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UK news in brief

16 March 2018

Chelmsford diocese and DIOCESE OF BLACKBURN

The Ven. Dr John Perumbalath and the Revd Dr Jill Duff

The Ven. Dr John Perumbalath and the Revd Dr Jill Duff

Two theological educators to be suffragans

TWO new suffragan bishops have a background in theological education. The Revd Dr Jill Duff is to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster in Blackburn diocese, it was announced on Tuesday. Dr Duff, who is 45, is the founding director of St Mellitus College, North West, and will succeed the Rt Revd Geoff Pearson, who retired last July. She is married to the Revd Professor Jeremy Duff, Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute, in Wales, and they have two sons.

The Archdeacon of Barking, the Ven. Dr John Perumbalath, who is 52, is to be the next Area Bishop of Bradwell, in Chelmsford diocese, it was announced last Friday. He will succeed the Rt Revd John Wraw, who died last July while still in post. Dr Perumbalath was born in Kerala, ordained in the Church of North India, and taught at Serampore College before moving to the UK in 2001. He is married to Jessy, a maths teacher, and they have a daughter, Anugraha, a medical student. He said last week: “God is about human flourishing. He is there for every Essex man and every Essex woman.”


Let the taxpayer fund tuition fees, says Archbishop Welby

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has said that tuition fees should be paid for by taxation rather than student fees during an interview by the Unified student newspaper at Canterbury Christ Church University. The Archbishop also told the paper that, because councils were struggling to meet needs, owing to cuts, churches should open their doors for rough-sleepers: one of the “major contributions the churches make in this country”.


Bishop concerned over library closures

THE Bishop of Horsham, in Chichester diocese, the Rt Revd Mark Sowerby, has expressed his concern at library closures in East Sussex. Responding to the news that more than a quarter were due to close, he said: “Anything that combines with the constraints on school budgets to disadvantage the education of our young people is a matter of serious concern.”


DIOCESE OF YORKYoung ringers at All Saints’ Roos, in the diocese of York, where the bell-ringers have won a national award from the Association of Ringing Teachers for their involvement with the children from a local school


Livability appoints chief executive

HELEN ENGLAND has been appointed as the new CEO of the disability charity Livability (formed in 2007 from a merger of the Shaftesbury Society and John Grooms). She succeeds its CEO since 2012, Dave Webber. She said that she was “inspired by its compassionate Christian ethos and its values-driven and community-minded strategy” and that she looked forward to “working with the charity to achieve real and lasting change”. She was previously the Director of Strategy, Organisational Development and Workforce at Devon Partnership NHS Trust.


Take action for Muslims in Sri Lanka, urges all-party group

THE All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief has urged the Government to support the Sri Lankan government in taking decisive action against attacks on Muslims. The APPG said that it was “deeply concerned” about the escalation in communal violence directed at Muslims by “ultra-nationalist” Buddhists in Sri Lanka (News, 9 March 2018).


Supermarket stocks up on Easter-story eggs

THE Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, has welcomed the decision by ASDA to stock The Real Easter Egg chocolate eggs, which come with an Easter-story book in the box. It was “great to see ASDA offering people a chance to engage with the Easter story in this way”, he said. “It is important that retailers acknowledge and cater for the culture and celebrations of all their customers.”


Suffolk priest deprived after voyeurism sentence

THE Very Revd Martin Thrower, 56, has been removed from his posts as Rector of St Mary’s, Hadleigh, and Dean of Bocking, in the diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, and barred from ministry for seven years, it emerged this week. At Norwich Crown Court last year, he was given a suspended sentence on two counts of voyeurism, after filming a 17-year-old in a public convenience (News, 22 December 2016). The diocese told the BBC that it would review its decision not to publicise the ban.

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