UK news in brief

by
21 December 2018

CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Star following: a still from the C of E’s #FollowTheStar Christmas advert, which was released this week. It features parishioners from Christ Church, Ware, in St Albans diocese. See gallery for more picture stories from around the UK

Star following: a still from the C of E’s #FollowTheStar Christmas advert, which was released this week. It features parishioners from Christ Church, ...

 

C of E challenged to embrace ‘mutual flourishing’

THE Archdeacon of London, the Ven. Luke Miller, has written in a blog post that he fears mutual flourishing is a “cover for terminal care”; and his nightmare is that “there isn’t a desire to give a genuine place in the life of the mainstream” to conservative Evangelicals or traditionalist Catholics. “There are — as far as I am aware — now no Deans and no Canons Residentiary” from these traditions in England. “There is no headship evangelical in the country, and only two traditionalist catholics who, not being Bishops, are more senior than being an Area Dean. This is not a good show; mutual flourishing must mean more than that.” He praised the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, after her first year in office, for her “willingness to live and breathe her commitment to making everyone’s ministry flourish”.

 

It is important to understand Christmas, majority say

IT IS important to understand the meaning of Christmas and other religious festivals, even if you don’t celebrate them. This was the opinion of 58 per cent of more than 2000 British adults who responded to a YouGov poll. Seventy-one per cent of those surveyed said that they could confidently tell the Christmas story; 18 per cent said that they could not confidently retell the story of most religious festivals. The opinion poll was conducted for the National Association of Teachers of RE, and the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

 

Vicar appeals for return of the Baby Jesus

THIEVES stole the figure of the infant Jesus from a town-centre nativity scene in Lytham St Annes last week. The Vicar of St Annes-On-The-Sea, the Revd Christopher Scargill, wrote on Facebook: “Sadly someone has stolen the baby from the Town Crib. If anyone knows where he is or see’s him discarded along the way, please pick him up and let us know.”

 

Affirm minority-ethnic Britain on banknotes, says letter

THE C of E’s national adviser on the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, Dr Elizabeth Henry, was a signatory to a letter to The Times this week that called for an ethnic-minority face on British banknotes, which currently lack one. “Changing this would send a message that the contribution of ethnic minorities to Britain’s history, culture and economy is recognised and valued. What better representation of ‘global Britain’ could there be?” says the letter, also signed by the actors David Oyelowo and Adrian Lester, and the poet Benjamin Zephaniah, among others.

 

Substantial grants for Waterloo and Becontree

ST JOHN’s, Waterloo, and Kingsley Hall Church and Community Centre, Dagenham, have both been awarded significant sums in grant funding. St John’s has received £760,000 from the Good Growth Fund towards its Reignite 2021 campaign, which seeks to renovate the building, which was the Festival of Britain church, in time for the 70th anniversary of the festival in 2021. Kingsley Hall, part of Livability, and situated on the Becontree Estate, has been awarded £1.5 million by the Greater London Authority’s London Economic Action Partnership, in a round of funding aimed at reducing deprivation.

 

National Churches Trust hands out £430,000

St Mary’s, Kemp Town, BrightonTHE National Churches Trust (NCT) has allocated £430,000 in grants, announced last week. They include St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, the first London church to have gas lighting; St German’s, Cardiff, “one of the finest Victorian churches in Wales”; and St Mary’s, Kemp Town, in Brighton. The NCT’s chief executive, Claire Walker, said: “Our income comes from individuals and charitable bodies, not from government or church authorities. A big thank you goes to all the supporters whose help has allowed the National Churches Trust to continue its work of keeping the UK’s churches and chapels in good repair, used by local communities and open for worship.”

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Book tickets

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Competition opens in November - more details coming soon. Read about the 2019 final

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)