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UK news in brief

04 May 2018


Cake case continues: the owners of Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland, Daniel McArthur and his wife, Amy, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast, on Tuesday, to challenge a previous ruling that the bakery had illegally discriminated by refusing to fulfil a customer’s order for a cake bearing the words “Supporting Gay Marriage”. The Supreme Court was told that the couple had been forced to act against their religious beliefs

Cake case continues: the owners of Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland, Daniel McArthur and his wife, Amy, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfas...


Canal and river chaplaincy opens new hub

WATERWAYS CHAPLAINCY, which offers pastoral support to people involved with life on canals and rivers around the UK, has opened a regional “hub” for the South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Southwell and Nottinghamshire regions. Based on the Chesterfield canal, this will help with expanding, supporting, and training its network of volunteer lay and ordained chaplains. Anyone interested in becoming a chaplain, or in inviting a speaker to a church group, is invited to contact the deputy national chaplain, Deborah Nouwen, at deborah.nouwen@workplacematters.org.uk.


Museum buys throne made from York Minster timbers

A MASONIC ceremonial chair fashioned in the 19th century from charred beams recovered after a fire in the belfry of York Minster in 1840 (News, 20 April) has been bought by the Berkshire Library and Museum of Freemasonry, writes Paul Wilkinson. The museum, at Sindlesham, near Reading, paid £4598 for the chair, which was made for Thomas Dundas, a former Whig MP for York and for Richmond, who later became the 2nd Earl of Zetland.


Pandita Ramabai celebrated in Birmingham

THE Indian social reformer Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922) was commemorated at St Paul’s, Hamstead, in Birmingham, last week, in an event hosted by the new network the Asian Women’s Theology Forum, and part-sponsored by the Methodist Church. Born in the Brahmin caste in Maharashtra, she was given the title Pandita, “the learned woman”, by Hindu scholars. She moved to Calcutta after her family died in an epidemic, and then to England, where she was baptised in the Church of England. On her return to Maharashtra, she began a social-care project for widows. Speakers at the event included the Vicar of St Paul’s, the Revd Smitha Prasadam, who takes up her new post as Chaplain in Copenhagen in June. Pandita Ramabai is commemorated in the Common Worship calendar on 28 April.


CHRIS DAYWar wounds: a sculpture that is one of the exhibits in the “Consequence of War”, at Lichfield Cathedral (until 24 June), which explores the immediate aftermath of the First World War and “the quest and failure of the search for peace over the subsequent century”. www.lichfield-cathedral.org/peace/consequence-of-war


Fishermen’s Mission highlights deaths at sea

THE Fishermen’s Mission is selling yellow wellington boots as part of a campaign to raise awareness of those lost at sea while working in the fishing industry in the past ten years. For every pair of boots sold, the charity will tie a yellow ribbon to the flagpole outside its head office in Hampshire. The campaign, “100in10”, hopes to highlight the dangers of working on trawlers, and the impact of deaths on families and communities. The charity’s director of business development, Ali Godfrey, said: “Our vital services and support provides practical, financial, and pastoral help to local fishermen, both active and retired, and their families, as well as a 24/7 emergency response for accidents or illness at sea.” www.fishermensmission.org.uk


Change of name for Three Faiths Forum

THE Three Faiths Forum (3FF) has changed its name to the Faith and Belief Forum. The interfaith group offers training, mentoring, and creative workshops for schools. The change was announced on Wednesday by its director, Phil Champain. “We remain committed to the vision of our founders, to a connected and supportive society where people of different faiths, beliefs, and cultures have strong, productive, and lasting relations,” he said.

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