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UK news in brief

24 September 2021


Flowers left near the crime scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, on Tuesday

Flowers left near the crime scene in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh, on Tuesday

Derbyshire church open for mourners of family

ST GILES’s, Killamarsh, in Derbyshire, was opened this week to offer visitors the opportunity to sign a book of condolences and to light candles, after a mother, her two children, and another child were found dead at a house in the town. Damien Bendall, aged 31, of Chandos Crescent, who was known to the family and lived in the same road, was charged with four counts of murder on Wednesday, after the bodies of Terri Harris, her two children, John Paul (13) and Lacey (11), and Connie Gent, Lacey’s friend, were found on Sunday. The Rector of St Giles’s, Canon Helen Guest, told the BBC: “We can’t believe this tragedy has happened in our community. . . It’s such a close-knit community I think it has affected everybody.”

New episcopal back-up for the military

THE Bishop of St Germans, the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, was licensed as Bishop to the Armed Forces by the Archbishop of Canterbury, on Monday. Bishop Nelson takes on the additional role from the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, who is retiring this month after four years in the post. “The work of military chaplains is crucial, and is widely recognised as such within the Armed Forces,” Archbishop Welby said last week. “They need our support and prayers, led by the Bishop to the Forces.” Bishop Nelson will embark on his new ministry with several visits to bases in the coming months.

YMCA launches digital dashboard

YMCA England and Wales has launched a digital platform enabling local authorities and members of the public to access a live picture of accommodation provided in their area. More than 4000 YMCA accommodation units feed their data directly into the digital dashboard, created by Trust Impact, enabling users to acquire a “clear and accurate picture of how many people are currently being housed there”, the charity said. Other available data include the average stay in the accommodation, the number of people supported in moving into independent living, and the type of accommodation moved on to. The YMCA is the largest voluntary provider of supported housing for young people in England and Wales. It gives a bed for 8800 people each night, and collectively helps more than 20,000 people experiencing homelessness each year.

Bishop of Croydon takes on Falklands mantle

THE Area Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, was commissioned Episcopal Commissary for the Falkland Islands on Monday, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Clark, who announced this month that he would be resigning his see in the diocese of Southwark in March (News, 10 September), said: “The Falkland Islands are under the direct jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Serving the islands’ population of less than 3000, Christ Church Cathedral in Port Stanley is the most southerly Anglican cathedral in the world. I was very glad to be asked to act as the Archbishop’s commissary to exercise episcopal ministry on the Islands. Once travel restrictions are lifted, I’m looking forward to taking the opportunity to visit the islands myself.”

New arts focus at Coventry Cathedral

THE Chapter of Coventry Cathedral is seeking to appoint a Canon for Arts and Reconciliation, it announced last week. The advertisement states that the ministry will “develop the creative mission opportunities offered by our unique buildings which bring together the arts and reconciliation in an extraordinary story, which continues today. The person appointed will be at home in contemporary arts culture. They will have experience in delivering creative events that engage diverse communities in journeys of imagination, and a calling to the ministry of reconciliation. They will be an ordained Anglican, and may be appointed to a Residentiary Canonry if suitably qualified. We would be especially pleased to receive applications from those of Global Majority Heritage.”


Parity for boy and girl choristers at Gloucester

GIRL and boy choristers played an equal part in maintaining the worship at Gloucester Cathedral on 3 September, for the first time since the choir was founded in 1541. The girls’ choir was established in 2016, but, the cathedral reported, “there has never been total parity — until now.” In 2019, the King’s School and Gloucester Cathedral decided to offer girls and boys equal financial support. From September, the girls will sing as many services each year as the boys. The cathedral’s choral associate, Nia Llewelyn Jones, said: “The girl choristers have achieved so much since their inauguration in 2016. Parity of status with the boys represents an important next chapter in their development, and in ensuring that gifted young singers of both genders can continue to sing God’s praises as part of the rich and historic musical worship at Gloucester Cathedral.”

JRF: ‘Structural injustices’ part of housing problem

INEQUALITIES faced by BAME communities in obtaining affordable and secure homes are “rooted in structural injustices that are just not right, and must change”, a report published last week by JRF, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, suggests. These include “deep inequalities in the labour markets, the social security system, and the effects of hostile immigration policies”. The study found that more than one quarter of BAME working adults spend more than one third of their income on housing, compared with just over one in ten white workers; and BAME workers in the lowest-paid occupations were far more likely to face unaffordable housing costs than white workers in the same occupations, or white workers on average.

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