*** DEBUG END ***

UK news in brief

17 December 2021


Leading role: props box seen backstage before the dress rehearsal for the Wintershall Estate’s nativity play in Guildford, Surrey, on Sunday

Leading role: props box seen backstage before the dress rehearsal for the Wintershall Estate’s nativity play in Guildford, Surrey, on Sunday

Carol services back on schedule

ALMOST nine-tenths (87 per cent) of churches will be hosting a carol service this year, compared with just 59 per cent last year, a survey of 1000 churches by the Bible Society suggests. The survey was carried out last month on behalf of Ecclesiastical Insurance. The figure is close to the pre-pandemic level of 96 per cent. More than half the respondents (52 per cent) said that they were planning to host a nativity play, compared with 38 per cent last year.

ANDY SILLETTSir Philip Rutnam
Former senior civil servant to chair NCT

THE new chair of the National Churches Trust is to be Sir Philip Rutnam. He will take serve from September 2022 for a period of five years, succeeding Luke March. Sir Philip joined the Civil Service in 1987, and held posts at the Treasury, as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, 2012-17, and then briefly at the Home Office. He and his family worship in Church of England congregations in London and Herefordshire.

Prolocutors elected for General Synod

THE Archdeacon of London, the Ven. Luke Miller, has been elected as Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury, and the Vicar of St Bartholomew’s, Roby, Canon Kate Wharton, as Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of York. The Convocations’ Lower Houses form the General Synod’s House of Clergy, of which they will be joint chairs. Canon Wharton is an Assistant National Leader for New Wine, and the author of Single-Minded (Monarch, 2013) (Features, 16 March 2018). In his manifesto for election to the Synod, Archdeacon Miller wrote that he was one of only two traditionalist archdeacons in the whole Church of England (News, 22 October).

Bishop Gregory Cameron

Award for Bishop Cameron over same-sex blessings

THE Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, received the Religious Leader Award at last week’s Ozanne Foundation Awards, held during a dinner in the Palace of Westminster last week. He was honoured for “his leadership within the Church in Wales in bringing them to a point of enabling same-sex blessings” (News, 10 September). Other recipients of awards were Alicia Kearns MP and Baroness Kennedy QC for their work towards a ban on conversion therapy, and Jeremy Marks, founder of Post-Courage, “the first ex-gay ministry in the world to change their approach and so support and affirm LGBT+ people of faith”.

Calling young writers

THE online Christian magazine Adamah has launched a global competition for writers who are aged between 18 and 28. The brief is to write 1000 to 1500 world on the theme “A better possible world”. It is free to enter and the winner will receive £200, have three pieces of writing published, and receive a one-hour journalism masterclass. The deadline is 17 January. adamah.media/writers-competition-2

Ben AbelJeopardy: St Helen’s, Biscathorpe, a Grade II* listed church, built by W. A. Nicholson in 1847, in Lincolnshire, is on the Victorian Society’s list, published this week, of the top ten most endangered buildings in England and Wales

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


You are able to read this for FREE as part of Church Times Promotional Month, where for the whole of March, we are offering unlimited web access to the newspaper.

From next month to explore the Church Times website fully, you will need to sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers will return to only being able to read four articles for free each month.