Synod’s July sessions to be held in London
THE July sessions of the General Synod will now take place in-person in London, not in York as originally planned, it was confirmed this week. The University of York, which usually hosts the annual July meeting, has cancelled all events on its campus this summer, owing to the coronavirus. The Synod, scheduled for 9-13 July, is therefore being planned at Church House, Westminster. It will be the first full in-person Synod for 18 months (News, 8 May 2020). Safety arrangements are being arranged, which may include face masks and social distancing. A timetable for the sessions will be finalised by the Business Committee later this month, and the full agenda and papers will be published on Friday 25 June.
APPG: more action needed on freedom of religion
THE All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) has congratulated the Government on its recent imposition of sanctions on FoRB abusers in China and Myanmar, but called on the Foreign Secretary to take further action. The APPG said on Tuesday that it backed the Government’s call for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be given full access to Uighurs in Xinjiang, China; and the Government should “further press for international partners to join Britain in a broad coalition of voices demanding not just access, but also justice”. It also welcomed UK sanctions on military-linked businesses in Myanmar, urging the Government to provide asylum for Rohingya refugees and rally the international community to help restore them to their homeland, “free from fear of persecution”.
Deer’s severed head left at Hampshire foodbank
THE severed head of a deer left among goods donated to the foodbank of St Michael’s, Lyndhurst, on Tuesday was a “callous act”, the Priest-in-Charge, the Revd David Potterton, told the BBC this week. He said: “I cannot believe this callous act was . . . other than intended to cause distress and to shock.” He hoped that no one would be deterred from using the foodbank. The church porch, where the head was found, has been temporarily closed for a deep clean. Hampshire Constabulary are investigating the incident.
Former archbishop to be Lord Sentamu of Lindisfarne
THE former Archbishop of York Dr Sentamu, whose life peerage was confirmed in December (News, 22 December 2020), is to be known as Baron Sentamu of Lindisfarne, in Northumberland, and of Masooli in the Republic of Uganda, a statement from the Crown Office confirmed last month.
Couple record 100 podcasts for Captain Sir Tom
THE senior communications manager at Mercy Ships, Anne Buckland, and her husband, Joel, who is chief executive of We Do Stories, have recorded 100 podcast interviews on stories of hope on the anniversary of the 100 laps completed by the late Captain Sir Tom Moore to celebrate his 100th birthday (News, 1 May 2020). Individuals took part from charities including Mercy Ships, Mind and Soul, Christians Against Poverty, and World Vision, as well as a BBC presenter, gardening expert, author, and many others. Each of the episodes are now live at www.100storiesofhope.com.
New Head of Whitelands College confirmed
THE next Head of Whitelands College, a Church of England college that is part of the University of Roehampton, is to be Dr R. David Muir, who has held the interim post since September. Dr Muir joined Roehampton in 2014 and has served as a senior lecturer in public theology and ministerial theology. He has worked on its ministerial-theology programme and with the Whitelands Centre for Pentecostalism and Community Engagement. He is currently the UK board member of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Race and Religion, and co-secretary of the Anglican-Pentecostal Study Group. He is a former executive director for public theology and public policy at the Evangelical Alliance.