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UK news in brief

02 November 2018


Forensic officers near the back garden of the property in Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday

Forensic officers near the back garden of the property in Sutton Coldfield, on Tuesday

Lamplugh family hope for ‘closure’, 32 years after disappearance

THE sister of Suzy Lamplugh, the estate agent who disappeared in 1986 and was declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994, has expressed hope that her body will be found, to give the family “closure”. This week, police searched the garden of a house once owned by the mother of the only suspect in the case, John Cannan. In 1989, Cannan was jailed for life for the abduction and murder of Shirley Banks and two further rapes. In 1996, Paul Lamplugh, Suzy’s father, spoke of his Christian faith, and his belief that good would always triumph over evil, shortly before the dedication of a stained-glass window commissioned by the family for All Saints’, East Sheen. He and his wife, Diana, set up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which seeks to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education, and support.

New National Rural Officer appointed

THE Revd Dr Mark Betson has been appointed National Rural Officer for the Church of England. Currently Rural and Environment Officer in the diocese of Chichester, he is also the South East Regional Director for the Farming Community Network. A press release said that he had been “heavily involved in bringing the countryside into schools, and supporting students at land-based colleges, with the South of England Agricultural Society”. He will take up the post on 7 January 2019.

Foodbank will get its delivery after all, as donations come to the vicarage

THE Team vicar of Tenterden, Rother, and Oxney, the Revd Patricia Fogden, told Kent Online this week that a delivery of carrier bags full of food had “restored her faith in humanity”, after the theft of harvest-festival produce from the church altar earlier this month. The response to her appeal had “more than replaced what was stolen”, she said, and she confirmed that she would be taking them to the Tenterden foodbank. Police are investigating the reported theft.

Franciscans plan ways to unite in action

MORE than 30 Franciscans from eight different Orders, Anglican and Roman Catholic, Religious and Secular, gathered at the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation at St. Ethelburga’s last week, “to consider how they might increasingly work together to advocate, speak out and act on causes such as poverty and social justice, peace making and the care of God’s creation”, the Anglican Third Order Franciscans in Europe report. They heard from Fr Michael Lasky OFM and Patrick Carolan, both members of Franciscan Action Network, based in Washington. DC.

Hexham Abbey to close for repairs

HEXHAM ABBEY will close to the public from 7 January for up to eight weeks while repairs are undertaken. Midweek and weekend services will be held in the adjacent Priory Building, and the exhibition, shop, café, and function rooms will all remain open as usual throughout. A new charity, Hexham Abbey Heritage Development (HAHD), to protect the building’s long-term future, was launched during last month’s visit by Prince Charles.

DIOCESE OF NEWCASTLEPrince Charles at Hexham Abbey last month

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