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UK news in brief

12 June 2020


Dr Stuart at the A Rocha forum, in Portugal, in 2018

Dr Stuart at the A Rocha forum, in Portugal, in 2018

Anglican scientist wins Blue Planet Prize

A FORMER trustee of the Christian foundation A Rocha International, Dr Simon Stuart, has been announced as a joint winner of the 2020 Blue Planet Prize, alongside Professor David Tilman of the Universities of Minnesota and California. The winners receive 50 million Japanese yen (about £365,000). The prize was established by the Asahi Glass Foundation 29 years ago to recognise significant contributions to the resolution of global environmental issues. Dr Stuart was rewarded for his work developing the categories and quantitative criteria for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and his contribution to the expansion of the number of species assessed. Dr Stuart, who worships at Holy Trinity, Combe Down, south of Bath, said: “It’s an even greater privilege when my passion is also a major part of my Christian calling.”


Bells of 100 churches to toll for Grenfell dead

THE bells of more than 100 churches are to be tolled 72 times at 6 p.m. on Sunday for the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, in memory of the 72 people who died (News, 16 June 2017). St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Southwark Cathedral are among them. The Area Bishop of Kensington, Dr Graham Tomlin, who organised the act of remembrance, said said on Tuesday: “The fact that more than 100 churches are now involved is a welcome reminder of how significant the feeling of grief is, and of the depth of support in local communities for the families and friends of the 72 victims, who still mourn for their loved ones and seek justice. . . I invite as many churches as possible to join in ringing their bells, and those who listen to join in the silence that follows to remember this tragedy that affected our national life so deeply.” Grenfell United, the bereaved families and survivors group, said: “It means a lot to our families and the community. . . Thank you to all faith communities across the country that stand with our community in North Kensington to pay respect and show that 72 lives are for ever in our hearts.”



Historic England tops up emergency fund

HISTORIC ENGLAND has announced a second emergency fund of £3 million to support the recovery of the heritage sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic (News, 24 April). Grants of up to £25,000 will be awarded to tackle urgent problems at historic buildings and sites that are normally visited by the public, so that they can reopen as quickly as possible, subject to current restrictions. Applications might include damaged roofs, masonry, and windows, the hiring of scaffolding to prevent structural collapse, or the commissioning of surveys to inform urgent repairs. The chief executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said: “This emergency fund aims to generate new work for those professionals and small businesses most vulnerable within the heritage sector as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, at the same time protecting significant historic sites where our support is most needed.” To apply, visit historicengland.org.uk/covid-19-fund.

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