Dr Smith condemns gambling in video games
LOOT boxes in video games are de facto gambling, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has said. Writing in The Daily Telegraph last week, Dr Smith said: “Without realising the implications, many parents have allowed children to play online games despite some including de facto forms of gambling.” Loot boxes are in-game purchases with randomised contents, which Dr Smith argued means “some games are designed to give the same adrenalin rush as online gambling.” He continued: “That is why Parliament must follow precautionary principles and take action. Warning labels and informing parents that the games include gambling is a good first step, but it is no silver bullet.”
Bethany survivors lobby for state and church apologies
TWO SURVIVORS of the Protestant-run Bethany home, in Dublin, which catered for unwed mothers and their babies between 1922 and 1949 (News, 13 July 2017), have called for an apology from the Republic of Ireland and the Church of Ireland. James Fenning and Paul Graham said that the Irish Government had “discriminated” against them as Protestants, as they had not received redress for their treatment. Mr Fenning said that the Church of Ireland denies all responsibility. Bethany was run by a board of Evangelicals who included clergy of the Church of Ireland, and Methodists and Presbyterians.
North Yorkshire church seeks partners
ST HILDA’s, Liverton Mines, is attempting to raise funds to replace its current 1920s prefabricated building, so that it can continue to serve as a multi-use facility for the community. The current building was condemned as beyond repair in 2017, and groups have been meeting in the Community Hall, which is considered not fit for its purpose. The church is seeking to raise £440,000.
Methodist Insurance launches Church Volunteer Awards
THE company Methodist Insurance has launched a new volunteer awards scheme to celebrate the work that people do in their free time. Open to all Methodist churches in the UK, each church can nominate a volunteer, or group of volunteers, with a top prize of £2000 for their church. Eleven regional winners will each be awarded £1000. www.methodistinsurance.co.uk/volunteerawards
Young organist launches The Organ Manual
A YOUNG organist, Anna Hallett, has launched an online resource for “all things organ”: The Organ Manual. It is the follow-up to Miss Hallett’s report on the use of the instrument (News, 15 March). She hopes that the website will become the “go-to” reference site for anyone seeking information relating to the organ. www.theorganmanual.com