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UK news in brief

by
07 May 2021

Durham Redstarts

First ride: the Durham Redstarts, an all-female cycling group, cycled 15 miles from Durham to Newcastle Cathedrals on Monday, in a preview of the national cathedrals cycle route, which is being launched on 30 May

First ride: the Durham Redstarts, an all-female cycling group, cycled 15 miles from Durham to Newcastle Cathedrals on Monday, in a preview of the nati...

World has seen enough ‘greenwash’ says Welby

BUSINESS needs to set PR aside and take climate change seriously, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. In a joint article in The Times on Saturday, written with Lord Browne of Madingley, a former chief executive of BP, he writes: “Investors and businesses need to go beyond ‘greenwash’, which sees existing activity creatively relabelled to advertise its supposed sustainability. The world has seen enough of this. It is time to demonstrate authentic change, and an unambiguous contribution to the world’s climate goals. This is about much more than renewable energy: it means rethinking the way that we consume energy, generate waste, and design the industrial processes on which our economies rely.”

 

Methodists pull out of Shell and Caterpillar

THE Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church has sold its complete holding of almost £21 million in shares in Shell, as well as about £2 million in the Norwegian oil company Equinor, on the strength of information from its ethical advisory committee that no oil and gas companies are complying with targets from the 2015 Paris Agreement. It has also sold its shares in the US company Caterpillar on the grounds that its vehicles are being used in the destruction of Palestinian homes, farmland, and olive groves, as well as in the construction of illegal Israeli settlements. The C of E disinvested in 2006.

 

Breathing Space for debtors is welcomed

THE Government’s new Breathing Space scheme, launched on Tuesday, has been welcomed by Christians Against Poverty (CAP). The scheme, long campaigned for, gives those in debt up to 60 days without enforcement action or additional fees in which to seek help from debt-relief charities such as CAP. Its director of external affairs, Gareth McNab, warned that the period should not be treated as a payment holiday. “It’s a time to work out a long-term solution to an individual’s financial difficulties with the support of free and professional debt advice.”

 

Bishop of Lincoln to retire at end of year

THE Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, announced last Friday that he will retire on 31 December, a month short of his 69th birthday. Bishop Lowson was consecrated in 2011, having served previously as director of the Ministry Division. He returned to work in February after a 20-month suspension over his handling of a safeguarding allegation. He will retire to London.

 

Abuse survivors tell their stories

THE Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published a further 80 accounts of abuse on its Truth Project website (News, 28 January). The project, which has allowed survivors to recount the continuing effects of past sexual abuse, is due to close in October, to enable IICSA to include the stories in its final report, due to be published next year. The accounts are available at: truthproject.org.uk/experiences-shared


No immunity from war crimes after campaign

PRESSURE from Quakers and other campaigning groups has secured a change to the wording of the Overseas Operations Bill. An amendment was approved by both Houses of Parliament last week which excluded torture, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity from the presumption against prosecution. As a consequence, armed-forces personnel can be held accountable for such crimes even after the five-year deadline has passed.

 

Rich MorantThe Revd Ed Hodges, Vicar of St Matt’s, Exeter, blesses the Squires’ headstoneAir-raid brothers have memorial at last

THE grave of four brothers killed in an air raid in 1940 has finally been given a headstone, after a fund-raising campaign in Exeter. The boys, George, John, James, and Sidney Squire, had been buried in an unmarked grave. This was located by Giles Healy, a filmmaker, who raised funds for the stone. It was blessed by the Revd Ed Hodges, Vicar of St Matt’s, Exeter, at the end of last month.

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