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UK news in brief

13 March 2020

The Rt Revd John McDowell. See gallery for more UK picture stories

The Rt Revd John McDowell. See gallery for more UK picture stories

Bishop of Clogher elected Primate of All Ireland

THE next Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland will be the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, it was announced late on Wednesday afternoon. Ordained priest in 1997, he served in Connor and Down & Dromore dioceses, before his consecration, for Clogher, in 2011. He chairs the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue. In an open letter to the Prime Minister last July, he warned of the con­sequences of a no-deal Brexit, and noted that “any big change which has an impact on the border is unavoidably complicated and inevitably charged with emotional and symbolic significance” (News, 6 September 2019). After his translation on 28 April, he will succeed Dr Richard Clarke, who retired on 2 February.


Tottenham poverty champion dies

THE Revd Paul Nicolson, a stalwart anti-poverty campaigner, died on Thursday of last week, aged 87. He had been planning to protest against homelessness outside 10 Downing Street on the previous day, after a similar demonstration at the General Synod last month. A regular contributor to the Church Times letters pages, his campaigns included a long-running protest against Haringey Council’s treatment of low-income residents who did not pay their council tax, arguing that they were unable to do so. He began refusing to pay his own bill in 2013 as an act of civil disobedience, prompting a High Court battle (News, 10 October 2014). Ordained priest in 1968, he retired in 1999, having served in the Hambleden Valley Benefice, in Oxford diocese for 17 years. Details of his funeral at St Paul’s, Tottenham, are to be announced. Obituary to follow.


Dean of St Mellitus to be next Bishop of Sherwood

THE next Suffragan Bishop of Sherwood in Southwell & Nottingham diocese will be the Revd Dr Andrew Emerton, Dean of St Mellitus College, it was announced on Wednesday. Ordained priest in 2006, Dr Emerton served his title at Holy Trinity, Brompton, before joining St Mellitus, the theological-education institution founded by the Bishops of London and Chelmsford in 2007, which merged North Thames Ministerial Training Course and St Paul’s Theological Centre (which grew out of Holy Trinity, Brompton). Dr Emerton has been its director since 2008. He trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and has a background in scientific consultancy and youth ministry. His consecration will take place on 21 May in York Minster.


Medieval font discovered in Chippenham

A 16TH-CENTURY font has been unearthed at St Andrew’s, Chippen­ham, during construction work in the churchyard. The Vicar, the Revd Rod Key, told the BBC: “It was replaced by the Victorians, when they redid the church a couple of hundred years ago. . . It will be up to the church authorities to decide what is done, but temporarily it can be on show and in the end it may well have to be put back in the ground.”


Children’s Society highlights school-uniform costs

THE cost of school uniforms is rising because two-thirds of parents with children in secondary school and more than half (52 per cent) of primary-school parents have to buy at least two items from a specific shop, the Children’s Society reported this week, after surveying 1000 parents. Parents reported spending, on average, about £337 on secondary-school uniform each year; primary-school parents paid as much as £315. One in five (23 per cent) of the low-income families in the cohort said that they had had to cut back on food and other essentials to meet the costs. The Shadow Minister for Employment, Mike Amesbury, was due today to present a Bill in the House of Commons which would compel the Secretary of State for Education to issue guidance to schools “about the costs aspects of school-uniform policies”.

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