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UK news in brief

18 November 2022

Church of Ireland

Ministers: the Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker MP (centre), visits St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, during an official visit to the country on Monday. He was welcomed by the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell (right), and the Dean, the Very Revd Shane Forster (left). Mr Baker also visited the Roman Catholic Cathedral

Ministers: the Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker MP (centre), visits St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, during an off...


Smallman gives the Met a 100-day warning

A FORMER Archdeacon of Southend, the Ven. Wilhelmina (Mina) Smallman, has challenged the newly appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to address sexism and racism within its ranks in 100 days. Last year, Archdeacon Smallman said that the Met needed to “get the rot out once and for all” (News, 5 November 2021), after two of its officers admitted making and sharing photographs of her two murdered daughters in June 2020 (News, 29 October). She described the officers as a product of a “toxic culture” in the Met. Of Sir Mark, she told The Guardian: “I choose to believe he understands the work that needs doing, but I give him 100 days and unless things have changed, I’ll be coming for him.”


Violence is hampering education, says youth study

CHILDREN in England and Wales are missing out on education and opportunities because of their fear — and first-hand experience — of violence, the Youth Endowment Fund has said in its latest report. Of the 2025 children who took part in its online survey, more than one third (39 per cent) said that they had been directly affected by violence in the past 12 months, either as victims or witnesses. More than half (55 per cent) said that they had seen real-life violence on social media; 65 per cent of children said that they had changed their behaviour to keep themselves safe from violence; and 14 per cent had skipped school to avoid violence. The policy manager at the Children’s Society, Iryna Pona, described the findings as “shocking”.


Church removed from at-risk register

THE 900-year-old Grade II listed St Leonard’s, Flamstead, in St Albans, has been removed from Historic England’s At-Risk register 2022, published last Thursday, after a grant of £642,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund kick-started urgent repairs to the roof and further restoration works. The project cost a total of £1.13 million. Over the past year, 233 historic buildings and places have been saved from closure or demolition. There are currently 4919 entries on the register, of which 919 are places of worship. The same number of places of worship (65) were added to the register as were removed in 2022 because they were no longer at risk.


Meatless Fridays ‘could cut tons of CO2 emissions’

A PAPAL decree reinstating meatless Fridays across the Roman Catholic Church would save millions of tonnes of carbon a year, researchers from the University of Cambridge have said. Even a small dietary change by a minority of UK Catholics could have significant environmental benefits. Researchers found that, in 2011, about one quarter of Catholics in the UK took up the call by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to forgo meat on Fridays — the equivalent in terms of CO2 emissions to 82,000 fewer people taking a return trip from London to New York over a year. The lead author of the report, published last month, Professor Shaun Larcom, said: “Meat agriculture is one of the major drivers of greenhouse gas emissions.”


Sara Thornton to advise CCLA on slavery

Human Trafficking FoundationDame Sara Thornton (right) receives an award for her “Outstanding contribution to the fight against modern slavery” from the Human Trafficking Foundation on 26 October in Speaker’s House, Westminster. It was presented by Baroness Butler-Sloss, co-chair of the APPG on Modern Slavery and trustee of the Human Trafficking Foundation

CCLA Asset Management, which invests money on behalf of almost 12,000 C of E clients, including parishes, dioceses, and cathedrals, has appointed the recently retired UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, as its first consultant on modern slavery, it was announced last week. She will focus on tackling modern slavery in the supply chains of companies in which the CCLA invests, under CCLA’s “Find it, Fix it, and Prevent” project. CCLA has also appointed Dr Martin Buttle to work on fair and sustainable working conditions for companies’ labour forces, as aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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