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UK news in brief

20 August 2021


Ave! Many clergy and lay people from beyond the parish joined the regular congregation of All Saints’, Margaret Street, in the West End of London, last Sunday evening, for an outdoor procession along Oxford Street to celebrate the feast of the Assumption. The procession took place between solemn evensong and Benediction. The Chelsea Pensioners provided a guard of honour around the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The hymn-singing through the streets was accompanied by a drummer and small band — and there was even one Walsingham-style Protestant protester to signal pre-pandemic business as usual

Ave! Many clergy and lay people from beyond the parish joined the regular congregation of All Saints’, Margaret Street, in the West End of Londo...

Bishop Hardman to retire — again

THE Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Christine Hardman (below), has announced that she will retire at the end of November, after turning 70 in August. She became the seventh woman bishop in the C of E when she was consecrated in 2015 (News, 4 September 2015). Ordained deacon in 1987, she was a tutor at the St Alban’s and Oxford Ministry Course before serving in Stevenage, in St Albans diocese, and as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich from 2001. She retired in 2012, before returning to active full-time ministry as bishop. The Archbishop of York said that she had been “an outstanding Bishop of Newcastle, bringing hope and purpose to the parishes and communities she serves, and becoming a trusted and respected voice for the Christian faith in the north-east, but also in our national life through her work and witness in the House of Lords.”

Diocese of NewcastleDiocese of Newcastle

York parish-church and building courses to end

THE postgraduate diploma in parish-church studies, relaunched at the University of York in 2016 (News, 27 May 2016), is to end, it was confirmed this week. The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), which has helped to deliver the course, said on Tuesday that it had not been consulted on the decision. “We share the disappointment felt by prospective students, and are sorry for applicants who had signed up for the course.” The course programme director, Dr Emma Wells, reported on Twitter this week that the MA in English building history had also been withdrawn, writing: “I’m heartbroken that two such progressive courses are to be no more. Current students: you’ve still got me for the year.”

Network for minority-ethnic ordinands and curates launched

THE UK Minority Ethnic Ordinands and Curates Network was launched in an online event on Sunday. In a press release, the group said that it will seek to “encourage and support the vocations of ordinands and curates of UKME/Global majority heritage in the Church of England within dioceses and theological colleges” and “join the Church of England’s efforts in challenging issues being faced by UKME/GMH ordinands and curates”. The network’s co-chairs are the Revd Tariro Matsveru, who was ordained deacon this year in Birmingham, and Angela Sheard, a second-year student at the Queen’s Foundation College, Birmingham. In 2020, ten per cent of recommended candidates were of UK minority-ethnic background, up from 7.8 per cent in 2019 (News, 2 July )

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