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World news in brief

08 May 2020


Bernard Thorogood pictured in 2017

Bernard Thorogood pictured in 2017

URC tribute to Bernard Thorogood

THE Revd Bernard Thorogood, general secretary of the United Reformed Church from 1980 to 1992, died in Sydney on Thursday of last week, aged 92. In 1981, he helped to form the union between the URC and the Reformed Association for the Churches of Christ. Much of his ministry was devoted to ecumenical work, supporting churches that entered into partnerships with other those of other denominations. The URC’s present general secretary, John Proctor, said: “Bernard Thorogood made an enormous contribution as a Christian leader, in the URC, in ecumenical life in the UK, and in the wide networks of the world Church.”


Anglican wedding solemnised remotely

AN ANGLICAN marriage service has taken place using video technology. On 20 April, a teacher from Birmingham, Liam Bek, aged 40, and his fiancée, Solène Montiège, a 36-year-old French horse-trainer, who live in the United Arab Emirates, made their vows at home on Zoom, witnessed remotely by more than 100 friends and family. The service was conducted by the Chaplain of St Andrew’s, Abu Dhabi, Canon Andrew Thompson, who was in church. The couple’s marriage had been postponed from 26 March, owing to the pandemic. They celebrated afterwards with a party, also on Zoom.


Fears for safety of Nigerian humanist

FEARS are mounting for the safety of the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, who has been imprisoned for blasphemy in Kano state, which is under sharia law. He had posted comments on Facebook which criticised Islam. Although he lives in the state of Kaduna, he was taken to Kano after a warrant was issued there for his arrest. In Kano, blasphemy is punishable by death. Kano police refused to confirm publicly that he was in their custody.


Pope Francis applauded by LGBTI Catholics

LGBTI Roman Catholics expressed support last Friday for Pope Francis’s decision to help a group of women in Italy in need of financial support, most of whom were immigrants, sex workers, and transgender. The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics praised the Pope’s decision to give a charitable contribution to a parish in Torvaianica, where the women had taken refuge.

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