Bishop of Norwich announces his retirement
THE Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, is to retire at the beginning of 2019, he announced last week. He will be 68 in January. His farewell service will be held in Norwich Cathedral on 25 November. The Bishop said: “It’s been a privilege and honour to serve as Bishop of Norwich for almost 19 years, and Julie and I will find it hard to leave. We are returning to Cornwall (to Truro), but the diocese of Norwich and her people will always have a big place in our hearts. Thank you for all your support.” He was translated from St Germans, in Truro diocese, in 1999. He had previously been Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Wildlife Trusts launch Thirty Days Wild for June
CHURCHES are being encouraged to sign up to “do something wild” and take part in a “Random Acts of Wildness” every day in June by the Wildlife Trusts. The Trusts want people around the UK to introduce nature into their everyday life and reconnect with wildlife. More than 55,000 people have signed up so far to the campaign, which is an attempt to improve people’s perceptions of beauty in nature. The Campaigns Manager for the Trusts, Lucy McRobert, said: “Thirty Days Wild is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you.” Campaign packs can be requested on the Wildlife Trusts’ website.
Ecclesiastical to award prizes for volunteering
ECCLESIASTICAL, specialist church insurers, launched a competition for people who deserve recognition for their volunteering efforts last Friday. Individuals or groups from congregations can be nominated for the “Little deeds, big difference” competition. The winning church will receive £10,000, and five runners-up will win £2000 each. A winners’ lunch will be held at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in November. Ecclesiastical’s church-operations director, Michael Angell, said: “Church volunteers are unsung local heroes who play such an important role in supporting their local communities.” Entry details at www.ecclesiastical.com/churchcomp.
CHRISTIE’SGolden egg: the nativity is depicted on a rare porcelain egg, produced by the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg, circa 1890. It sold for £112,500 at Christie’s, in June. It was estimated to be sold for £10,000-£15,000
Ethics and engagement post filled at Pensions Board
ADAM MATTHEWS has been appointed Director of Ethics and Engagement for the Church of England’s Pensions Board, joining its executive team, it was announced last Friday. The Pensions Board chairman, Dr Jonathan Spencer, said: “This is a strategic executive appointment, and reflects our ambition to be one of the world’s leading global pension funds from a financial and an ethical perspective. Adam has led the creation of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) with the Environment Agency Pension Fund.” Mr Matthews will continue to co-chair the TPI, which manages more than £7 trillion in assets worldwide. He said: “The Pensions Board has clear ambitions to deliver change on the issues of climate, extractive industries, ethical and responsible investment. I am delighted to be working for the Board to deliver these ambitions.”
Mercy Ships launches national competition
THE charity Mercy Ships has created a set of resources for encouraging churches to fund-raise for its hospital-ship and medical programmes. Churches can use the “#MercyActs” challenges in the resource packs to score points in a competition. The church that earns the most points will win Access All Areas passes to the Big Church Day Out festival in 2019. The charity hopes that the challenges will inspire churches to “have fun and get creative” in raising money. Darren Richards, the charity’s Church Partnership Manager, said: “Imagine what could happen if everyone took something they loved doing — their hobbies and sporting passions —and then used that to help the poor in Africa.” www.mercyships.org.uk/church
SUSI WOODClose shave: Susi Wood, lay minister of St Mary’s, Threlkeld, in Cumbria, hopes to raise money to install a church lavatory by having her head shaved on 9 June. Donations are sought here to raise £5000 to kick-start an appeal of £250,000 for the church