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UK news in brief

22 April 2022

Spring Harvest

A Spring Harvest event held in Skegness this month

A Spring Harvest event held in Skegness this month

Spring Harvest returns to live events

SPRING HARVEST resumed live events this Easter, after a two-year pandemic-enforced break, running from 11 to 15 April at Butlin’s, Skegness, and from 18 to 22 April at Butlin’s, Minehead. Speakers included the Bishop of Islington, the Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, and the author Mike Pilavachi. In addition to the face-to-face gathering, events were live-streamed for Spring Harvest Home, as they were throughout the pandemic.


World Vision encourages gardening

THE Christian charity World Vision UK has published a guide to growing organic fruit and vegetables, as part of a global programme to help combat the impact of climate change. Around the world, World Vision supports people struggling to feed their families. A World Bank report in 2015 predicted that climate change would push 100 million people back into poverty by 2030. World Vision’s drive is part of today’s World Earth Day, and the guide to organic gardening can be downloaded from the charity’s website.


Three arrested after paving-slab thefts

A THIRD man has been arrested in connection with a series of paving-slab thefts from churches in north-west England, after two arrests in March. Three churches in the area were raided for valuable York-stone paving over three weeks at the start of 2022 (News, 4 March). All three men have been released under investigation. Sergeant Rob Simpson, of the Cheshire Police, told BBC News: “We take all heritage crime very seriously, and we’re willing to travel to get our suspects.” He said that the investigation had also led to the recovery of two stolen vehicles and “various other items of interest”. The investigation involves police forces from Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Staffordshire. Ormskirk Parish Church, in Lancashire, was one of those targeted. The Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Pauline Bicknell, said in March that the thefts had caused significant disruption, and that “people were quite distressed.” PC Tony Finneron, of the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Policing Team, has encouraged those whose churches might be at risk to contact local police to discuss what measures to take.


Hospital chaplaincy team receives awards

THE chaplaincy team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were crowned “Non-Clinical Team of the Year” at the Trust’s awards last month, and were “Highly Commended” for the Chairman’s Award. The team is led by a Baptist minister, the Revd Ian Baxter, and includes the Anglican priests the Revd Clive Lord, the Revd Helen Houston, and the Revd Paul Berry. Ms Houston said on Tuesday of last week: “In an often secular world, it’s lovely to see the value placed on the religious and spiritual care of our patients by our Trust. . . We are grateful to be part of a bigger team within the hospital which respects the spiritual and religious needs of its patients and staff. We see this award as an affirmation of the value, dignity, and ‘otherness’ of human life which we believe should be treasured, honoured, and celebrated.” The chaplaincy team also includes two Roman Catholic priests, Frs Andrew Dawson and Patrick Hynes; Imam Ashfaq Rafiq Patel; and the Revd Jim Williams, of the United Reformed Church.


Spurgeon’s announces new chair

PROFESSOR Sir Leslie Ebdon has been appointed as the new chair of Spurgeon’s College. Sir Leslie was previously the director of Fair Access to Higher Education, and served as Vice-Chancellor at the universities of Bedfordshire (2006-12) and Luton (2003-06). Spurgeon’s, a Baptist foundation dating from 1856, offers ministerial training alongside academic courses. Sir Leslie said on his appointment that “the College has become a ceaseless advocate for expanding access to education and supporting the development of its local Croydon community.”

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

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