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UK news in brief

12 November 2021

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Visual evidence: an image from a film by Alex Leger, who is hoping to raise awareness during COP26 of the visible impact of climate change in the Pacific. He makes films for the Melanesian Mission, a Devon-based charity that supports projects in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. Of his before-and-after footage of “disappearing islands” affected by rising sea-levels, he says: “I hope the images in my films will show the reality of climate change in a way that perhaps words cannot”

Visual evidence: an image from a film by Alex Leger, who is hoping to raise awareness during COP26 of the visible impact of climate change in the Paci...


Pentecostal bishop to take up CTE post

THE next General Secretary of Churches Together in England (CTE) is to be the Revd Mike Royal, a Pentecostal bishop who is currently co-chief executive of the Cinnamon Network UK. He will take up the post in March 2022 when the current general secretary, the Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, retires. The Cinnamon Network supports churches with community engagement and social action. Bishop Royal is a founding trustee and former national director of the charity Transforming Lives for Good, which works with children and young people at risk of exclusion from school. He is also a part-time forensic mental-health chaplain with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. Bishop Royal has a degree in urban planning from the University of Westminster, and a Master’s degree in Black theology from the University of Birmingham. He has been in ordained ministry since 1993, and was consecrated bishop with the Apostolic Pastoral Congress in 2016.


Successful tribunal claim against St Stephen’s House

THE Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s, Enfield Chase, the Revd Dr James Lawson, who is also the Edmonton Area director of ordinands, has been successful in his claim that he was unfairly dismissed as Vice-Principal and Charles Marriott director of pastoral studies at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, over the handling of an ordinand’s disclosure of non-recent sexual abuse (News, 22 November 2019). The judgment, from a hearing at Watford Employment Tribunal in July, published last month, accepted his complaint of unfair dismissal, and directed that the theological college pay him £30,939 in compensation. He said last week that it was a “great relief” that the process had concluded with such a positive outcome, and “in particular that the judge found me to be an honest, reliable, and straightforward witness”.


Cumbrian county ecumenism reaffirmed

KESWICK Methodist Church is to host a Service of Reaffirmation on Sunday 28 November at 3 p.m., ten years after Cumbria was declared the first “ecumenical county” in England. Leaders from the four partner denominations — United Reformed, Methodists, Salvation Army, and Anglican — will re-affirm a Declaration of Intent, first agreed in 2011, to continue strengthening ecumenical relationships in the county. Representatives of the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Religious Society of Friends, and the North Western Baptist Association will also affirm their support.


Korean church to recruit overseas workers

A KOREAN church in Cambridge, the Yeolin Church, has been granted a sponsorship licence from the Government which will allow it to hire native Korean speakers from overseas to work with its congregation. The legal firm Stone King’s head of immigration, Julie Moktadir, who worked on the application, explained: “The Government has recognised the importance of allowing churches and other faith organisations to recruit from overseas, and so we were able to help with licence applications via the Minister of Religion and Religious Worker route.”


Crowdfunding effort launched to stop Wiveton closure

A HISTORIC church in Norfolk that had to be closed in 2019 after a roof beam fell into the chancel overnight (News, 30 August 2019) is now the subject of a crowdfunding appeal to help to raise the estimated £150,000 needed to repair the damage. A 12-foot-long section of oak beam smashed into the altar of the Grade I listed St Mary’s, Wiveton, near Blakeney, and then snapped in two as it toppled on to the communion rail. A temporary repair was put in place, but this is safe only until the end of 2022; the church will have to be closed again if work is not completed by then. So far, £90,000 has been raised; a crowdfunding campaign was launched on Wednesday to raise the £25,000 required to support a grant application to the Heritage Fund. The appeal closes on 29 December.



Correction: our news article last week (News, 5 November) incorrectly stated that Britain owed Iran £44 million in an acknowledged historical debt over the purchase of Challenger tanks. The correct figure is £400 million. We apologise for the error.

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