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UK news in brief

16 November 2018

Guildhall Art Gallery

Learned response: My First Sermon (left) and My Second Sermon by Sir John Everett Millais PRA. They feature in Guildhall Art Gallery’s exhibition “Seen & Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame”, which opens next Friday. When they were first exhibited at the RA’s Summer Exhibition in 1863 and 1864, people queued round the block to see them. See gallery for more picture stories from the UK

Learned response: My First Sermon (left) and My Second Sermon by Sir John Everett Millais PRA. They feature in Guildhall Art Gallery’s exhibition “See...


Government U-turns on maximum stake

A £2 maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals will be brought into place by April 2019, the Government announced on Wednesday. The U-turn came after a growing rebellion of MPs from across the House of Commons. Originally, the cut in the maximum stake was to be delayed until October; an action the Archbishop of Canterbury said he was appalled by (News, 2 November). The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, made the concession in a written answer published on Wednesday afternoon, a move that was welcomed by campaigners. The planned delay forced the resignation of Tracey Crouch as sports minister earlier this month. Archbishop Welby called her decision “principled and courageous”. On Thursday, in an article in The Times, Ms Crouch said: “I don’t feel vindicated by the welcome decision to ditch the delay and bring forward the stake reduction to April next year. I just feel relieved. This is a decision that will affect many lives for the better and reduce harm on our high streets.”

New mission Fellowship in Winchester

A NEW post created by the University and diocese of Winchester of Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows of Mission is to be filled by the Revd Francis (Frog) Orr-Ewing. He will “help to provide training and research opportunities that support the strategic priorities of Winchester diocese”. The diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, said this week: “This provides the ideal opportunity for the wider diocese and the cathedral to draw on Frog’s background, experience, and missional teaching to encourage mission growth, particularly within the student population, and also in partnership with the diocese’s companion links around the world.”

Cinemas reject Bible Society’s Armistice ad

A BIBLE SOCIETY advertisement marking the armistice centenary was rejected by the chain of Empire Cinemas because of its religious content. The three-minute film included verses from the Revelation of St John. Rachel Rounds, of the Bible Society, said: ““We wanted to say that the Bible did give hope and it still gives hope today.”

Canon Butler chairs Sons and Friends of the Clergy

THE Vicar of St Mary’s, Battersea, in the diocese of Southwark, and Prolocutor of the Southern Convocation, Canon Simon Butler, is the new chair of trustees for the Sons and Friends of the Clergy, which supports clergy and their dependants. Canon Butler, who chair the General Synod’s working group on clergy well-being, is the first appointee from outside the charity’s existing board. He said: “The well-being and welfare of Anglican clergy and their nearest and dearest are live and crucial issues, as we face all that makes for change in the mission-shaped 21st-century Church.”

Bell-ringer sues church after accident

A CHURCH in Oxfordshire is being sued for damages by one of its bell-ringers after he broke both ankles during a practice session, writes Paul Wilkinson. The ringer, Steven Tomsett, was 17 when he was lifted 20 ft into the air before plummeting back to the floor in the tower at St Helen’s, Abingdon, this year. He alleges that he also injured his right leg and his lower back, and is still in pain. In a statement issued through his solicitors to the Abingdon Herald, he said: “I’m taking action against the church as this whole thing was avoidable if the bells had been maintained properly. I’m the only one who has suffered. I lost my job, I’m in constant pain, and now the church has said what happened is not their fault. It doesn’t seem right.” Oxford diocese declined to comment, as the matter is with the insurers of St Helen’s, Ecclesiastical.


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