMPAIGN to restore a Victorian chapel at Oxford House, founded as a high-church university settlement, and now a charitable arts centre, in Bethnal Green, east Lon­don (News, 24 March), has secured £1.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant will go towards a new roof, repairs to make the chapel — blocked off for more than a century — open to the public, and a programme of educational activities. The campaign seeks to raise £2.9 million.


Society hopes to buy Norman Nicholson’s house

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to buy and restore 14 St George’s Terrace, Millom, the home of the Cumbrian poet and writer Norman Nicholson. He spent only 19 months away from it during his 73 years. It currently houses the Norman Nicholson Coffee House, but campaigners hope to create a national centre to promote his work. It is on the market for £59,500, but the intended buyers, the Norman Nicholson Society, estimate that at least as much again will be needed for restoration and development. Nicholson was a devout Anglican and a regular reviewed poetry for the Church Times. Enquiries to normannicholsonhouse@gmail.com


Trustees criticised for inadequate safeguarding

THE Charity Commission has criticised the trustees of the Grail Trust over the handling of an allegation of child abuse at a children’s home run by its partner, GTI. The home has now closed. The Commission carried out an initial investigation after being notified of the allegation in August 2011. It found that the initial response by the trustees had been inadequate, as they had not reported the allegation and had not been impartial in considering the allegation, which they had publicly rejected. They had also failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that safeguarding measures undertaken by GTI were adequate. The trustees have been issued with a formal action plan.


Film censor prompted Python team to delete oaths

THE scriptwriters of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail were criticised by the British Board of Film Classification for the repeated use of “Jesus Christ!”, The Daily Telegraph reports. Previously unseen files show that the censors described the repetition as “unnecessary. There is good evidence that this does distress people who would otherwise enjoy the film.” Two of the references were subsequently deleted. The script was initially rated “X” but toned down. Today, it is rated 12A.


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