See of Ludlow suppressed to save money
THE post of Suffragan Bishop of Ludlow in Hereford diocese is to be replaced with a full-time Archdeacon of Ludlow to save money, it was announced last week. The decision was finalised after a consultation between the diocese and National Dioceses Commission; the former Bishop of Ludlow, the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, retired in April. A statement from the diocese explains: “This has all taken place against the backdrop of financial pressures caused by Covid-19 and a general fall in the number of clergy across the Church of England. . . We have decided to restructure our senior staff and replace the existing combined Bishop/Archdeacon of Ludlow role with a full time Archdeacon.” Assistant archdeacons are to be appointed in both areas, and given a small honorarium to supplement their full-time stipends.
Thirty senior-clergy safeguarding inquiries running
THE National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England is currently conducting about 30 separate safeguarding inquiries into senior clergy — bishops or cathedral deans — Church House, Westminster, confirmed in a statement to the Religion and Media Centre last week. This figure includes the Archbishop of Canterbury (News, 31 July), a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey (News, 19 June), and a proportion of retired clergy. There are 104 active bishops and 42 deans in the C of E. A Church House spokesman said last Friday: “We have approximately 30 national cases with the majority being where senior clergy or church officers have not reported allegations of abuse to the relevant safeguarding adviser, the local authority or the police, or made other inappropriate decisions.”
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Website urges Christians to donate kidneys
A KIDNEY donor, Joe Walsh, has launched a website, Faith in Operation, to encourage Christians to consider anonymous kidney donation. In an interview with the Church Times in March, Mr Walsh said that giving a kidney had “cost me very little” (Features, 6 March). He said of his new website this week: “I believe this is a really positive way that the Church can contribute to the national good whilst imitating the radical love of God. . . I believe we can end the waiting list for a kidney.” Waiting lists for kidney transplants have increased owing to the pressure put on the NHS during the pandemic.
New ethical-investment head for Commissioners
THE next Head of Responsible Investment for the Church Commissioners is Bess Joffe, a former Director of Investor Relations at Lloyds Banking Group, it was announced on Tuesday. She succeeds Edward Mason, who left in June to be director of engagement and impact-reporting at Generation Investment Management (News, 9 April). Ms Joffe will begin on 10 August, reporting to the Chief Investment Officer, Tom Joy. He said: “Bess joins us with an established record of leading stewardship efforts and we are very much looking forward to furthering the way the Commissioners engage across our diverse range of holdings.” She said: “Real change is starting to be seen thanks to the efforts of responsible investors and I am pleased to be joining a proactive organisation which recognises the challenges facing our world.”
Church-music guild launches mediation service
CHURCH musicians who are involved in disputes — for example, over terms of service or pay — can now turn to a free mediation service launched by the Guild of Church Musicians last month. The service has been prompted by both the lack of any formal arrangements for mediation for parish musicians and a rising number of disputes in recent years. The Guild explained in a statement that most paid parish musicians were employees and therefore had the right to go to an employment tribunal in the event of a dispute. Its mediation team has promised to take on “any case, not just those heading for an employment tribunal”, to resolve issues more quickly than by litigation. There is no fee for the service, but the team expects users to meet “reasonable expenses”. The Guild’s president, Dame Mary Archer, said: “I hope that the new service will prove to be valuable when issues arise over music and music-related matters in churches, especially if relationships break down or if one party or another takes a fixed position.” gcm.org.uk