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UK news in brief

31 December 2020

Gift of gold: What is thought to be the earliest alabaster effigy of a priest in the UK has been found in the Grade I listed St Wilfrid’s, Barrow Upon Trent, in Derby diocese, which is being transformed with the aid of Heritage Lottery Funding. Conservators said that the monument, dating to c.1348, and believed to be of the priest John de Belton, has more medieval paint than any other effigy from the era, including traces of pure gold

Gift of gold: What is thought to be the earliest alabaster effigy of a priest in the UK has been found in the Grade I listed St Wilfrid’s...


York Minster silent on New Year’s Eve

THE bells of York Minster will not ring on New Year’s Eve, in an attempt to stop gatherings that could spread Covid-19 in the city. The Minster has previously been a meeting-point for New Year revellers. The automatic chimes in the building will be switched off between 8 p.m. on 31 December and 8 a.m. on 1 January, the Chapter of York announced; six bells were rung on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The decision was taken after consulting government guidelines for areas of the country in Tier 2, which includes York and North Yorkshire.


Bishop John Waine dies, aged 90

THE Rt Revd John Waine, who was successively Bishop of Stafford (1975-78), St Edmundsbury & Ipswich (1978-86), and Chelmsford (1986-96), died on Tuesday morning, aged 90. While he was at Chelmsford, he also served as Clerk of the Closet, the senior cleric in the Queen’s Ecclesiastical Household. Obituary to follow


Second phase of heritage funding announced

THE second round of the Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage was announced at the end of last month. It forms part of the support package provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, to help cultural and heritage organisations survive the impact of the pandemic. A total of £36 million is available, and applicants can apply between 7 and 26 January for grants between £10,000 and £3 million, covering April to June 2021. Places of worship can apply for funding in this second phase so long as it is used to fund the reopening of a building and efforts to help people engage with its heritage. The guidance says, however, that it cannot be used to fund “work that would be categorised as promotion of your faith or capital projects, such as major repairs”.


Pembrokeshire bell in memory of Agatha Christie

THE bells of St Brynach’s, in Nevern, Pembrokeshire, which have been silent for 120 years, are to be replaced after more than £400,000 was raised. The money is being used to stabilise the church’s 12th-century tower and to install a new bell, on which the words “In loving memory of Agatha Christie” will be inscribed. One of the larger donors to the project was the Colwinston Trust, founded by Mathew Prichard, the celebrated crime writer’s grandson, to support artistic projects in Wales. A service has been planned for blessing the bells when they arrive.

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