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UK news in brief

25 May 2018

Diocese of Leeds

New Dean: the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines (left), with the next Dean of Wakefield, Canon Simon Cowling

New Dean: the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines (left), with the next Dean of Wakefield, Canon Simon Cowling

New Dean of Wakefield announced

THE next Dean of Wakefield is to be the current Rector of Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales, Canon Simon Cowling, it was announced last week. Wakefield Cathedral is one of three in the diocese of Leeds, alongside Bradford and Ripon cathedrals. Canon Cowling, a former classics teacher, was ordained deacon in Ripon Cathedral in 1991 and priest in 1992. He served his curacy in Chapeltown and Far Headingley, in Leeds, before becoming Vicar of Roundhay and Area Dean of Allerton. He became Precentor and Residentiary Canon at Sheffield Cathedral in 2007. Canon Cowling, who has served Bolton Abbey since 2013, said that the invitation was a “huge privilege”. He has three adult children with his wife, Anne. Appointments


Church in Wales to spend £10 million on evangelism

THE Church in Wales is to dedicate £10 million to evangelism. The new evangelism fund, the first of its kind for the Church, will award grants of between £250,000 and £3 million to diocesan projects that “focus on people” rather than buildings, it was announced on Sunday. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, explained: “We have long talked about growing the Church and now we want to invest in projects across the country to enable that to happen. It is a radical answer to the decline we are experiencing in many places.” A committee has been formed to manage the fund. The cash is being released from church investments that are overseen by its Representative Body.


Government supports Near Neighbours

THE Government has awarded £1.3 million to Near Neighbours, an interfaith community programme from the Church Urban Fund (CUF) and the Archbishops’ Council (News, 12 February 2016). The award is part of the fifth phase of funding for the programme, which includes £100,000 from the CUF. In return, Near Neighbours is to support the Government’s Integrated Communities Strategy to tackle social exclusion, which was set out in a Green Paper in March. The Near Neighbours small-grants fund has awarded more than £6 million to more than 1600 projects around the country.


CUF appointee hopes to ‘diversify’ its board

THE new chairman of the Church Urban Fund is to be Andrew Barnett, a UK director of the the arts and sciences charity the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Mr Barnett is also a committee member of Healthwatch England; a director of the Forces in Mind Trust; and a trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations. His first priority will be to “refresh and diversify” the CUF’s board of trustees to “better reflect” the communities it serves, he said when his appointment was announced last Friday.


KEITH BLUNDYLong service: John and Eileen Perkins, who amassed more than 100 years of service to St Michael and All Angels, Witton Gilbert, in Co. Durham, have stepped down from their posi­tions. Mrs Per­kins, who is 84, served on the PCC for 61 years, including 38 years as secretary; Mr Perkins, who is 85, has served for 46 years


Dr Colin Morris, Methodist broadcaster, dies

THE author and broadcaster the Revd Dr Colin M. Morris, a former President of the Methodist Conference, has died, aged 89. He was born in Bolton and educated at the universities of Oxford and Manchester. He served as a missionary in Zambia from 1956 to 1969 and was elected as the first President of the United Church of Zambia. He became General Secretary of the Overseas Division of the Methodist Church in 1975, and served as President of the Methodist Conference in 1976. He joined the BBC in 1978 and was head of religious broadcasting and controller of BBC Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1991. His books include Me Out (1968), Raising the Dead (1996) and Things Shake — Things Unshaken (2006). The Secretary of the Methodist Conference, Canon Gareth Powell, said: “In Colin, Methodism was faithfully and passionately represented, but more than that: the gospel was proclaimed with integrity.”


Former C of E priest found guilty of sex abuse

A FORMER Church of England priest, Brian Macduff, 78, of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of indecent assault against a girl between 1978 and 1980, when his surname was Spence. The girl was aged between ten and 11 at that time. The defendant had previously pleaded not guilty (News, 22 September 2017). He was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Monday.

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