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UK news in brief

23 August 2019


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Cathedral team beats Chelmsford Hindu Society at cricket

A TEAM made up of cricket enthusiasts from Chelmsford Cathedral beat the Chelmsford Hindu Society in a cricket match this week. The interfaith match took place at Willingale Cricket Club, and members of the cathedral’s team included a female chorister and a recent bridegroom. It follows previous matches against Chelmsford Mosque. The two communities use the match, which the cathedral won by three wickets, to come together and socialise.

Ashers cake case referred to European Court of Human Rights

THE case involving the owners of a Northern Irish bakery business, Ashers, who, because of their firmly held religious beliefs and their opposition to gay marriage, had refused to supply a gay customer with a cake to be iced with the words “Support gay marriage”, has been referred to the European Court of Human Rights. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ashers last year (News, 10 October 2018). Laywers instructed by the man who failed to purchase the cake, Gareth Lee, will take his case to the ECHR. Mr Lee argued that the Court “failed to give appropriate weight” to his human rights. In a statement, Mr Lee’s solicitor said that the latest legal bid “does not directly implicate the owners of Ashers bakery or challenge their right to privately hold religious/political views”. Mr Lee’s lawyers, Phoenix Law, will argue that the act of the bakery making the cake was not itself an implication that the pro-gay marriage message on it was supported by the company. Mr Lee’s solicitor said: “We’re concerned the ruling in this case allows any company, its shareholders, or owners, to hold religious or political views, and those views trump the rights of its customers.”

Five new bishop’s champions appointed by charity

THE appointment of five new bishop’s champions to the Chichester Diocesan Association for Family Support Work (FSW) charity has been welcomed by the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner. The champions — Caroline and Jonathan Lucas, Maureen Chowen, Caroline Nicholls, and Denise Patterson — have been appointed to increase awareness of the charity. Dr Warner said last week: “Their willingness to serve in this capacity is an indication of the serious plight that many families are in, and the important work that FSW is doing, at the local level, to improve the quality of life for children and their parents who are in most need.”

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