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UK news in brief

14 April 2022

Robert Innes

Bishops test positive for Covid-19

FIVE bishops have announced in the past week that they have tested positive for Covid-19. The Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, posted a photo of himself on Twitter, on Tuesday morning, accompanied by the caption: “Isolating Covid positive, the Bishop blessed the oils for the Chrism Eucharist in his garden.” In the past week, the bishops of Sheffield, Norwich, Gloucester, and Sherborne also posted on Twitter that they had tested positive for coronavirus.

Derby restructuring means one more archdeaconry

THREE new archdeaconries are to be created in the diocese of Derby, as part of a restructuring, it was announced last week. The current Archdeacon of Chesterfield, the Ven. Carol Coslett, will become Archdeacon of Derbyshire Peak and Dales. The new Archdeacon of East Derbyshire will be Canon Karen Hamblin, Priest-in-Charge of St Mark’s, Brampton, and Area Dean of North-East Derbyshire, and the new Archdeacon of Derby City and South Derbyshire will be the Revd Matthew Trick, who is Vicar of Ringwood with Ellingham and Harbridge and St Leonards and St Ives, and Assistant Area Dean of Christchurch, in Winchester diocese. The two existing archdeaconries — Derby and Chesterfield — will cease to exist on 6 June. The new archdeacons will be collated and installed soon after. Each of the new archdeacons will aim to “champion mission and ministry” in different contexts across the whole diocese: urban, rural, and “emerging and transitional communities” respectively, the announcement said.

DIOCESE OF DUBLIN & GLENDALOUGHThe Revd Imants Miezis (centre) outside Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, last week, after the service with Archbishop Zusevics (second from left) and Dr Jackson (fourth from left)

Latvian ordination held in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

THE Revd Imants Miezis was ordained priest for the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Sunday of last week. It was “the first time such cooperation has taken place between Churches of the Porvoo Communion in Ireland”, a statement from the diocese of Dublin & Glendalough said. Mr Miezis was ordained by the Archbishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Worldwide, the Most Revd Lauma Zusevics. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, presided.

Nursing charity awarded £125,000 grant

THE Benefact (formerly Allchurches) Trust has awarded a grant of £125,000 to Parish Nursing Ministries UK (PNMUK) to support its work promoting health in communities. PNMUK intends to use the funding to expand its services in the north of England. Based on data returns from 2021, the additional funds could equate to another 1000 people being able to access services, which include support for physical and mental health and community health education, as well as “client-led individual or group spiritual intervention”. The chief executive of PNMUK, Sue Bretherick, said: “The grant from Benefact Trust will open up new possibilities for more needs to be met and lives changed through this ministry.”

Atwell: South-west needs ‘levelling-up’, too

THE Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, has challenged the Government on its “levelling-up” plans for the south-west of England. Bishop Atwell was granted an hour-long debate in the House of Lords on Thursday of last week, during which he said that he supported the Government’s “levelling-up” strategy, but continued: “The narrative accompanying it continues to focus on the North-South divide to the neglect of other regional inequities.” Bishop Atwell said that the rural south-west suffered from poor public transport infrastructure, and that there was a shortage of affordable housing in many areas. In response, Lord Greenhalgh, a minister in the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office, said that “staggering sums” had been invested in the south-west, and that the Government would soon publish a report on “rural-proofing England”.


High Leigh opens new £4-million facilities

THE Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, opened a new accommodation wing and a redeveloped conference suite at the High Leigh Christian Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, in Hertfordshire, on Thursday of last week (pictured above). The owners of High Leigh, the Christian Conference Trust, spent £4 million on the new facilities, completed during the pandemic. The new wing comprises “38 environmentally friendly bedrooms, powered by solar panels and air-source heat pumps”, the Trust says. The redeveloped Sycamore Suite “features four new high-tech meeting rooms with views of the extensive gardens, an 80-seater air-conditioned conference hall and elegant servery and lounge”. There is also a new tower, housing a lift to improve access for guests with physical disabilities.

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