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UK news in brief

by
26 June 2020

PA

See gallery for more news pictures

See gallery for more news pictures

Bishop North speaks out against ‘white lives’

THE Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, has spoken out after a banner was trailed from an aeroplane over the Etihad Stadium (above) on Tuesday, reading “White Lives Matter Burnley”, during a football match between Burnley and Manchester City. Before this, the players from both teams had “taken the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a statement on Tuesday, Bishop North said: “This is an embarrassment to our town. It is certainly not the Burnley I know and love.”

 

Places of worship feel unsafe, says security firm

IN A SURVEY of 2000 people who attend a place of worship every month, undertaken by the security firm Jacksons Fencing, 87 per cent of respondents said that they felt unsafe in their place of worship; and 74 per cent also said that their place of worship was a target of crime at least once a year. Even though 76 per cent said that they would feel safer with more security measures in place, however, 54 per cent also said that enhanced security made them feel nervous. “Places of worship need to be both safe and welcoming,” the managing director, Peter Jackson, said. “Security has to make worshippers feel safe, provide solace, and not deter those requiring support.”

 

Cass bust removed from St Botolph’s, Aldgate

A BUST of the 17th-century London merchant, slave trader, and educational benefactor Sir John Cass has been removed from St Botolph without Aldgate, in London, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. ST BOTOLPH’S, ALDGATEThis bust of Sir John Cass has been removed because of his slavery connectionsThe removal was carried out on Thursday of last week by the Archdeacon of London, the Ven. Luke Miller, after an emergency vote was held by the PCC. The Sir John Cass Red Coat School, in Stepney, has also decided to change its name, while the London Metropolitan University removed the words “Sir John Cass” from its School of Art and Architecture. The Cass and Claredale Halls of Residence Association also took down a sign on its building bearing Cass’s name. He was also a member of the Commission for Building Fifty Churches in the reign of Queen Anne.

 

Effect of congestion-charge rise on churches feared

CHURCHES in London have said that they face possible closure owing to a 30-per-cent-increase in the congestion charge to £15. It will be enforced each day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., which could have an impact on Sunday worship as well as evening community events. Although the office for the Mayor of London has said that discounts are available, the Revd Jonathan Evens, Assistant Curate of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, told the BBC: “If the numbers attending these gatherings fall to unsustainable levels, then the churches themselves will become unsustainable, closing key heritage buildings and resulting in the loss of significant cultural and community provisions.”

 

Methodists urge five steps against sexual harassment

THE Methodist Church published guidance last week for churches on dealing with sexual harassment. They cover addressing incidents of sexual harassment, supporting victims, and ensuring that worshipping environments feel safe. They encourage churches to follow five steps: Recognise, Respond, Refer, Record, and Reflect. In a short film accompanying the guidelines, the President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, said that the aim was to “initiate a change of mind-set and behaviours to take responsibility away from victims and bring those who harass to task”. www.methodist.org.uk/sexual-harassment

 

Government to analyse Windrush policies

THE Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is using its legal powers to review the Home Office’s compliance with equality law when it implemented immigration measures to create a “hostile environment”. Announcing the review last Friday, the EHRC stated that the policy had had “a serious and damaging effect” on the Windrush generation and their descendants, “with often life-changing consequences”. An independent review concluded in March (News, 20 March). The EHRC is launching its assessment under Section 31 of the Equality Act 2006. The chairman, David Isaac, said: “The law requires that all public bodies must promote inclusivity and opportunity by considering the impact their policies have on ethnic minorities.” The Home Secretary has also launched a cross-government working group to examine challenges faced by the Windrush generation and their descendants. Letter

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