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UK news in brief

27 April 2018


Royal issue: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge present their newborn son, outside St Mary’s Hospital, London, on Monday

Royal issue: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge present their newborn son, outside St Mary’s Hospital, London, on Monday

Bishops condole after Saudi coach crash

THE Bishops and Archdeacons of the diocese of Blackburn have said that they are “deeply saddened” by news of a coach crash in Saudi Arabia in which four Muslim pilgrims were killed. Raj Begum Hussain, 70, from Blackburn, died alongside an elderly man and a mother and her grown-up son, all from Preston. “Christians understand the importance of making a pilgrimage — it is a time of deep significance for those making the journey. For such a terrible incident to occur at this of all times is particularly harrowing,” the joint statement said, promising prayers for the families.

Dean of St Albans shortlisted for see again

THE Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, is one of four candidates shortlisted for the office of Bishop of Brechin, in the Scottish Episcopal Church, after speaking out about his experience of an episcopal election in Wales last year (News, 24 March 2017). The other three are the Dean of Brechin, the Very Revd Dr Francis Bridger; the Rector of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh, the Revd Markus Dünzkofer; and the Dean of Argyll & The Isles, the Very Revd Andrew Swift. The election will take place on 2 June.

PASupporter: the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, has paid tribute to Carwyn Jones (pictured), who is stepping down after nine years as First Minister. Mr Jones has been under pressure since the death in December of Carl Sergeant, a Welsh Assembly minister who was dismissed over harrassment allegations. Archbishop Davies praised the First Minister’s his “consistent support” for faith communities  

Dr Walker calls for further change to two-child limit

THE High Court has ruled unlawful government regulations limiting when carers of children are eligible for some benefits.The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, has welcomed the decision. Currently, families who take in a relative’s child and have children of their own are exempt from the two-child limit on benefits only if the child is the third or subsequent child. Those who have children of their own after taking in a child remain subject to the limit. Dr Walker said that the C of E’s Bishops would continue to oppose the two-child limit for all families, because of “the hardship it will cause to children and the damage to family life”.

Archbishop urges police to root out racism

EVERY police force in the country should revisit the recommendations of the Macpherson Inquiry into the Metropolitan Police investigation of the killing of Stephen Lawrence, the Archbishop of York told Radio 4’s Sunday programme this week. After describing his own experience of being stopped numerous times by the police, and being called a “black monkey” by a man who did not want him to take a funeral, Dr Sentamu called for training and “more vigilance” by the police. Stereotyping resulted in the “invidious” situation in which “because people may be white you assume they are guiltless, and when you are black you assume they must be guilty”.

Former Lincoln housemaster sentenced

ROY GRIFFITHS, 82, of South Street, Sherborne, who was charged as part of an investigation into historic child abuse in Lincoln diocese (News, 5 May 2017), has been sentenced to six years and seven months in prison, after admitting six charges of indecent assault while a housemaster at Lincoln Cathedral School. The Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, said that it was “deeply shameful that those who were abused have had to spend most of their lifetime dealing with the aftermath of the abuse perpetrated against them. . . The victims and survivors of Griffiths’ horrendous crimes, and the families of those who have died before justice could be served, have shown enormous courage.”


Corrections. The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, spoke at the launch of the Ozanne Foundation, not the Bishop of Leeds (News, 13 April). The Bishop pictured in our report of the Church in Wales Governing Body meeting on page 9 was the Bishop of St Asaph, not the Bishop of Llandaff (News, 20 April).

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