CMEAC and Archbishops’ National Adviser named
THE next National Adviser to the Committee for Minority-Ethnic Anglican Concerns is to be Dr Sanjee Perera, who will also act as Adviser to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in this area, it was announced this week. Dr Perera, who is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations at Coventry University, and a research associate with the Open University School of Law, takes over from Dr Elizabeth Henry, who retired this year after seven years in post. The Archbishops set up a new Anti-Racism Taskforce in October (News, 16 October). Dr Perera said: “This calling has long pursued me over the decades in my work in voluntary, advisory, and service capacities across a number of Church of England and wider Anglican Communion contexts.”
Bishop Hancock in hospital for cancer treatment
THE Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, is in hospital undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia. He was diagnosed in July and stepped back from his duties in August (News, 14 August). He posted on Twitter from the hospital on Monday: “Advent has started. I’m not allowed candles in hospital but will enjoy the chocolate. Watching. Waiting. Praying.” And later: “Out of my hospital window I can see the helipad. Thanking God for our air ambulances and those who fly and service them.” The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, responded: “God bless you and give you his healing in Jesus, Peter. You are so much in our thoughts and prayers. We are with you as we wait in faith and hope and love.” The Suffragan Bishop of Taunton, the Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, is covering his duties.
Victorian church to be restored to help homeless
PLANNING permission has been sought from Portsmouth City Council to restore the Grade II* listed church, St Agatha’s, Landport, to match its original design and to provide a new community centre to support homeless people. The Lady chapel, demolished in the 1960s, is to be rebuilt, and a north aisle added to house a community centre and kitchen. The south aisle is to be extended. The plans were submitted by St Agatha’s Trust, which will raise the funds once permission has been granted. A trustee, Clive Elvin, told the BBC: “It was always meant to be a symmetrical building. Now we have got the opportunity to complete the original plan.” Before the pandemic, the church served hot meals to about 40 rough-sleepers a week. The church is widely known for its historic association with the Victorian priest Robert Dolling and his ministry “in a Portsmouth slum”.
Vicar deprived of his post for adultery
THE Revd Steven Saxby has been removed from his post as Vicar of St Barnabas’s, Walthamstow, in east London, for conduct unbecoming, after a process under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM). He was selected as a Labour candidate before the last election but stood down when he was accused of sexual harassment (News, 8 November 2019). He said at the time that it was “a complaint I strongly refute”. Last March, his wife, Christine, told the media that her husband had had several affairs over several years. A spokesperson from the diocese of Chelmsford said this week: “Steven Saxby has been removed from his post as Vicar of St Barnabas, Walthamstow, by the Acting Bishop of Chelmsford for conduct unbecoming of a priest in relation to adultery, following a process under the Clergy Discipline Measure. He no longer holds office in the Diocese of Chelmsford. We hold everyone affected by this situation in our prayers.”
C of E’s first Head of Social Impact Investment
THE first Head of Social Impact Investment within the Mission and Public Affairs unit at Church House, Westminster, is to be Vanessa Morphet, it was announced last week. Ms Morphet, who will take up her post in January, will oversee the newly established £16-million social-investment portfolio of the C of E to complement the work of the Archbishops’ Council. Ms Morphet worked in the financial-services sector at Goldman Sachs, Arma Partners, and Wellington Management, before joining the venture-philanthropy organisation, Impetus, and latterly the Government’s Inclusive Economy Unit. The Director of Mission and Public Affairs, Canon Malcolm Brown, said: “Vanessa comes to us with an impressive track record in this field and will work with us to launch this new, and radical, venture for the Church of England. . . Social-impact investment is about making our capital work for the common good in new ways.”
Ecclesiastical to give £120,000 to charities
ECCLESIASTICAL, the insurance group, is to donate £1000 each to 120 charities this year as part of its 12 days of Christmas giving campaign. Ten winners will be drawn at random from public nominations and announced each weekday from 7 to 22 December. Nominations are open until 21 December: www.movementforgood.com/12days