Former Vice-Principal in dispute
THE Revd Dr James Lawson is contesting his dismissal as Vice-Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, it emerged this week. It is understood that Dr Lawson had been dismissed in May over the handling of an ordinand’s disclosure of non-recent sexual abuse. The diocese is currently looking into the matter, and an employment dispute between St Stephen’s House and Dr Lawson has yet to be resolved.
Two dioceses declare climate emergency
A CLIMATE emergency was declared by the dioceses of Bristol and Salisbury, after votes at their diocesan synods this week. Other dioceses are expected to debate similar motions in the coming months. The diocese of Bristol now aims at reaching reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Church of England’s national goal is a reduction in its energy use and carbon footprint by 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, but the Environmental Working Group, chaired by the Bishop of Salisbury, plans to bring a motion to the General Synod next year proposing revised targets including net zero emissions by 2050.
Priest prohibited for life for affair with vulnerable woman
THE Revd Keith Hanson, formerly Mission Development Team Vicar in the Maltby Team Ministry, and of Thurcroft, Sheffield, has been prohibited for life from exercising ministry after a bishop’s disciplinary tribunal found him guilty of conduct unbecoming a clerk in Holy Orders, and lacking in remorse. It concluded last month that, in 2017, he had had an adulterous relationship with a vulnerable woman with a history of mental illness, of which he was aware, and that he had sent her “indecent and sexually explicit” messages. The woman was accompanied to the hearing by her mental-health nurse. Mr Hanson told the tribunal that he was mentally unwell and did not attend the hearing.
Mental-health support launched for teenage boys
A MENTAL-HEALTH toolkit for boys aged 13 to 16 has been launched by the Salvation Army and Youthscape. Upbeat is a six-session course featuring videos of artists talking about their own struggles, and the music that has helped them with their well-being. They include the rapper Guvna B, ex-Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, and singer-songwriter Steph Macleod. The course is designed to be used boys of all faiths and none, and has optional spiritual reflections.
Liverpool firms back charter for homeless people
SEVEN businesses in Liverpool are backing the Liverpool City Region Homelessness Business Charter, launched on Wednesday at Liverpool Parish Church. A partnership between the church and the Community Foundation for Merseyside, the charter states that signatories must designate an employee a homeless ambassador and provide support through funding, sponsorship, the offer of training and job opportunities, volunteering, or lobbying for better housing. The aim is to recruit 200 signatories by 2021. According to the Office for National Statistics, 62 homeless people died in Merseyside between 2012 and 2017.
Correction. Ronnie Hill, a victim of the IRA bombing in Enniskillen in 1987, did not die after one year, as was reported (News, 15 November), but after being in a coma for 13 years.