*** DEBUG END ***

UK news in brief

11 September 2020


Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral seventh in historical top ten

DURHAM CATHEDRAL has been voted among the top ten historical attractions in Britain in a survey conducted by the consumer magazine Which? In seventh place, the cathedral was the highest-scoring free attraction in the survey. Visitors also gave it five stars for lack of crowds. The Royal Yacht Britannia, which sailed to 144 countries during 44 years of royal service, was voted number one. It was given a five-star rating for food and drink, information, and value for money. The runner-up was Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, in North Yorkshire — the largest monastic ruins in the country. Other historical places in the top ten included the Palace of Westminster, Dover Castle, and Titanic Belfast.

Glitches halt Church in Wales’s meeting

THE online meeting of the Church in Wales’s Governing Body, which began on Wednesday, has been halted and adjourned owing to technical issues. Votes taken during the first session were declared invalid. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, apologised to the 144 members. He hoped that they could reconvene online later this year, possibly in November. The adjournment was not a decision taken lightly, he said, “but we feel we cannot continue until the technical problems have been solved by our provider.” In his presidential address at the start of the day, the Archbishop had spoken of the unexpected opportunities offered by embracing digital ministry.


Lincoln Cathedral launches emergency appeal

THE Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral have launched an urgent fund-raising appeal to secure the future of the cathedral as a place of worship and a visitor attraction in the wake of Covid-19. Last week, it announced a consultation period concerning the closure of the Refectory café and restaurant and subsequent loss of jobs due to the financial impact of the pandemic (News, 4 September). Between 1 April and 31 July, the cathedral lost £768,972 in income from visitor admissions, events, donations, and commercial activity in the shop and refectory. The recovery appeal — “Provide, Protect, Preserve” — has a target of £1.5 million to stabilise the cathedral’s finances. The Dean, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, said on Wednesday: “This recovery appeal will ensure that we can provide a sacred space for worship, welcome, hospitality and spiritual nurture. . . It will also help us to protect Lincoln Cathedral’s tradition of choral and musical excellence . . . [and] allow us to preserve the precious built heritage we have in the Cathedral, and the craftspeople, and professionals whose passion and skill we rely on to sustain the building.” lincolncathedral.com/recovery-appeal


Cass primary school drops founder’s name

SIR JOHN CASS’s Foundation Primary School in the City of London is to change its name to The Aldgate School, because Cass, its 17th-century benefactor, a London merchant, was involved in the slave trade. The school announced last week that it would be changing its name in time for the new school year. The City of London Corporation launched a consultation to review landmarks with historic links to racism and slavery. In June, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, the Sir John Cass Red Coat School, in Stepney, also decided to change its name; the London Metropolitan University removed the words “Sir John Cass” from its School of Art and Architecture; and a bust of Sir John Cass was removed from St Botolph without Aldgate (News, 26 June).



Spring Harvest planned for Easter 2021

THE organisers of the Christian teaching and worship holiday Spring Harvest have announced that the 2021 event will be held on site and online. The 2020 event, due to take place in March, was moved online owing to the coronavirus lockdown (News, 27 March). More than 1.4 million people took part online, and £1.5 million in donations was received, enabling organisers to plan for 2021. Anyone who books a ticket will be eligible for a Covid protection guarantee. Phil Loose, the newly appointed chief executive of Essential Christian — the charity that oversees Spring Harvest — said on Wednesday: “The investment from those committed individuals has meant we can continue as a ministry and plan for the coming year. While the coronavirus pandemic has clearly had a huge impact, we are hoping, praying and planning to be back over Easter in 2021.”


Bournemouth church distributes food packages

TEN churches in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole have joined forces to put together 41 food and toiletry packages a week for former rough-sleepers and vulnerable communities in the area. Each package of essential items is distributed from what is known as the Storehouse in St John’s, Bournemouth (pictured). The project is being delivered in partnership with Faithworks, a Christian charity that provides food, finance, or accommodation for people in crisis. Before the pandemic, Faithworks had been using the Storehouse as a hub for rehabilitating rough-sleepers. At St Michael’s, the sister church of St John’s, a “Carpenter’s Workshop” has been running as part of Faithworks’ rehabilitation programme. The Vicar, the Revd Sarah Yetman, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how we’ve been able to play our small part by being generous with our facilities and seeing the results bringing hope to those in desperate need in our community.”


Sunderland organ’s removal set to be permanent

SUNDERLAND City Council has backed a move by the Churches Conservation Trust to remove the pipe organ of Holy Trinity, Sunderland, permanently to free up space as part of a £4.3-million restoration project. The organ, thought to have been installed in 1936, was temporarily removed when work to transform the church into a new venue for culture, heritage, and learning started on site in August 2019 — the same year as Holy Trinity’s tercentenary. The organ could be relocated to a church in Germany, the BBC reports. Plans to remove it were first submitted in 2018 but were put on hold after 650 objections were lodged, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available



Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)