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UK news in brief

18 April 2019

© Harvey Mills 2019

The Bishop-elect of Southampton, Canon Debbie Sellin, with the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin. See gallery for more picture stories from around the UK

The Bishop-elect of Southampton, Canon Debbie Sellin, with the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin. See gallery for more picture stories from ...

New Suffragan Bishop of Southampton

CANON Deborah Sellin will be the next Bishop of Southampton, a suffragan in Winchester diocese, it was announced this week. Canon Sellin is the Vicar of Wonersh with Blackheath in Guildford diocese, and Area Dean of Cranleigh. She is an Hon. Canon of Guildford Cathedral. Canon Sellin was ordained in 2007 after working as a family-and-children’s worker in a parish in Guildford, and as a manager in the NHS. She said on Tuesday: “It is a real joy to have the opportunity to support the many churches, parish communities and schools in their work to spread the Christian message.” The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, said: “Debbie has particular experience both of working with young people and of outreach to groups which may not have previously engaged with the Christian Church.” Canon Sellin will be consecrated in July.


Interim directors for troubled Academy Trust

THE Leicester Diocesan Board of Education has appointed interim directors to the Diocese of Leicester Academy Trust (DLAT), after an outcry over the proposed redundancy of a head teacher of Swinford Church Primary School (News, 12 April). DLAT’s non-executive directors resigned last week after meeting the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow. Leicester DBE’s director, Canon Carolyn Lewis, said last week: “Our diocesan board of Education is committed to keeping our small schools open, serving their local communities through the model of academy trusts which continue to show success in improving pupil outcomes among other measures. This interim DLAT leadership will be able to act effectively and swiftly, prioritising the best interests of all the trust’s 14 schools, and making every effort to listen to the views of all of their communities in order to inform their decisions.”


Bishop Richard Inwood dies, aged 73,

A FORMER suffragan Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, died on Palm Sunday, aged 73. Bishop Inwood was an honorary assistant bishop in Derby diocese. He was ordained in 1974 and served his curacy in Sheffield diocese. He held posts in London, Bath, and Yeovil, and was a Prebendary of Wells Cathedral. He was made Archdeacon of Halifax in 1995, and served as Bishop of Bedford from 2003-12. After retirement, he served for a time as Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham. The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “He will be fondly remembered for his infectious faith, pastoral care and practical wisdom — as well as his abiding love of steam trains. Richard never forgot his formative roots as a parish priest, and gave the highest priority to visiting the churches and schools in Bedfordshire. . . We pray for Liz and his family as they give thanks for his life and witness and as they grieve his loss.”


Evangelical Alliance director to step down

THE Evangelical Alliance (EA) announced last week that Steve Clifford, its general director, will leave his post at the end of 2019. Mr Clifford has been director since 2009. He said: “For the past ten years, it has been an honour and privilege to work alongside an amazing team of people within the Evangelical Alliance’s staff, board and council, as well as so many leaders from across the wide traditions of the Evangelical world.” He said that his years in office had “not been without their times of challenge”. Mr Clifford helped to foster unity between different ethnic Christian groups. He created the South Asian Forum within the EA to support engagement with Christians from that minority group in 2010, and formed the One People Commission together with senior leaders of churches in ethnic-minority communities. In 2014, the EA ejected Oasis from its movement after its founder, Steve Chalke, came out in support of same-sex relationships. The EA has also restructured and moved headquarters in the past decade.


Rural-ministry post created in Leicester diocese

A NEW post to “help ministry and discipleship flourish in the rural Church” has been created in Leicester diocese. The Diocesan and Benefice Enabler has been created in partnership with the Benefice of Bosworth, and will be rooted in the rural Church in and around Market Bosworth. The postholder will also spend one third of the time supporting rural ministry elsewhere. The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said: “We look forward to appointing someone who will engage with our rural churches, helping them work alongside their communities, and helping people to learn and grow in faith and discipleship.”

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