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UK news in brief

29 March 2019

Michael Rimmer

God’s right hand: 128 people climbed scaffolding in St Agnes’s, Cawston, in Norfolk, this month, to view the six-foot wooden cherubim, as part of a repair project. See gallery for more images of this and other stories

God’s right hand: 128 people climbed scaffolding in St Agnes’s, Cawston, in Norfolk, this month, to view the six-foot wooden cherubim, as part o...


Orkney monk sentenced for sending hate mail

A SELF-STYLED monk has been convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, after he sent a series of messages targeted at the Provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow, the Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, in early 2017. Damon Kelly, 57, was last week sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work after he sent messages to Provost Holdsworth branding gay people as the “devil’s droppings”. One message urged Provost Holdsworth to hang himself. Another read: “A would-be serial killer would in my opinion find useful employment if instead of the usual poor old prostitutes, he were to embark upon the elimination of Anglican clerics.” Speaking following the sentencing, Provost Holdsworth said: “No one should have to face this kind of intimidation. There are no circumstances where it is ever appropriate to send such threatening material through the post. . . At one time, it would have been difficult to get the police to take this kind of thing seriously. Now, that isn’t the case, and I could not speak more highly of the way that Police Scotland have dealt with this case. St Mary’s Cathedral remains an Open, Inclusive and Welcoming congregation which welcomes LGBT people and seeks to build goodwill with other people of faith.”


Salvation Army launches campaign to raise awareness of fraud

THE Salvation Army has launched a campaign to try to raise public vigilance against fraudsters’ targeting elderly people. One in five people falls victim to fraud every year, the Church said. It has produced a series of resources to help churches and community centres across the UK provide support and advice. The campaign will be lead by its Older People’s Ministries team.


Methodist minister becomes member of HFEA

THE Revd Ermal Kirby, Superintendent Minister of the Barking, Dagenham and Ilford Methodist Circuit, has joined the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) as a lay member, it was announced on Monday. He said: “I see this as a unique opportunity to work with colleagues from different backgrounds, and with very different perspectives, to address some of the most complex and sensitive issues of our day. In doing this there is the special challenge of having to consider, not only the views of families and individuals affected by infertility, but also the implications for the wider society. I look forward to contributing to the work of the HFEA as a member.”


Surrey Churches Preservation Trust to hold Easter quiz

THE Surrey Churches Preservation Trust has launched a “Fun Forecasting Quiz” for Easter, in a fund-raising drive. Participants can win up to £500 by taking part here: www.surreychurchespreservationtrust.org. The Trust has raised over £500,000 in 21 years in support of Surrey churches of all denominations.

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