Lay biblical scholar to be Chancellor of St Paul’s
DR PAULA GOODER has been appointed as the next Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral. A New Testament scholar and Reader, she was until last year Director of Mission Learning and Development in Birmingham diocese, and previously the Bible Society’s Theologian-in-Residence. The Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, described the appointment as “ground-breaking”. The post has not been held by a lay person before. Her licensing will be on 23 February.
Bishop of Rochester home after cancer surgery
THE Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, has returned home after receiving surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. In a letter to the diocese, the Bishop wrote: “My wife Bridget and I have already been hugely grateful for the prayerful and human support received from those who have already been aware of my situation. I am also grateful for the skill and care of those at Medway Maritime Hospital who have been conducting the investigations. Your continuing prayers will be much appreciated through these coming weeks.” He is expected to be off work until mid-March.
Faith leaders to be offered community training
RELIGIOUS leaders are to be offered training to support them in community leadership, the Faith Minister, Lord Bourne, announced last week. The Faith Leader Training programme would “empower faith leaders with the confidence and knowledge to meet the changing needs of their congregations”, he said. “It is the first step as we follow our commitment in the Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper to support and listen to our faith communities.”
Chaplains’ LGBTI pastoral care to be studied
RESEARCHERS at York St John University are to look into how chaplains support LGBTI students and staff. A two-year project, funded by the Church Universities Fund, will focus on church universities. Canon Rachel Mann and the Revd Dr Christina Beardsley are participating. The university’s director of theology and religious studies, Dr Esther McIntosh, said that chaplains were well-placed to offer support and likely to have substantial experience of doing so. “We want to identify and highlight best practice, because the chaplaincy presence on campus may be particularly important for LGBTI people of faith if they are unsure about how they fit in at church or within their faith community.”
ACO’s communications director moves on
THE Anglican Communion Office’s communications director for the past three years, Adrian Butcher, is to leave, it was announced last week. “It’s been an interesting and challenging time and I believe considerable progress has been made,” he said.
Ecclesiastical extends Trust 130 Campaign
ECCLESIASTICAL, the specialist insurance company, is to extend its Trust 130 Campaign, after churches received almost £250,000 under the scheme. For every home-insurance policy sold, it donated £130 to a church of the customer’s choice, to mark its 130th year. More than 1300 churches have received Trust 130 grants, and almost 1900 donations have been made.
Leader appointed for Missional Youth Church Network
THE Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has appointed Andy Milne, who runs the Bradford Centre of Mission with his wife, Tracy, to lead a new Missional Youth Church Network (MYCN), beginning in the Northern Province. In partnership with the Church Army and the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, it seeks to establish at least 30 “missional youth churches” over the next five years, with a focus on 11- to 18-year-olds. Dr Sentamu said that during his diocesan pilgrimage he had met many young people who were “not keen on attending church”, but for whom the love of God and knowing about Jesus constituted “a live issue”.
On the Origin of Species a closed book to many
A SURVEY commissioned by Puffin Books to mark Darwin Day suggests that 50 per cent of the population are “certain” that evolution is true. In a poll of 1500 people, 31 per cent did not believe in it, and 12 per cent believed in creationism. Twenty-nine per cent were unaware that Charles Darwin was famous for his theory of evolution.