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UK news in brief

by
20 December 2019

Lichfield Cathedral

French lighting: the interior of Lichfield Cathedral is illuminated with images of stained glass from Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was devastated by a fire in April (News, 18 April). The images are among several to feature in a new light and sound display at Lichfield this Advent. Pictured (left to right) are the artist, Peter Walker; the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Michael Ipgrave; Canon Jérôme Bascoul, from Notre-Dame; the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber; and the composer of the installation music, David Harper. “Cathedral Illuminated: The Beginning” runs until until Saturday. See gallery for more picture stories

French lighting: the interior of Lichfield Cathedral is illuminated with images of stained glass from Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was devastated by a fire in April (News, 18 April). The images are among several to feature in a new light and sound display at Lichfield this Advent. Pictured (left to right) are the artist, Peter Walker; the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Michael Ipgrave; Canon Jérôme Bascoul, from Notre-Dame; the Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber; and the composer of the installation music, David Harper. “Cathedral Illuminated: The Beginning” runs until until Saturday. See gallery for more picture stories

 

Charities oppose merger of DfID and FCO

CHARITIES have called for the Department for International Development to be kept as a separate department, and not to be merged into the Foreign Office. More than 100 charities — including Oxfam, Tearfund, and World Vision — signed a joint statement, published on Monday. It says: “Merging DfID with the FCO would risk dismantling the UK’s leadership on international development and humanitarian aid. It suggests we are turning our backs on the world’s poorest people, as well as some of the greatest global challenges of our time: extreme poverty, climate change, and conflict. UK aid risks becoming a vehicle for UK foreign policy, commercial and political objectives, when it first and foremost should be invested to alleviate poverty.” It has been suggested that the Prime Minister wishes to reduce the number of Whitehall departments by merging them.

Former priest jailed over child-abuse images

CHRISTOPHER GOBLE, a former priest in Coventry, Peterborough, and Worcester dioceses, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for possessing more than 400 indecent images of children. Mr Goble, 44, of Ilmington, Warwickshire, was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday of last week. He has a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years and will be on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, said in a statement: “The crimes committed by Christopher Goble are a betrayal of the standards expected of all clergy and church officers, and we offer an unreserved apology to all those affected — acknowledging that the effects of abuse are lifelong. . . Please join us in praying for everyone who has been affected by this wicked behaviour.”

 

Duke of York resigns as patron of York Minster Fund

THE Duke of York has resigned his patronage of the York Minster Fund, as the fallout from his friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein continues. In a statement, the charity said: “Following his decision to step back from public life, and recognising that the Fund needs an active patron to champion its work, HRH Prince Andrew has decided to resign from this role.”

 

Projects will be aided in memory of Neil Todd

THE Hibiscus Fund, set up in memory of Neil Todd — the Peter Ball victim who took his life in 2012 — was launched by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, last week. It seeks to help worshipping communities to welcome and care for people of all ages in church life and worship. The Bishop said: “I feel immensely sad that Neil is not with us today, and I wanted to do something that paid tribute to his bravery and commend his tenacity and courage and that of other victims and survivors. Neil was a nurse who had a great passion for caring for others, and it was with this in mind that I and diocesan colleagues shaped The Hibiscus Project, named after Neil’s favourite flower. It will support projects that reflect the Church’s commitment to care and welcome rooted in the love and hope of Jesus Christ.”

 

St Andrew’s, Oving, holds carol service for farm workers

A CHURCH in Chichester diocese, St Andrew’s, Oving, held a multilingual carol service last week for Eastern European workers on a farm near by. The farm provided transport to and from the church, and workers from Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania sang carols and lit candles.

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