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UK news in brief

11 June 2021

Chris Watt

Welcome, all: The Princess Royal spoke at a service on Monday to celebrate the opening of the refurbished and fully accessible Iona Abbey. New facilities of the renovation project, for which £3.75 million was raised, in­­­clude modernised bedroom and community areas, a lift, and dedicated bedrooms for guests with special ac­­cess requirements. The abbey also has access to the island’s low-carbon project to deliver sustainable heating

Welcome, all: The Princess Royal spoke at a service on Monday to celebrate the opening of the refurbished and fully accessible Iona...


Bishop Hancock reflects on blessings during treatment

THE Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, has described how, while he was alone in hospital, receiving treatment for leukaemia, “what might have been a very lonely and harrowing experience” was “a time of blessing”. The Bishop was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last year (News, 14 August 2020) and will retire this month (News, 19 March). In a blog published this week for ReSource, a charity that seeks to help churches to “engage with the Holy Spirit for renewal, discipleship and mission”, he writes that he is now in remission after stem-cell treatment. While in hospital, he was “wonderfully upheld by the prayers, support and encouragement of family and friends”.


Slavery charity’s CEO quits after disciplinary hearing

THE chief executive of Hope for Justice, a Christian charity dedicated to tackling modern slavery (News, 4 April 2014), Ben Cooley, has left the charity after a disciplinary hearing that investigated allegations from two former employees about his behaviour. The chair of the charity’s trustees, Peter Elson, said on 28 May that the allegations were “not of a criminal nature”, but that the Charity Commission had been informed, and the board had commissioned an independent investigation. Its report had triggered the hearing. The co-founder of Hope for Justice, Tim Nelson, has been appointed interim chief executive. Mr Cooley told the website Civil Society News last week that he disagreed with the outcome.


Churches urged to raise awareness of loneliness

MANY people have developed a fear of venturing outside, despite rising numbers of vaccinations, the chair of a charity coalition, Christians Together Against Loneliness, Tina English, said this week. There was a “real need” to be aware of people who might be struggling. The coalition is encouraging churches to engage in Loneliness Awareness Week, from Monday. The Church Urban Fund’s report Church in Action, published in April (News, 30 April), noted that 79 per cent of the more than 1000 Anglican clergy surveyed believed that the pandemic had increased the sense of loneliness. This was higher in areas of high deprivation. www.ctal.uk


Leicester organist runs through a hymn marathon

AN ORGANIST has celebrated his 84th birthday by playing 84 hymns to raise money for charity. The organist, Ian Imlay, played at St Nicholas’s, Leicester,on Saturday afternoon to raise funds for LOROS, the Rainbows Hospice, and AKT, a national charity that works with LGBT+ young people dealing with homelessness and debt. “I was impressed with Captain Tom and wondered what I could do for my birthday and what I could offer,” Mr Imlay said. He was appointed MBE in 2017 for services to music in Leicester. Donations can be made at stnicholasleicester.com

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