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UK news in brief

14 September 2018


Ed Sheeran. See gallery for more UK news pictures

Ed Sheeran. See gallery for more UK news pictures

Ed Sheeran becomes choral patron in Suffolk

ED SHEERAN has become the newest patron of the Choral Foundation for St Mary-le-Tower in Ipswich, just a few miles from where the singer-song-writer was educated in the market town of Framlingham. Mr Sheeran, who sang in a church choir in Suffolk when he was a boy, said that he was “thrilled” to become a patron. “Singing teaches you lots of skills and provides many opportunities which will help, enrich, and sustain you throughout life. There is nothing equal to the joy of performing wonderful music with other like-minded people.” The Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, said that the patronage would give “huge encouragement” to singing projects around the county. www.choralfoundationipswich.org.uk


Scholars to gather for St Augustine Seminar in advance of Lambeth 2020

PREPARATIONS for the Lambeth Conference 2020 in Canterbury will be made in November, when 35 New Testament scholars from denominations around the world gather for the St Augustine Seminar at Lambeth Palace. The 800 bishops who are invited to the conference will study the first epistle of Peter; preparation of the materials will begin at the seminar. The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the epistle was a personal favourite. “There is so much in it that is pertinent for the Church, for the world, for the times we are living in, and for us as we seek direction for the Anglican Communion in the years ahead. The expertise and insight of the theologians who gather will be vital in informing the thinking in areas such as the daily Bible expositions, group Bible studies and homilies. I pray it will be a stimulating and exciting time together.”


Prayer Book Society report rise in membership

THE Prayer Book Society has reported a 40-per-cent increase in its membership. More than 260 people joined the Society last year, bringing the total membership to more than 3000. Tickets for its 23rd annual conference at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, on Thursday, have sold out. More than 130 delegates are due to attend — the highest number to date, it says. The chair of the Society, Prudence Dailey, said: “The Prayer Book is as relevant today as it ever was, and increasingly it is being appreciated by young adults. We are seeing growing interest in the society’s activities among those in their twenties and thirties.”


Girlguiding defends British Army programme

GIRLGUIDING has defended its decision to form a partnership with the British Army after being criticised by pacifists. Girlguiding has announced a programme, sponsored by the army, to provide girls with leadership skills through activities and experiences. The pacifist campaign group the Peace Pledge Union described the partnership as a “backward step”, and backed a petition to scrap it. The petition was started by a Guides volunteer Pippa Gardner and has accrued more than 1700 signatures. A spokeswoman for Girlguiding has since defended the partnership: “We’re proud of the extensive range of activities we offer to girls and young women and the diversity of opportunities this gives to members to develop their skills and interests. We’re sorry to hear some members are disappointed in our partnership with the British Army.”


Bishop of Ely backs call for better career advice

THE Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, has backed calls for high-quality careers education and advice to be made available to all students. He told the House of Lords that his generation of priests had never had to apply for a job, but had been “sent”. In a take-note debate called by Lord Aberdare on Wednesday, he said: “When I was a young priest, I was invited to take up a university chaplaincy. I went to see the bishop and waved this at him, and he said, ‘No, you’re going to Sunderland.’ I said, ‘Well, I should consult the family,’ and he replied, ‘If you mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I’ve done that. You’re going to Sunderland.’ He pointed to the Church of England Vision for Education, which calls for quality education regardless of students’ socio-economic or family circumstances. “There is a shortage of specialist teachers and sparse access to employers,” he said. “The provision of good careers advice, frequent interaction with employers, and labour-market preparation of students at school and college are vital.”

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