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UK news in brief

13 December 2019

Click on the gallery (below) to view Christmas picture stories from across the UK

BBC/ITV Studios/Rachel Joseph

Fingers on buzzers: the Archdeacon of Leeds, the Ven. Paul Ayers (far right), is to appear in a celebrity Christmas special of the BBC’s University Challenge on 30 December. He will compete for St Peter’s, Oxford, where he studied theology, alongside other alumni: Gordon Corera, BBC Security Correspondent; Felicity Cloake, food writer and Guardian columnist; and Afua Hirsch, human-rights lawyer and author. “It’s a lot harder than it looks, and it looks really hard,” the Archdeacon said. SEE GALLERY FOR MORE CHRISTMAS PICTURE STORIES

Fingers on buzzers: the Archdeacon of Leeds, the Ven. Paul Ayers (far right), is to appear in a celebrity Christmas special of the BBC’s University Ch...


Oil firms abuse human rights, says Dr Sentamu

OIL companies in the Niger Delta are “callously flouting fundamental human rights” by spilling gallons of oil, despite having endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has said. In an article in The Guardian on Tuesday about his chairing of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission, Dr Sentamu writes: “I have had first-hand experience of the chronic damage being inflicted on the people of Bayelsa State and their environment. Colossal oil spillage across the land has contaminated the air they breathe, the water they drink and fish in, and the food they grow. As many as ten million gallons of oil may have been spilled over the last fifty years. . . Bayelsa produces approximately one-third of Nigeria’s oil wealth, but its two million people are some of the poorest in the country.” He concludes: “Repentance, reparation and remedy for damage done for decades is long overdue.”



C of E environmental post filled from Christian Aid

THE next National Environment Officer for the Church of England is to be Jo Chamberlain, currently deputy manager for England Eastside at Christian Aid. She was appointed by the C of E’s Mission and Public Affairs team on Tuesday, and will start in February. “I hope to inspire all parts of the Church of England to take up their calling to care for God’s creation,” she said. Ms Chamberlain will work with the C of E’s Environment Consultant, David Shreeve, the Cathedrals and Church Buildings team, and the new Open and Sustainable Churches officer, Catherine Ross.



‘Alternative to Netflix’ extended to UK

AN ONLINE Christian streaming service, New Faith Network, which started in the Netherlands in 2017, is now available in the UK. More than 90 Christian films are available. A monthly subscription is £4.99. The network — marketed as “the Christian alternative to Netflix and Amazon Prime” — says that these two popular streaming services show only “a handful” of Christian films. The editor-in-chief of New Faith Network, Machiel Copier, said: “We see a great need for a Christian niche channel in the UK. Christian entertainment is scattered and difficult to find.”

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