Bishop of Portsmouth to retire
THE Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, is to retire in April 2021, it was announced on Monday. Bishop Foster, who is 67, had delayed his resignation to lead the diocese through the pandemic, a statement said. His wife, Canon Sally Davenport, who is the Team Rector in the Holy Trinity and St Columba Team Ministry, Fareham, also in Portsmouth diocese, will retire at the same time. Bishop Foster was ordained priest in 1981 and was consecrated for the suffragan see of Hertford in 2001, and was translated to Portsmouth in 2010.
Church-plant opens on Penny Lane
A CHURCH plant, St Barnabas’s, Penny Lane, has been opened on the Liverpool street made famous by the Beatles’ song. The project was funded by the Church of England Strategic Development Fund as part of the latest allocation of £24 million earlier this year (News, 10 July). The diocese of Liverpool was awarded £4.6 million. Work to remodel the interior of St Barnabas’s began soon afterwards.
Dean of St Albans to move to Paris
THE Dean of St Albans since 2004, the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, has accepted the post of Associate Chaplain of St George’s, Paris, in the diocese in Europe. He will move there with his partner, the Revd Grant Holmes. He said on Monday: “The prospect of life in Paris and a new ministry in two languages is exciting, and we think a change is important before I retire — but then we intend to come back to St Albans.”
Church Commissioners win IPE investors awards
THE Church Commissioners have been named best Public Pension Fund and best in Impact Investing at the IPE (Investment and Pensions Europe) Conference and Awards 2020. The Commissioners were also highly commended in the categories for European Pension Fund of the Year, and Long-term Investment Strategy.
Ely choristers to sing 1785 anthem by Jane Savage
THE girl choristers of Ely Cathedral (see cover) are to sing what is thought to be the earliest known Church of England anthem composed by a woman: Jane Savage’s “Hymn for Christmas Day”, which was composed in about 1785, set to the words “While shepherds watched their flocks by night”. The anthem was rediscovered this year by a postgraduate student at the University of York, Rachel Webber, who has been researching the musical life of charity hospitals, The Guardian reports. Savage (1752-1824), the daughter of one of Handel’s friends and colleagues, composed drawing-room pieces for keyboard and voice until she married.
Website launched to tackle youth violence
A NEW website, the Synergy Network (SN), which campaigns to end youth violence in the UK and Ireland, was launched this month in partnership with the diocese of Southwark. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said at the launch: “This website will equip church groups across the country to work together in combating serious youth violence. This week we remember the tragic murder of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor, 20 years ago.” Serious youth crime had continued to grow, he said, particularly in south London. The website includes a database that enables anyone to locate more than 100 organisations, projects, and individuals who are tackling youth violence in their area.
Correction: Kate Wood, safeguarding consultant, was not a member of the core group that found against Bishop Bell, as was stated last week (News in Brief, 11 December). She sat on two preliminary meetings in 2014 which focused on a compensation claim. She was not involved in the subsequent core-group meetings, having left her post at Lambeth Palace at the beginning of 2015, and was therefore not part of any decision-making process, including that of public disclosure.