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UK news in brief

18 March 2022


Kate Walmsley (left) and Margaret McGuckin, campaigners for a public apology for victims of institutional abuse, at Stormont last Friday

Kate Walmsley (left) and Margaret McGuckin, campaigners for a public apology for victims of institutional abuse, at Stormont last Friday

Archbishop reiterates apology to abuse victims

THE RC Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Eamon Martin, has reiterated his “unreserved apology” to victims of abuse at institutions run by the RC Church in Ireland. He made a statement after the Stormont Assembly issued a public apology last Friday to victims of abuse in 22 Northern Irish children’s homes run by Churches, charities, and the state. A review, chaired by the late Sir Anthony Hart (News, 27 January 2017), recommended the apology. Archbishop Martin said in a statement last Friday: “Looking back, there is no doubt that many in positions of leadership within the Church did not live up to the Gospel message by their failure to intervene, or to prevent the circumstances which led to physical, sexual and emotional abuse of the ‘little ones’, so beloved of Christ. The misuse of power and status within the Church; the prevailing culture of judgement, guilt and shame surrounding sexuality; and, a lack of Christian empathy and compassion towards the poor and those less fortunate, blinded many in the Church to the shocking neglect, sins and crimes being perpetrated in their midst. Shame on us.”

Church in Wales priest is cleared of assault

A PRIEST in the Church in Wales has been cleared of assaulting her former partner. The Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice of Dan Yr Epynt, in Swansea & Brecon diocese, the Revd Michelle Bailey, aged 54, had been charged with the assault of her then partner, Diane Shore, aged 56, in Ms Shore’s home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, on 23 May 2020. At the conclusion of the case in North Staffordshire Justice Centre, last Friday, the chairman of the Bench, Marcus White, said: “Miss Bailey acted out of self-defence. She is to be acquitted of the assault charge.”

Billy Graham crusades’ former director dies

A FORMER director of the Billy Graham crusades, Harvey Thomas, died on Sunday, aged 82. He directed the evangelist’s rallies around the world from 1960 to 1975. From 1978 to 1991, he worked as consultant, communications director, and field director for the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and the Conservative Party. He was appointed CBE in 1990 for services to the Prime Minister.

Lectionary Bible commemorates Falklands dead

A NEW Lectionary Bible in memory of those who lost their lives during the Falklands War was presented and dedicated during a eucharist in St George’s, Wilton, in Taunton, Somerset, on Sunday. The dedication, on the front of the Bible, reads: “Dedicated in honour of the men from both nations, Britain and Argentina, who lost their lives in the 1982 South Atlantic Conflict.” It also contains an extract from the Coventry Litany of Reconciliation: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” The dedication is also translated into Spanish. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, which began on 2 April 1982. A total of 649 Argentines and 255 British troops died during the conflict, which ended on 14 June 1982.

Benefact Trust pledges £1m for Ukrainian refugees

THE Benefact Trust — formerly the AllChurches Trust — has pledged £1 million to provide “immediate and longer-term support” to Ukrainian refugees, it was announced on Wednesday. “Grants totalling £250,000 are already being distributed through five charity partners on the ground, who will be able to make a positive impact faster — and get help to where it’s needed most,” a statement said. Grant recipients include Tearfund, World Vision, and the British Red Cross. The AllChurches Trust announced earlier this month that it was changing its name to the Benefact Trust, “because we want to communicate that our work is more far-reaching than our old name suggests”.

Jonathan GawthorpeRemembered: the Dean of Sheffield, the Very Revd Abi Thompson, places a message in a Wall of Reflection in the Cathedral this week, before the second National Day of Reflection, next Wednesday, to remember those who have died during the pandemic

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