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UK news in brief

01 April 2022


Dallistons set for close partnership in Peterborough

THE Revd Michelle Dalliston was installed as Vicar of St John the Baptist, Peterborough, on 20 March, just metres away from the Cathedral, where her husband, the Very Revd Chris Dalliston, is Dean. Welcoming his wife on behalf of the city’s institutions and civil-society groups, Dean Dalliston said that he was sure that there would be “a close and constructive partnership between the Cathedral and St John’s”.

Bishop’s Bill on coroners passes Third Reading

A BILL to require coroners to record contributory factors when someone takes their own life, introduced to the House of Lords by the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, passed its Third Reading last Friday. The Coroners (Determination of Suicide) Bill is part of Dr Smith’s campaign to cut deaths among problem gamblers, which account for about eight per cent of all suicides in England (News, 26 November 2021, 28 January). Speaking in the Lords last Friday, Dr Smith said: “In the recent inquest into the tragic death of Jack Ritchie, the coroner’s conclusion was that warnings, information, and treatment of problem gambling had been ‘woefully inadequate’ and failed to meet Jack’s needs. The coroner said that he could not be blamed for his gambling problem. That brought home to many of us something that we already knew: that many of these online products have been designed to be addictive and are having a devastating impact on people. The suicide headline is just the tip of the problem, but it is the most dreadful part of it.”

UK and Holy See mark 40th anniversary

THE 40th anniversary of full diplomatic relations between the UK and the Holy See was marked on Tuesday by a mass in the Basilica of St Paul Outside-the-Walls. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, presided, Vatican News reports. The British Ambassador to the Holy See, Christopher Trott, told Vatican Radio: “It’s the 40th anniversary of the appointment of a full ambassador, in 1982. This was the first British ambassador to the Holy See, or of any ambassador from the United Kingdom to the Holy See, since the 1540s. There had been ambassadors before the Reformation, but obviously, there had been a long pause, and, although we restarted diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1914, we only restarted our relationship at an ambassadorial level — so an appointment of an ambassador here and of a nuncio in London — in 1982 after 450 years of pause.”

Church in WalesA QR code is scanned on a door of St Davids Cathedral

Gerald of Wales’s journey available on smartphone

QR CODES have been attached to 37 places visited by Gerald of Wales over Easter 1188, during which he and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldwin of Forde, recruited crusaders. The codes have been placed by the HistoryPoints project, with support from the Church in Wales, on churches, cathedrals, castles, and other buildings. “Anyone who scans the QR codes with a smartphone can discover what Gerald saw there in 1188, along with the place’s wider history,” a statement from the Church in Wales says. “Each location has a page on the HistoryPoints.org website. Each has a link to the page for the next and previous places in the itinerary, making it easy to follow the route physically or virtually on home computers.”

Priest given three-year ministry ban for using Class A drugs

THE Priest-in-Charge of Dunsfold and Hascombe, in Guildford diocese, the Revd Ian Maslin, has been removed from ministry for three years for using Class A drugs. A notice of findings and penalties concerning members of the clergy under the Clergy Discipline Measure, posted on the diocesan website, says that the three-year prohibition was imposed on 1 December, for “Conduct unbecoming a Clerk in Holy Orders regarding the use of class A drugs”.

Prayer cards sent to cathedrals and churches

MORE than a million prayer cards have been sent to cathedrals and churches in England with the aims of prompting visitors to explore Christianity and of giving comfort and hope to those affected by the pandemic. The cards were sent by the Explore Project, which is due to be launched on Monday, and which is a partnership between the Association of English Cathedrals, the Church of England’s Church Buildings Division and Mission teams, the National Churches Trust, and the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at the University of York. The project will also include a new website to explain the basics of Christianity and include video clips of church services. cpo.org.uk/explore-project

Infant school recognised for poverty education

CHRISTIAN AID’ Global Neighbours scheme has awarded bronze status to Marwood C of E Infant School in Great Ayton, near Middlesbrough, it was announced on Monday. “The accreditation scheme celebrates schools that are helping pupils learn about global poverty and the Christian responsibility to tackle it,” a press release from the school said. Pupils at the school have donated food and care packages to Afghan refugees, as well as recycling, saving energy, and picking up litter, it said.

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