Cathedral organist jailed for sexual offences
A FORMER director of music of Rochester Cathedral, William Scott Farrell, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday for a number of sexual offences, including a number against children. He had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16 (relating to three different victims), all committed in the diocese of Ely, where he was assistant organist of Ely Cathedral from 1999 until 2002, and to two counts of voyeurism and one count of taking indecent images of a child, committed in Rochester (News, 31 May). Farrell’s crimes included showing pornography to boys and setting up hidden cameras in bathrooms. Both cathedrals issued statements. The Dean of Rochester, the Very Revd Dr Philip Hesketh, said: “We are truly sorry — there are no excuses for what took place. His abuse is a terrible crime and a grievous breach of trust.” The Dean of Ely, the Very Revd Mark Bonney, expressed “deep sadness and distress at these past events. We feel deeply for the victims, their families, their friends, and all those affected.”
Chester Cathedral seeks to install solar panels
THE Chapter of Chester Cathedral has submitted a planning application to install 206 solar panels on its roof. The planning documents, submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council in May and reported by local media this week, suggest that the panels would be installed on the nave, south transept, and lady chapel in an attempt to cut bills by about £6600 a year. The council had consulted Historic England, who responded in a letter in June that, while the panels would not be visible from the ground owing to the high parapets, it would have expected the application to assess the “potential impact” of the panels from other angles, “but [this] does not appear to have been undertaken”.
Broadcast lobby group reforms its board
THE trustees of the Christian Broadcasting Council have resigned, and a new board has been appointed “to bring the organisation into the 21st century”, it announced last week. In an email to interested parties, the resigning trustees said that, due to “health issues”, the CBC had been unable to do more than make submissions to OFCOM and hold monthly “prayer for media” meetings since its last awards ceremony in 2012. “We are aware that the media landscape has changed significantly and our engagement in this area needs to develop to meet new challenges and opportunities. . . The trustees, after considerable discussion and consideration, believe it is time for the baton to be passed to those who have energy, passion and can commit to take CBC forward into a new season. Such individuals are in place.”
Bishops pledge to fight climate change in seven ways
THE Bishops of Guildford and Dorking, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson and the Rt Revd Jo Bailey Wells, have joined other organisations declaring a “climate emergency” and pledging themselves to follow seven climate-care commitments. They are to: switch to a clean-energy provider; use cars less; cut down on meat; grow fruit and vegetables; reuse plastic bags; use heating sparingly; and give to green charities. The Bishops said: “Transformation is needed in all our lives, and in industries and establishments across the world, to keep the rise in temperature of the planet to less than two degrees Celsius.”