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UK news in brief

15 July 2022

York Minster

Dean Barrington at St James’s Cathedral, Chicago

Dean Barrington at St James’s Cathedral, Chicago

Next Dean of York brought over from Chicago

THE next Dean of York is to be the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, who has been the Dean of St James’s Cathedral, Chicago, since 2015, it was announced on Wednesday. He takes up his post in the autumn, succeeding Canon Michael Smith, who has been Acting Dean since January, after the Rt Revd Jonathan Frost’s nomination as Bishop of Portsmouth (News, 15 October). Dean Barrington was ordained priest in 1996, and served his title in Southwark diocese. He moved to the north, to serve as Chaplain of St Chad’s College, Durham, for five years. From there, he became Priest-in-Charge and then Rector of St Peter and St Paul and St Michael and All Angels, Kettering, before moving to the United States. Before ordination, he worked with the Arts Council to create and fund regional touring opportunities for orchestras. He is married to Alison, a music therapist, and they have two sons.


‘Eco Churches’ exceed 5000

MORE than 5100 churches across the denominations have signed up to become Eco Churches under the award scheme of the Christian conservation charity A Rocha, it was announced on Tuesday. Of these, more than one third had achieved a bronze, silver, or gold award in recognition of their environmental work. St Paul’s, Marylebone — only the second church in London diocese to receive a gold award — collects rainwater and created a water area for birds and other wildlife. In Leicester, Oadby Baptist Church achieved a bronze award in March for its community vegetable and wildflower gardens. The scheme, now in its seventh year, was an important step towards biodiversity in response to climate change, said Helen Stephens, A Rocha UK’s church relations manager. She encouraged more churches to work towards a bronze award.


Dean of Southwark announces retirement

THE Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, has announced that he is to retire on 4 July 2023, the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate. He served curacies in the then diocese of Ripon & Leeds, alongside a school chaplaincy, and became Vicar of St Saviour’s, Richmond Hill, in Leeds, in 1991. In 1995, he moved to Southwark diocese, where he served as the Bishop’s Personal Assistant, and as Sub-Dean and Precentor of the cathedral, before his appointment as Dean in 2012. He has also served as Diocesan Warden of Readers. In a letter to the Bishop of Southwark, Dean Nunn wrote that he wanted to give a year’s notice, and that serving the diocese as Dean had been “the most enormous privilege”. He had no intention of “coasting” towards retirement.


Murderer of cathedral youth worker sentenced

A MAN has been sentenced to 31 years in prison for the murder of Bori Benko, a 24-year-old youth worker at Bradford Cathedral who was about to be confirmed and who was exploring ordination. Bradford Crown Court heard last month that, in November, Ms Benko was stabbed 40 times by Zbigniew Soj, also aged 24, at their shared accommodation at the Discovery Centre in the city — housing run by a Christian charity for international students. Mr Soj had drunk vodka and watched a horror movie before what was described to the court as a “brutal, sustained, and frenzied attack”. A cathedral statement at the time of her death said: “Bori will be honoured and long remembered at the Cathedral for her enthusiastic, generous, and infectious faith; her warmth and commitment to serve others.”

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