UK News in Brief

by
28 September 2018

GRAHAM HOWARD

Walking together: Monsignor John Armitage, Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham (left), joins his Church of England colleague, Fr Kevin Smith, Priest Administrator of the Anglican Shrine, at a celebration of vespers in the Shrine Church, where a covenant celebrating the two shrines’ working together was signed, on Monday

Walking together: Monsignor John Armitage, Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham (left), joins his Church of England colleague, Fr Kevin Sm...

Bishop of Lincoln voices concern over police cuts

THE Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, has spoken of his concerns after Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable, Bill Skelly, said that the force was facing “stark choices” to balance the books. Mr Skelly warned that 60 police officers, 53 PCSOs, and 30 staff posts would go over the next three years, unless a better funding deal was secured. “I am willing to be a voice to ensure, where possible, Lincolnshire and its police officers get a fair deal, and we do not lose further police from our communities,” Bishop Lowson said on Tuesday. “From a young age, I was taught if I was in difficulty I could always approach a police officer — less money and less services means there may be no one to approach.”

Unconscious-bias training suggested for selectors

UNCONSCIOUS-bias training should be mandatory for everyone who takes part in the Church’s selection and recruitment processes, the Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN) said this week. At its AGM on Saturday, it welcomed “positive steps being taken in the area of encouraging people of minority ethnic heritage into vocation in the Church of England”. A statement said, however: “We continue to be troubled by the slow pace of progress on the matter of including Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people (BAME) in the Church’s leadership.” Other measures recommended that bishops should mentor BAME clergy.

Commissioners confirm they won’t be taking on Wonga debtors

THE Church Commissioners will not be participating in a potential buy-out of the loan book of Wonga (News, 21 September). A statement from Church House confirmed that “informal discussions have been held with parties from the charitable and finance sectors”, and that “confidential approaches may now be made by those interested parties to the administrators of Wonga’s UK loan book”. It confirmed that the Commissioners would not be involved, “having concluded that they are not as well placed as others to take this forward”. The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he would be “continuing to examine ways to make affordable credit, debt advice, and support more widely available”.

Poet-dean to judge Ted Hughes Award entries

THE Dean of Chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, the Revd Mark Oakley, has been selected by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, to be one of the three judges of next year’s Ted Hughes Award, which seeks to recognise excellence in poetry. The other judges are Linton Kwesi Johnson and Clare Shaw. Recommendations are invited from members of The Poetry Society and The Poetry Book Society. The winner receives £5000, funded by the Poet Laureate.

Clarification: in our story “Older ordinands praised” (News, 7 September), we incorrectly gave the Revd Wendy Bray the title of Assistant Curate of All Saints with St John, Clifton. She is in fact the Associate Priest. We apologise for the mistake.

DAVID HONEA decade on: present and former choristers sing at a service to mark ten years since the formation of the Girls’ Choir of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, on Sunday. The choir consists of girls aged between eight at 15, many of whom continue to sing in the mixed-voice College Choir until they are 18

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