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UK news in brief

21 August 2020


Young Christians launch climate-justice campaign

A GROUP of 25 young Christians from across the UK are calling on the Government to stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels overseas. Their campaign, “Stop Fuelling the Fire”, launched on Tuesday, argues that the increase in funding in recent years is “hypocritical” of the Government. A member of the campaign’s press and parliamentary team, Hannah Abban, said: “Truly loving one another as commanded by Christ means tackling the complicated effects of climate change and the inequalities it is creating head on. Several countries are contributing to global warming; however, we want to make sure the UK is setting an example by doing all within its power to decrease its carbon footprint.” Participants received training from Christian Aid’s Prophetic Activist scheme.


Retreat houses offer discount to NHS staff

THE Association for Promoting Retreats (APR) is offering NHS staff and care workers up to half the cost of retreats at any of its member houses in the UK (to a maximum of £150). Applications for the discount can be made at the time of booking; member houses are listed online at www.promotingretreats.org. The Revd Barry Preece, who chairs the APR’s trustees, explained this week: “It has been a stressful and demanding time for NHS staff and care workers. Most are left physically very tired; many have been rendered mentally and emotionally exhausted. For some, going on retreat could be an important part of their recovery process. We at APR would like to have a hand in helping to facilitate that.”


Public to contribute to Ebor Lectures

THE public are being invited to contribute to the annual Ebor Lectures at York University for the first time, by reflecting on their experience of the pandemic. The theme for the lecture series this year, which will be available online as audio or video recordings, is 2020 Vision: Sharpening our Focus. The outgoing chair of the Ebor Committee, Canon Christopher Collingwood, Chancellor of York Minster, said: “This year we want to make an opportunity for a broader range of people to have their voice heard, to show others their vision.” The Precentor, Canon Victoria Johnson, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support this initiative and share the reflections of the wider community as we navigate this global crisis.” Audio or video lectures, five to ten minutes long, may be emailed to events@yorksj.ac.uk; Zoom web chats can be arranged. Each reflection should offer some theological or philosophical perspective on “public life”’ through the lens of the pandemic. www.eborlectures.org


St Frideswide children’s book wins award

A CHILDREN’s book about St Frideswide, The Princess who Hid in a Tree, won the Gold Medal for Children’s Picture Book in the 2020 Illumination Awards last month. The book, published by the Bodleian Library, was written by Jackie Holderness, the Cathedral Education Officer at Christ Church, Oxford. It is illustrated by Alan Marks. Ms Holderness wrote the story so that families in the diocese could learn about their patron saint (Books, 3 May 2019). She said on Wednesday: “Winning the medal was a huge honour and surprise, as I had no idea that the Bodleian had submitted the book. Its reach has surprised me, with children as far away as Doncaster writing to me about the princess whose story of faith had spoken to them.”

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