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UK news in brief

30 September 2022

Ely Cathedral

Bishop’s friends: the Bishop of Huntingdon, Dr Dagmar Winter, with Tilda the lurcher and Charlie the whippet at the Animal Service in Ely Cathedral, on Sunday

Bishop’s friends: the Bishop of Huntingdon, Dr Dagmar Winter, with Tilda the lurcher and Charlie the whippet at the Animal Service in Ely Cathed...

Jesus Army compensation scheme launched

THE Jesus Fellowship Community Trust (also known as the Jesus Army), a now-defunct religious sect, has published a compensation scheme for survivors of abuse. Originally founded by Noel Stanton in Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire, in 1969, Jesus Army attracted thousands of members who lived together in close-knit rural communes. Allegations of adult and child abuse within the cult-like group have surfaced in recent years, and criminal convictions have been made. Survivors have until 31 December 2023 to apply to the compensation scheme, which could result in a written apology, financial compensation, an invitation to meet a trustee of the church-closing team, and a dedicated support fund for individual grants towards counselling.


Priest cleared of criminal charges

A PRIEST in the diocese of Oxford, the Revd Edilberto Márquez-Picón, who is 65, has been unanimously cleared of four counts of indecent assault on a child and one of child cruelty, at Oxford Crown Court, the diocese confirmed this week. Fr Márquez-Picón remains suspended by the diocese, however, while the diocesan safeguarding team carries out an investigation. He has been suspended from his ministry at St John the Evangelist, Woodley, in Berkshire, since September 2019, when allegations emerged dating back to the 1980s and 1990s in Oxford. He denies all allegations. An email sent to the congregation on 15 September, after the verdict, states: “Although the criminal case has concluded, the diocesan process that has been on pause since Eddie was charged will now resume. . . Eddie remains suspended from ministry while the diocese considers what was heard in court.”


Mosque raises thousands to save village church

THE Mubarak Mosque in Tilford, Surrey, has helped to raise thousands of pounds to save the village church, All Saints’, which had been deemed unsafe in October 2021 when part of its ceiling collapsed. The restoration work was expected to cost £110,000. A post on Twitter by the mosque after its fund-raising event on Sunday said that the community had gathered on the village green in “peace and collaboration” for a wonderful cause. “Together we raised thousands to help save All Saints’ Church and this village in #Surrey showed what’s possible when differences are set aside in service of humanity.” Donations can also be made on its website: mubarakmosque.uk


Near-centenarian receives PBS award

A 97-YEAR-OLD Reader Emeritus of Holy Trinity, Kendal, Arthur Moss, has become one of the first recipients of the Kilmister Award, presented by the Prayer Book Society this week. Mr Moss, who lives in Kendal, has served the church for 50 years and chaired the Carlisle diocesan branch of the Society for 12 years. He was presented with a framed certificate, and a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, by the Vicar, the Revd Eric Robinson, who has known Mr Moss for 25 years. Mr Moss, who will also be sent a medal engraved with the PBS logo, said that he was “proud” of the award and that the organisation had flourished since his chairmanship.


Bishop: Violent crime overshadows Liverpool

LIVERPOOL is being overshadowed by knife and gun crime, the Bishop of Warrington and Acting Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Bev Mason, has said. She was speaking after the funeral of Ashley Dale, who was shot dead in crossfire in her back garden in Old Swan in August. Four men were arrested in connection with the incident earlier this month — three on suspicion of murder and possession of a firearm. Bishop Mason also attended the funeral of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was killed on 22 August, after a gunman fired shots into her home in Dovecot as he chased another man. “Enough is enough,” she said. “No more. . . However long we live, life really is very short, and that some people feel they are entitled to take the life of another human being is simply a scandal and a blasphemy.” A vigil was held at Liverpool Cathedral on Thursday of last week.


Charity creates well-being pack for children

THE Christian charity the Ugly Duckling is using a £20,000 Brighter Lives grant from the Benefact Trust (formerly Allchurches Trust) to support the mental well-being of children. The Ugly Duckling has already created the “10:10” resource to help young people, and will use the new money to create a version aimed at four- to 11-year-olds. There are 30 hours of material, which can be adapted for all-age services, small groups, assemblies, and lunchtime clubs. Themes include purpose, thankfulness, kindness, forgiveness, healthy relationships, coping strategies, and how to look after the mind, body, and soul.

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