Mite the cat, from an accounts book at Beaulieu Abbey dated 1270Hampshire cat may be UK’s first recorded pet
A DRAWING from an accounts book at Beaulieu Abbey, in Hampshire, is thought to depict the earliest named domesticated animal recorded in the UK. The image, featured in the book The Animal’s Companion: People and their pets, a 26,000-Year-Old love Story by the organisation FirstVet and the animal historian Jacky Colliss Harvey, is from about 1270, and shows a cat named Mite.
St Paul’s Cathedral plotter jailed for life
THE woman who plotted a bomb attack on St Paul’s Cathedral, Safiyya Shaikh, aged 37, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years. Ms Shaikh, a Muslim convert since 2007, born Michelle Ramsden, was charged with preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications in October (News, 28 October 2019), and found guilty in February of plotting to bomb the building during a Christmas or Easter service. She was foiled in her attempts by an undercover police operation (News, 28 February).
Bishop and rabbi pledge support for trans people
THE Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, and the Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, released a joint statement last week declaring their support for trans people and condemning “derogatory” terms used to describe them. “Our faith compels us to speak up for those on the margins, those whom others would seek to silence or misrepresent. We believe that the time is long overdue for a softening of the rhetoric in this area of our common life, so that trans people may indeed be seen as people, people who long to live their lives without prejudice or fear.”
September deadline for sabbatical awards
ECCLESIASTICAL INSURANCE has launched its annual Ministry Bursary Awards scheme, which seeks to offer financial support to clergy taking sabbaticals for “soulful rest and refreshment”. The awards are open to individual clergy within the Anglican Churches in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. All clergy must have been ordained for at least ten years, and not taken a sabbatical in the previous seven years before applying. All applicants for a 2021 bursary award are required to complete the application forms by 30 September. Judging of the entries will take place in November, and the awards will be made in December. The forms can be downloaded at www.ecclesiastical.com
Blackburn and Mottingham housing plans supported
BLACKBURN CATHEDRAL and St Edward the Confessor, Mottingham, which is in south-east London, are to be offered specialist support from the housing consultancy LivShare as part of plans to use their land and buildings to provide homes for people priced out of the housing market. They were among winners of the Innovative Built Solutions competition run by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Housing, Church and Community, and funded by the Allchurches Trust.
Charity raises £5 million during lockdown
THE Christian philanthropy charity Stewardship raised nearly £5 million to be distributed to 88 churches and charities across the UK, responding to people and communities in need during the Covid-19 outbreak. Grants of between £10,000 and £250,000 have been made to charities that demonstrate the ability to deliver an “immediate impact” on groups such as those with BAME backgrounds, victims of domestic violence, ex-offenders, and those with addiction problems.
New Preacher for the Charterhouse
THE Charterhouse, the almshouse and former medieval monastery, in London, has appointed as its new Preacher Canon Ann Clarke, aged 74, previously an Associate Priest in Wanstead, in Chelmsford diocese. The position, which dates back to 1611, involves pastoral care for the residents, known as Brothers, and their community, and development of the Charterhouse’s outreach in Islington and the City (Features 13 January 2017).
Bishop Platten to be Stationers’ Master
THE Stationers’ Company has appointed the first Master in its history to be both a priest and an alumnus of the Stationers’ Company’s School. He is the Rt Revd Stephen Platten, a former Bishop of Wakefield who joined the livery company in 2005. His post will include recruiting more international members, and overseeing the refurbishment of the Stationers’ Company’s main hall.