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UK news in brief

12 January 2018


Relative minors: two pairs of siblings, Felix and Polly Preston (right) and Anežka and Frederick Butler (left), sang in Canterbury Cathedral Choir for the Epiphany carol service on Sunday

Relative minors: two pairs of siblings, Felix and Polly Preston (right) and Anežka and Frederick Butler (left), sang in Canterbury Cathedral Choir for...

Patriarch repeats warning of threats to co-existence

THE Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has reiterated his concerns about threats to the status quo in the Holy Land, that “radical settlers” are “attempting to establish control over properties” in Jerusalem (News, 10 November). Writing in The Guardian Online on Sunday — Christmas Eve for Orthodox using the old Julian calendar — he warned that, were they to succeed, “they would be able to pursue their aggressive campaign of removing non-Jews from the City and from these strategic centres at the heart of the Christian quarter, threatening the very presence of Christians in the Holy Land.”


New Year Honours for synodsman and organist

A GENERAL SYNOD member and Church Commissioner, Gavin Oldham, who chairs the Share Centre, has been appointed OBE for services to children through the Share Foundation, the charity appointed in 2012 by the Department for Education to operate the Junior ISA scheme for young people in care. Working with local authorities throughout the UK, it has benefited more than 56,000 young people. Elvet Richards was awarded the BEM for services to the community in Trelystan, Powys, where he has been the organist for 72 years. He has also served as a churchwarden.


Further plea for peals to mark Armistice

BELL-RINGERS are being requested again to rally to the cause of commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War (News, 5 January). The organisers of Battle’s Over, a national and international event marking the Armistice centenary, hope that 1000 churches and cathedrals will ring their bells simultaneously at 7.05 on the evening of 11 November. At 6 a.m., lone pipers will play “When the Battle’s O’er” outside every cathedral in the country, and, at 6.55 p.m., buglers will sound the Last Post at more than 1000 locations. At 7 p.m., beacons will be lit, five minutes before the bells are rung.



Dr Sentamu speaks out again on Yorkshire

THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has reiterated his support for a One Yorkshire devolution deal (News, 22 December). He told The Yorkshire Post that “our elected leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to repay the trust vested in them by the people and to forge an exciting new future for this great county.” Last month, the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, tried to broker a compromise with supporters of the Sheffield City Region deal (agreed in 2015) by telling One Yorkshire backers that supporting this would not preclude a One Yorkshire agreement in future.


Commissioners file claim to thousands of mineral rights

THE Church Commissioners have registered claims to “mineral rights” in 5773 locations, covering 585,000 acres, since 2010, Land Registry data analysed by The Times suggests. The report states that they have laid claim to deposits beneath land that it used to own, but is now held privately: “This gives the church the right to cash in on any profits from the extraction of stone, metals and other minerals in the earth, though it may have to compensate the surface landowners for access.” Church claims accounted for more than half of all mineral-rights registrations since 2010 (News, 23 August 2013).

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