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UK news in brief

29 November 2019

Sisters of Bethany

The Sisters of Bethany. See gallery for more UK picture stories

The Sisters of Bethany. See gallery for more UK picture stories

New Reverend Mother for Sisters of Bethany

MOTHER Mary Joy SSB has been installed as Reverend Mother of the Society of the Sisters of Bethany by their Visitor, the retired Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, during a sung mass at Bethany House, Southsea, in Hampshire, on 6 November. Representatives of Anglican and other Churches were present, including members of the Indian Orthodox Church, as well as Associates and Oblates representing the various activities of the Community, and Sisters and Brothers from other Anglican religious communities. Mother Mary Joy’s term of office will be five years.


Foodbank use rose last December, says Trussell Trust

ONCE again, December was the busiest month for foodbanks last year, the Trussell Trust reports. Its network provided 186,185 three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis that month, 78,536 of which went to children. Earlier this year, the charity published figures for the period April to September 2019, which suggested that there had already been a 23-per-cent rise in the number of food parcels being provided in comparison with the same period in 2018. It has urged the public to donate to a foodbank as soon as possible to help meet the need over the Christmas period. The chief executive of the Trust said: “Our next government must start working towards a future where no one needs a foodbank.”


New survey marks Christingle season

MORE than half the 2755 UK adults surveyed by the Children’s Society this month had never heard of a Christingle service, or did not know what it was. But almost 90 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that helping people in difficulty during the Christmas period was important. The survey marked the start of the charity’s Christingle season. The service was first introduced to the Church of England in 1968 to raise funds for its work with children and young people. The survey suggested that fudge was the confectionery of choice when making the Christingles: fruit pastilles and jelly babies came second and third. www.childrenssociety.org.uk


Scholarship offered to Gloucester girl choristers

THE King’s School, Gloucester, and Gloucester Cathedral are to offer choral scholarships to girls for the first time. For 478 years, boy choristers have been educated exclusively at King’s: each pupil received a choral scholarship towards their school fees. The girl choristers were established in 2016, singing weekly at evensong and other services throughout the year. King’s has been co-educational for 50 years. From 2021, all 16 girl choristers will be offered a choral scholarship by the school and the cathedral, and chorister duties will be shared equally between boys and girls. The cathedral’s director of music, Adrian Partington, had previously said that “it would cost tens of thousands of pounds for all 20 girl choristers to get their fees paid at King’s” (News, 17 November 2017).

Gloucester CathedralGloucester Cathedral boys and girls choristers earlier this year

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