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UK news in brief

16 February 2018


Sign of the cross: the Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle (right), outside the cathedral, where she ashed visitors on Ash Wednesday in an informal setting called “Ashes To Go”

Sign of the cross: the Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle (right), outside the cathedral, where she ashed visitors on...


Prayer service for Grand Canyon victims

A SERVICE of prayer for the families of those killed or injured in the Grand Canyon helicopter crash will be held at St Matthew’s, Worthing, at 6 p.m on Friday. Becky Dobson, Stuart Hill, and his brother Jason Hill were killed in the accident in Arizona last weekend. David and Sandra Hill, the brothers’ parents, who are part of the St Matthew’s congregation, said in a statement released by the Foreign Office that they “will thank God every day for having them in our lives”.


UN rapporteur called in over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

THE British-Iranian woman who is serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been treated in a way that that amounts to torture, her family have said. The human-rights charity Redress has called on the UN to intervene in the situation. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested on spying charges in Tehran in April 2016 (News, 24 June 2016). Richard Ratcliffe, her husband, said that a submission had been presented to the UN special rapporteur on torture, The Guardian reported; and Redress said that evidence “strongly” suggested that her treatment could be viewed in those terms. Mr Ratcliffe said that his wife had experienced difficulty walking, as well as extreme hair- and weight-loss.


Bishop backs petition to block Enoch Powell plaque

THE Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive Gregory, has voiced opposition to the proposed erection of a blue plaque to commemorate the Conservative MP Enoch Powell in his former constituency. Bishop Gregory said that he was strongly against the idea, as it would be “widely interpreted as honouring Enoch Powell’s racist views”. Powell was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet by Edward Heath in 1968, a day after making his provocative “Rivers of Blood” speech on immigration. The Civic and Historical Society of Wolverhampton is considering the proposal. The Bishop of Lichfield, Dr Michael Ipgrave, has joined Bishop Gregory in signing a petition organised by Black Country Stand Up To Racism.


Court case over hatchment in Austen church

ST MARY MAGDALENE’S, Adlestrop, is the subject of a Consistory Court ruling in Gloucester diocese, The Daily Telegraph has reported. Dominic Collins owns the great house there, Adlestrop Park, which formerly belonged to the Leigh family, relatives of the novelist Jane Austen. He wishes to install an armorial hatchment in the church in memory of his late wife. The faculty was opposed by the local historian Victoria Huxley, who said that this was suitable only for “a family which has strong ties over several generations”. The Diocesan Chancellor, June Rogers, granting the faculty, said: “The Jane Austen connection does not preserve in aspic this church. As the Leighs succeeded Evesham Abbey, so the Collins family is now in residence. Another layer has been added to the life and continuity of this village.”

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