*** DEBUG END ***

UK news in brief

02 December 2022


Pocket watch: a portable sundial from the 10th century, part of the Association of English Cathedral’s #CathedralTreasures campaign, which showcases some of the treasures of Britain’s cathedrals. One treasure will be revealed every day for 50 days throughout Advent and will end with the launch of a competition to name Britain’s favourite cathedral treasure on 11 January, to coincide with Heritage Fund’s Heritage Treasures Day

Pocket watch: a portable sundial from the 10th century, part of the Association of English Cathedral’s #CathedralTreasures campaign, which showcases s...

Charity launches digital advent calendar

THE charity Transform Trade has created a free digital advent calendar “to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and other social injustices in a festive way”, by encouraging users to take one positive action a day throughout Advent. Each “window” gives an insight into the work of different a charity or project, including the Trussell Trust and MacMillan Cancer Support, and suggests a “quick action” to make a difference “rather than simply consuming”. The chief executive of Transform Trade, Charlotte Timson, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is affecting people around the world and this injustice advent calendar is a festive way to show solidarity to people both here in the UK and thousands of miles away.”

Dean of Lincoln to retire in 2023

THE Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, is to retire in March 2023 after two months’ end-of-ministry leave agreed by the diocesan Bishop, she announced in a notice on the cathedral website last month. In 2020, Dean Wilson returned to work, having taken a voluntary leave of absence for the duration of an 11-month safeguarding investigation which concluded that her handling of a safeguarding disclosure was “out of character and unlikely to be repeated” (News, 20 March 2020). A leaving service will be held on Candlemas. She wrote: “It has been a great honour to serve amongst you at Lincoln Cathedral. Please be assured that I will be working fully in supporting the worship and ministry of the cathedral for the next three and a half months.”

Former Archdeacon jailed for a third time

A FORMER Archdeacon of Auckland, Co. Durham, George Granville Gibson, was given a custodial sentence last week after being convicted of sexual abuse in the 1970s. Granville Gibson, 86, was sentenced at Durham Crown Court to 21 months in prison for twice indecently assaulting a teenage boy (aged 17 or 18 at the time) in a church hall and at a party, rubbing himself against his victim. The victim, who had come forward to police after seeing media reports of Gibson’s first trial, had been left feeling embarrassed and humiliated after the incidents, the court heard. Gibson was jailed in 2016 (News 12 August 2016), and again in 2019, for a series of sexual offences carried out during the 1970s and ’80s. A review was launched into the extent to which the diocese of Durham failed to deal with the complaints, and a report was completed in 2017, but not published until 2020 ,owing to ongoing police investigations and the pandemic (News, 18 December 2020).

New provider for Safe Spaces announced

THE new permanent provider for Safe Spaces, the free helpline for survivors of abuse in the C of E or the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is to be First Light, it was announced on the C of E safeguarding pages this week. The organisation is described as having extensive experience in supporting people with experience of sexual abuse or domestic violence, including of survivors of church-related abuse. The two-year pilot of Safe Spaces concluded earlier this year when the previous provider was temporarily replaced by Splitz (News, 9 September) until a new permanent provider could be found through what was described this week as a “rigorous and highly competitive” tendering process.

Religious leaders launch LGBT+ safeguarding video

A VIDEO featuring six senior religious leaders has been released to promote six safeguarding principles that aim to ensure the safety of LGBT+ people in religious communities. Called “Principles to Protect LGBT+ Lives”, the video highlights the six principles agreed at the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives (GIC+) Conference earlier this year, and was sponsored by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The principles are taken from the UK Care Act 2014 and have been made relevant for LGBT+ people in religious settings. The leaders are the assistant secretary to the Methodist Conference, the Revd Michaela Youngson; Sikhnet’s global-affairs adviser, Simran Stuelpnagel; Sri Lanka’s Mindfulness Ambassador to Europe, the Revd Theo Pannavamsa; the founder of New Ways Ministry in the US, Sister Jeannine Gramick; the Rabbi for Human Rights, in Israel, Rabbi Leah Shakdiel; and the co-chair of the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives, Dilwar Hussian.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)