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UK news in brief

08 December 2017


Ahoy: organ bellows and the pop-up sleeping pods found in vintage VW campervans helped to inspire Denizen Works’ winning design for a new diocesan floating church and community hub that will navigate the canals of London, mooring at “key regeneration sites”

Ahoy: organ bellows and the pop-up sleeping pods found in vintage VW campervans helped to inspire Denizen Works’ winning design for a new dioces...

Bishop urged to distance himself from Franklin Graham

THE Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, has been urged to make it clear that an invitation extended to Franklin Graham by churches in Blackpool is “Not in your name”. Two priests in the diocese have written to him: the Vicar of St Peter’s and Holy Trinity, South Shore, the Revd Tracy Charnock, and the Priest-in-Charge of Hawes Side, Canon Andrew Sage. Among the churches that have invited Mr Graham to address the Lancashire Festival of Hope next September, in partnership with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, are St John’s, Blackpool, All Hallows’, Bispham, and St Mark’s, Layton. The letter states that Mr Franklin has made “Islamophobic” comments such as “Islam has declared war on the world.” Its authors say that they “cannot stay silent in the face of such dangerous and outspoken prejudice.” Bishop Henderson declined to comment.


Glasgow Provost regrets focus on Prince George

THE Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, has expressed regret that a blog he wrote “could be seen as hurtful to members of the Royal Family, a group of people whom I actually rather admire”. In the blog, written almost two years ago, he suggested that people seeking LGBT inclusivity in the C of E had the option to “pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman. A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen.” In a statement responding to media coverage last week, he wrote: “It was not my intention to cause hurt and I regret that this has led to the current focus on Prince George.”


Seven charities gain Christian Funders’ Forum Awards

THE winners of the Christian Funders’ Forum Awards, “an opportunity to celebrate the word of those who live their lives in service of others”, according to the Chair, Matt Bird, were announced last month at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. The six top awards went to: Barnabus, which works with homeless and vulnerable people in Manchester; Scripture Union England and Wales; 4Family, which runs a family mentoring scheme; the Church Pastoral Aid Society; Community Church, Ramsgate, a new church that runs statutory and charitable service; and Making Space, a social enterprise that seeks to tackle poverty and explore faith in former mining communities in south Wales.



FR ADAM GAUNTWinning: choristers at St Leonard’s, Loftus, in Cleveland (Features, 17 November), were guests of Middlesbrough FC Foundation last month


Liberation theologian to lead St Anselm’s

THE new Prior of the Community of St Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s monastic-inspired community for young Christians, will be the Vicar of St Thomas’s, Blackpool, the Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy, it was announced this week. She will take over from the Revd Anders Litzell, next year. Born in Texas, she completed a doctorate in theology from Durham University before her ordination in 2005. The Lambeth Palace press release says that she brought “a Liberation and Womanist theological perspective” to her research. She has helped to train clergy in four dioceses. “I’m looking forward to mentoring young Christian leaders from around the world as they seek to broaden their faith,” she said.


SPCK launches Bible app for 99p

A NEW audio Bible app, the NRSV Audio Bible for Everyone, costing 99p, was launched by SPCK this week. It includes the text and audio of the NRSV and the option to upgrade to include the commentaries and study guides from the For Everyone series by Tom Wright and John Goldingay. It is available on both Apple iOS and Android. www.SPCKapps.com


A cathedral isn’t just for Christmas

SUPPORTERS of Lichfield Cathedral are being urged to give friends and family the gift of membership of the cathedral’s Friends this Christmas. Membership includes newsletters and publications and a programme of social events and trips. The charity, founded in 1937, has more than 800 members. The Dean, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said that its work was “absolutely vital to the continued work and upkeep of the cathedral itself”. www.lichfield-cathedral.org; or phone 01543 306100.

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