UK news in brief

by
08 November 2019

DIOCESE OF WORCESTER

Archdeacon Gorick. See gallery for more picture stories

Archdeacon Gorick. See gallery for more picture stories

See of Dudley for Archdeacon of Oxford

THE next Suffragan Bishop of Dudley, in Worcester diocese, is to be the Archdeacon of Oxford, the Ven. Martin Gorick, it was announced this week. Archdeacon Gorick, who is also a Residentiary Canon of Christ Church and Oxford diocesan interfaith adviser, has previously served in parishes in Durham, Birmingham, and Coventry, and as Chaplain to the Royal Shakespeare Company. He will be consecrated on 28 January. He succeeds the Rt Revd Graham Usher, who has been translated to Norwich (News, 10 May).

Government considers IICSA’s position-of-trust finding

A RECOMMENDATION from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that priests be included as people in a “position of trust” under sexual-offence laws is being considered by the Government, it was confirmed this week. This would criminalise sexual activity between a priest and a victim aged 16 to 18 “over whom they exercise pastoral authority, involving the abuse of a position of trust”. The Government’s initial response notes that criminal law already provides “a number of protections to deal with non-consensual and unwanted sexual activity and abuse”.

CHURCH OF IRELANDArchdeacon McClayNext Bishop of Down & Dromore elected

THE Archdeacon of Down and Rector of Willowfield Parish Church, in East Belfast, the Ven. David McClay, has been elected as the next Bishop of Down & Dromore, in Northern Ireland. He succeeds the Rt Revd Harold Miller, who has retired. Archdeacon McClay has served all his ordained ministry in the diocese. After confirmation of the election by the House of Bishops, he will be consecrated on a date yet to be confirmed.

Vicar faces CDM tribunal over alleged adultery

THE Vicar of St Barnabas and St James the Great, Walthamstow, Canon Steven Saxby, has “stepped aside” from ministry, the diocese of Chelmsford has said, pending a tribunal under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) concerning allegations of adultery. A spokesman for the diocese said on Wednesday: “Steven Saxby is currently subject to Clergy Discipline Measure proceedings and has stepped aside from his role as Vicar of St Barnabas whilst the investigation continues. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.” Canon Saxby announced last month that he had “formally withdrawn” as the Labour candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster. He has been suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation of a further complaint.

Coventry priest to be sentenced for indecent images

THE Priest-in-Charge of Ilmington and Tredington, in the diocese of Coventry, the Revd Christopher Goble, pleaded guilty last week to downloading more than 400 indecent images of children, 112 of which were deemed to be of the most serious category. He will be sentenced in the week beginning 9 December. A spokesman for the diocese said that Mr Goble had been charged with the offences after being arrested on 1 October. “He was suspended from ministry with immediate effect,” the spokesman said. “We offer an unreserved apology to all those affected by these crimes, acknowledging how difficult and distressing it is.”

Assisted-dying policy may be challenged, court rules

THREE doctors have been granted permission by the High Court to launch legal proceeding against the Royal College of Physicians after it adopted a “neutral” stance on assisted dying (News, 29 March), The Times reports. The College’s survey had found that 43 per cent of respondents opposed a change, 32 per cent wanted reform, and 25 per cent backed a neutral stance. A High Court judge, Elizabeth Cooke, said: “It is difficult not to see an element of irrationality in a body that is regarded as representing its members adopting a position that was the least favourite of the three options given to its members in the poll and where the most favourite option was that the charity should not change its position.”

Jesuits call for safer routes to prevent migrant deaths

A WARNING by the Foreign Affairs Committee that “a policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups” has prompted the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to renew its call for more pathways to asylum for people outside Europe. “Many asylum-seekers we serve have also been forced to make dangerous journeys, because the alternative was certain death if they stayed where they were,” the director of JRS, Sarah Teather, said this week. “This will continue for as long as governments in safe countries cut off routes to reach them.”

Brontë Museum seeks to secure miniature book

THE Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth, in West Yorkshire, is trying to raise funds to buy a “little book”, The Young Men’s Magazine, written by Charlotte Brontë in 1830, when she was 14. It measures 35 by 61mm, and was bought at auction by a private bidder in 2011, but is now for sale again. It is expected to sell for at least £650,000 when it is auctioned in Paris on 18 November. The Museum already owns the other four existing books in the series.

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