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UK news in brief

08 February 2019


The ‘Stansted 15’ outside Chelmsford Crown Court, after the sentences were heard. See gallery for more picture stories from across the UK

The ‘Stansted 15’ outside Chelmsford Crown Court, after the sentences were heard. See gallery for more picture stories from across the UK

Prison unlikely for ‘Stansted 15’

A GROUP of activists who protested at Stansted airport last year against a chartered night flight that was taking deportees to Nigeria walked free on Wednesday. “The Stansted 15” (pictured below) were found guilty last December (News, 14 December) of breaching the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. At Chelmsford Crown, Judge, Christopher Morgan, said that they had come “perilously close” to causing a catastrophe. Three received nine-month suspended sentences; the rest were given community-service orders. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, who criticised their original conviction, wrote on Twitter that morning: “To Stansted 15 in Chelmsford today awaiting sentencing. I am praying for them and hope that a statement I have written will be read out in the court asking for mercy and leniency.”


Mgr Edwin Barnes dies on 84th birthday

MONSIGNOR Edwin Barnes, who had been the first Bishop of Richborough and one of the original Provincial Episcopal Visitors, died on Wednesday, his 84th birthday. In retirement, he was one of the four Anglican bishops who seceded to the Roman Catholic Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in early 2011; and his wife, Jane, was also received. He was elevated to the rank of monsignor in 2012. Having entered parochial ministry in 1961, he served for several periods on the General Synod, and was Principal of the Anglo-Catholic theological college St Stephen’s House, Oxford, from 1987 to 1995. He retired in 2001.


Death of Archdeacon George Austin

THE former Archdeacon of York, the Ven. George Austin, who in mid-life became a prominent broadcaster and writer on Anglican affairs in a trenchantly traditionalist vein, died on Wednesday of last week, aged 87. Although he often expressed exasperation with the leadership of the C of E, and in particular the General Synod, on which he served, he wrote in The Sunday Times in 1998: “I love the Church of England. I love its eccentricities and eccentrics; I love its ancient prayer-worn churches; I love its liturgies and its music. I could not leave the Church of England, for I have nowhere to go. In any event, I could never deny the reality of the priesthood which I have exercised for more than 40 years.”


New chief executive for CMS

THE Church Mission Society’s next chief executive is to be Alastair Bateman, currently chief operating officer of the Resurgo Trust, a Christian charity working with unemployed young people and social entrepreneurs, it was announced this week. Mr Bateman is a former director of marketing strategy at Tearfund, and has a background in commercial consultancy. He studied economics and politics at Brunel University, and theology at St Mellitus. He succeeds the recently consecrated and installed Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, CMS’s executive leader since 2012. The last lay person to hold the equivalent of this post in CMS was the late general secretary Diana Witts.


Dr Sean Doherty to be Principal of Trinity, Bristol

THE next Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, is to be the Revd Dr Sean Doherty, director of studies and assessment and tutor in ethics at St Mellitus College. He said: “Having trained for ordination residentially myself, I am looking forward to being part of a residential community once again.” He was trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He succeeds the Revd Dr Emma Ineson, who is to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Penrith, in the diocese of Carlisle.


Ethical millennials will change finance, says Primate

MILLENNIALS concerned about climate change and bringing about a shift towards ethical finance will have an “enormous effect” on financial services and financial markets, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. He was speaking on Wednesday at an event in London hosted by BMO Global Asset Management, when a consultation on the draft UK Stewardship Code was published by the Financial Reporting Council. Rising global warming was “not an ethically tolerable idea”, and yet it would be the problem of the next generation in the 22nd century, the Archbishop said. “This is about people we see around us. And I believe this change from avoiding harm to doing good is one that is going to become pervasive across not just what is called responsible investment, but across all investment.”


Magna Carta back on display in Salisbury

THE 1215 Magna Carta, vandalised while at Salisbury Cathedral last year, is back on display, after more than three months in storage. It was attacked by a man armed with a hammer last October. The outer case was badly damaged and needed replacing. An inner case, protecting the document from UV light and high humidity, was undamaged, but small shards of glass had to be removed, the cathedral said in a notice. The attack was “an archivist’s nightmare”, the curator of the Magna Carta exhibition, Emily Naish, said. “I am thankful that both cases did the job they were designed to do, and the document emerged unharmed.”

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