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UK news in brief

28 October 2022


Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral

Carlisle first C of E cathedral with charity status

CARLISLE CATHEDRAL has become the first Church of England cathedral to be registered as a charity. The move follows the passing into law of the Cathedral Measures 2021, which requires all cathedrals to apply to register with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, focusing responsibility for governance on the Cathedral Chapter, members of which will be the trustees of the charity. The Interim Dean of Carlisle Cathedral, Canon Michael Manley, told the Cumbria Crack news site last week: “We welcome the additional accountability that the Charity Commission will bring; and we are excited to use this new status to renew and enhance our commitment as a praying, cherishing, and transforming community.”


St Mary le Strand to be restored in pedestrian project

THE Grade I listed St Mary le Strand is be restored 300 years after its original construction, the diocese of London announced last week. The “Jewel in the Strand” project, which ties in with the current pedestrianisation of the Strand, has received National Lottery Heritage Funding of £520,000 towards its £624,000-budget, most of which will be used for the planning phase. Construction work is expected to start at the end of 2025, and the church to reopen at the start of 2027. The project will include conservation work to the sanctuary and nave, new lighting, renewed pews, and the development of the Strand Crypt. A three-year activity programme is also being planned to help residents and visitors to learn more about the church and the history of the Strand. The Priest-in-Charge, Canon Peter Babington, said: “Bus drivers used to call St Mary le Strand Church ‘St Mary’s in the Way’. . . [Now it] can exist in a traffic-free area and become the centrepiece of a new piazza at the heart of London.”


‘No evidence’ of medieval church in Norwich stable

HISTORIC ENGLAND has refused to list the suspected remains of the 11th-century St Olave’s, Norwich, in a former stable in the city centre (News, 24 June), because “there is no clear evidence within the fabric of the building that establishes a medieval date of construction or an ecclesiastical function.” The campaign group Save Britain’s Heritage has been opposing redevelopment plans for Anglia Square, because historic maps and land title deeds suggested that a church had existed on the site since the tenth century. A spokeswoman for Historic England said, however, that it was possible that the building had been constructed in the late 18th or 19th century, reusing older building materials, possibly including from St Olave’s. “The church itself does not appear to have any surviving fabric above ground, and the location of any below-ground building fabric has not been identified. Considered as a late 18th- or 19th-century industrial building, the structure does not have a strong claim to special architectural or historic interest, and does not satisfy the statutory criteria for listing.”


Manchester churches rewarded for digital work

NINE churches in Manchester received awards for their digital outreach at a ceremony at Church House, Manchester, last week. It was the first time that the Church for a Different World awards, now in their sixth year, had a digital focus. The winners were St James’s, Daisy Hill; St Mary’s, Elllenbrook, and St Andrew’s, Boothstown; Christ Church, Healey; St Edmund’s, Whalley Range, and St James’s, Moss Side; St Martin’s, Norris Bank; the Antioch Network; St Andrew’s, Over Hulton; Holy Trinity, Platt; and St Anne’s, Turton. Efforts included online worship, virtual services, video tours, online jigsaws and other graphics, digital training, tech drop-ins, church-planting courses, accessible learning, and Zoom groups.


Brecon Cathedral awarded £150,000 lottery grant

BRECON CATHEDRAL has been awarded £158,297 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund towards its regeneration project: “People, Passion, Priory: Brecon Cathedral, the Heart and Soul of Community”. This work would provide a new west entrance, repair four of the 150-year-old roofs, and create a new exhibition, a digital trail, and other events and activities for visitors and tourists. The Dean, the Very Revd Dr Paul Shackerley, said that the money would “transform our cathedral and what we can offer to our local community and those who visit from far and wide. The support will enable us to establish a national training scheme in heritage skills, interpret our rich and living history for new generations, and provide equal access to our building for all.”

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