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UK news in brief

27 November 2020

Diocese of Oxford

The next Bishop of Dorcester, the Ven. Gavin Collins

The next Bishop of Dorcester, the Ven. Gavin Collins

New Area Bishop of Dorchester named

THE next Area Bishop of Dorchester in the diocese of Oxford is to be the Ven. Gavin Collins, Archdeacon of the Meon since 2011, and Warden of Readers in the diocese of Portsmouth, it was announced on Tuesday. He will succeed the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, who retired on 4 October (Gazette, 8 November 2019). Archdeacon Collins studied Law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and worked as a solicitor in the City of London before training for ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. He was ordained priest in 1998, and served his title at St Barnabas’s, Cambridge. He then served as Vicar of Christ Church, Chorleywood, and Rural Dean of Rickmansworth, and was an Hon. Canon of St Albans Cathedral.


Bishop joins National Preparedness Commission

THE Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, has been appointed to a new National Preparedness Commission, which met for the first time last week. The group of 40 members, chaired by Lord Harris of Haringey, is tasked with preparing the nation for “unprecedented shocks” such as the pandemic. Other members include a former Home Secretary, Lord Reid, and a former director-general of MI5, Lord Evans. The commission will also look at threats including flooding, widespread power failure, terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, and chemical, biological, and radiological attacks.


Church in Wales revises safeguarding policy

THE Church in Wales has revised its safeguarding policy in response to recent criticism from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) (News, 9 October). The new policy, which replaces the last one, published four years ago, commits the Church to: recognising the personal dignity and rights of all children and adults; robustly and consistently implementing safeguarding policies; promoting a culture which listens to children and adults at risk; properly recruiting, training, and supporting all those in positions of trust; and ensuring that when concerns are raised, they are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, said that it was a “living document” that would be regularly updated.


York diocese warns against Facebook fraud

AT LEAST one fraudulent Facebook account has been set up in the name of the retired Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, a statement from the diocese of York has warned. It continues: “The account — and it seems probable that there’s more than one — uses photographs readily available from the internet and may appear to be genuine. We understand that Dr Sentamu has never held a personal Facebook account and has no intention of ever opening one. . . Anyone receiving a Facebook ‘friend’ request in the name of John Sentamu should assume that it is also fraudulent.” Earlier this year, churches around York were warned about a confidence trickster posing as Dr Sentamu’s successor (News, 28 August).


Archbishops’ Chaplain to be Bishops’ theology adviser

PREBENDARY Isabelle Hamley is to be seconded for three years from her post as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury to become Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops, it was announced last week. She takes over from Canon Jeremy Worthen, who stood down in October to return to parish ministry, in Canterbury diocese. “Doing theology is a very practical business,” Prebendary Hamley said, “because what we believe profoundly affects what we do and how.”


C of E releases 70 Christmas pieces

THE Church of England media centre is providing 70 Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany hymns, carols, worship songs, organ voluntaries, and children’s music for clergy and church officers to download for free. A Church House spokeswoman said: “We’ve been making five hymns available each week since the beginning of the pandemic, but this is biggest collection we’ve made available. . . We have also made all the words available for download, along with some organ accompaniments for settings where singing is permitted this year.” The music can be found on the website A Church Near You for anyone who has a login to this service. cofe.io/HubHome


With Community appoints Dean and invites members

THE Revd Jutta Brueck has been appointed as Dean of the new With Community, founded at All Hallows’ Convent, Ditchingham, in Norfolk. The community founders won a rent-free lease for the accommodationg after entering a competition held by the Sisters of All Hallows (News, 27 September 2019). The site is being renovated for the new community, which is now asking for its first members. Ms Brueck, who will live on site, spoke of creating “a space for prayer and retreat for young people and Christians working with them”. The director of With, Jamie Cutteridge, said that it had been a long journey, “but we couldn’t be happier with how it’s worked out.”


Correction: When writing our story about the new Church of England Evan­gelical Council video last week (News, 20 November), we used the wrong email address in our attempt to contact the Bishop of Blackburn, for which we apolo­gise. Bishop Henderson writes this week that the film “is to give voice to the current teaching and practice of the Church of England and much of the Anglican Communion, to reveal the wide diversity of people who hold to that teaching, and to encourage confidence for all to engage fully with the Living in Love and Faith discernment process. It is not intended to shut down or derail the conversation, but to say it is a serious one, where the outcome, whatever that discernment may be, might have significant consequences for the whole Church. The CEEC film encourages the Church to engage with the faith uniquely revealed in the holy scriptures, in the way Jan McFarlane [Letters, 20 November] suggests, with ‘grace, humility, and a willingness to learn’.”

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