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UK news in brief

17 September 2021

Mary’s Meals

Milestone: Mary’s Meals announced last week that it now supplies a daily meal to more than two million schoolchildren. Set up in 2002, the UK charity ensures that children such as Gift, in Zambia, receive a bowl of enriched porridge at school each day

Milestone: Mary’s Meals announced last week that it now supplies a daily meal to more than two million schoolchildren. Set up in 2002, the UK charity ...

Cambridge dean backs slavery reparations

THE Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Revd Dr Michael Banner, has said that the Government should pay reparations for the country’s part in the slave trade, The Daily Telegraph reports. Speaking at last week’s conference of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, he said: “We surely have reparative obligations, and others have a claim on us where we are manifestly the beneficiaries of an original injustice and where others identifiably still suffer on account of it.” He described the British as the “leading perpetrators of the horrors” of slavery. “If the descendants of the original victims of colonial exploitation still suffer as a result of these injustices, are we modern Britons beneficiaries of those wrongs? Again, the answer must be ‘yes’.” In 2019, the University of Cambridge announced a two-year review of how it had contributed to and profited from slavery (Features, 7 June 2019).

Archbishop now patron of mental-health charity

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has been announced as patron of Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, a charity that seeks to equip the Church to support mental health and well-being (News, 23 July, Podcast 22 July). “Many of us will encounter challenges in our mental health over the course of our lives, and it is vital that the Church is equipped with the tools to respond effectively and with compassion,” he said this week. “Sanctuary’s resources are particularly needed as we recover from the impact of the pandemic.” He encouraged Christians to seek out the Sanctuary Course, an eight-week course designed to help small groups explore mental health through theology, psychology, and lived experience.


Charity Commission warning to Christ Church, Oxford

MEMBERS of the Governing Body of Christ Church, Oxford, have been given until the end of the month to respond to questions about its “very protracted and public dispute” with the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy, by Helen Earner, director of regulatory services at the Charity Commission. In her letter, seen by The Times, she writes in response to the news that mediation between the parties has been discontinued: “We continue to see the dispute as damaging to the reputation of the charity [Christ Church] and affecting its ability to govern itself. We continue to be concerned of [sic] the toll that the dispute is placing on all involved and are now considering whether it is appropriate to use our regulatory powers.” She has asked about the date of the college’s internal tribunal, and also when the Dean’s case before an employment tribunal might begin. Press: Christ Church threatened with nuclear option



New church opens in Solihull after parishioners raise funds

A NEW £4-million church has opened in Dorridge, Solihull, to replace the buildings of St Philip’s, built in 1878, which were deemed no longer suitable because of crumbling Victorian foundations. Funded by parishioners and loans, the new building was dedicated by the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, on 5 September. More than 2500 attended an open day the previous day. At the centre is a glass spire. The original stained-glass window has been retained; and the worship space can accommodate up to 400 people. The Vicar of Dorridge and Bentley Heath, Canon Duncan Hill-Brown, described “years of planning, fund-raising, and hard work. . . We welcome local residents to come and see for themselves all that’s going on, and join with us in worship and community life.” The church complex includes a sports hall, crêche, youth room, catering kitchen, and meeting rooms.

New chair for Representative Body in Wales

PROFESSOR Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity St David, is to be the new chair of the Representative Body (RB) of the Church in Wales. He succeeds James Turner, who described Professor Hughes as “a man of enormous abilities and with a wealth of professional experience”: someone who had been instrumental in preventing closure of the university college in Lampeter. Dr Heather Payne, recently appointed vice-chair of the RB, praised Mr Turner, who will retire in December, for his flexibility. She described him as “a real problem-solver”, behind whose business exterior was “a burning Christian — a fabulous leader, coruscatingly focused on the work of the Lord Jesus in our lives and the lives of those we meet”.

Post-mortem giving on the rise

THE number of legacies left to charities has risen by almost one third in the past 20 year, according to research by Smee & Ford, a legacy analyst, and the Remember A Charity consortium. For the past decade, gifts to charities have been included in one will in ten, amounting to one million legacies, 30 per cent up on the previous decade, and providing charities with an extra £3 billion a year. The Remember A Charity campaign described legacies as the fastest-growing source of voluntary income for charities.

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