Teenager dies after fall in St Paul’s
A TEENAGE boy died after falling from the Whispering Gallery in St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday. Emergency services attended the scene but could not save the boy. Police are not treating the death as suspicious. St Paul’s was closed on Monday afternoon, and evensong was not held; but the cathedral reopened on Tuesday.
Marriage-register changes become law
THE Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Act gained Royal Assent last week. It means that couples’ mothers’ names will be entered in marriage registers for the first time since 1837. The Act also provides for the digitising of registers. In a joint statement, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, and the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman, said: “After years of tireless work by politicians, faith leaders, and campaigners, we have finally achieved tangible progress towards the equal treatment of both parents. . . For clergy, the most notable change will be the easier electronic registration which will ease the workload of the celebrant in line with other practices such as in Scotland. The Church will look forward to working with our clergy, parishioners, and the Government to make sure this Act comes into force swiftly and delivers for all.”
Competition authority looks into funerals market
THE Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the funerals sector. In a press release, it expressed concern about “the effectiveness of competition in the funerals sector” and said: “The investigation will focus on the supply of services by funeral directors and the supply of crematoria services.” Its concerns include the rising cost of a funeral; the vulnerability of those who organise funerals; the reluctance of funeral firms to publish a clear pricing structure; and the low number of crematoria in any given area.
Dr John Court, New Testament scholar, dies
THE New Testament scholar Dr John Court, a pupil of C. K. Barrett and long-time Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury, died on Sunday, after a long illness. Dr Court retired from teaching in 2001. He was a Church Times book reviewer for many years, and served as General Editor of Cambridge University Press’s Society for New Testament Studies monograph series during his academic career. Obituary to follow
Essential Christian and SPCK form partnership
THE charities Essential Christian and SPCK announced a new five-year publishing agreement on Monday. It includes the annual Spring Harvest theme book and study guide, and a new daily digital Bible-reading and devotional app.