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UK news in brief

07 January 2022


Examples of the vandalism at Holy Cross, Mwnt

Examples of the vandalism at Holy Cross, Mwnt

Fund-raising exceeds target for vandalised Welsh church

MORE than £20,000 has been raised for the restoration of Eglwys y Grog (Holy Cross), Mwnt, in St Davids diocese, which was damaged just before Christmas. The Priest-in-Charge, Canon John Bennett, told the Tivy Side that the vandalism, which included several windows smashed and walls broken, and was reported to have taken place between 18 and 21 December, was the second incident of damage in recent weeks. A fund=raising drive was launched by a Ceredigion County Councillor, Clive Davies. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Andrew John, served his title at the church from 1989 to 1991. jjustgiving.com/crowdfunding/eglwysymwnt


Bishop of Leicester apologises for priest’s sex crimes

THE Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, has made an unreserved apology to the victim of indecent assault by Norman Clarke, who was an assistant curate at St Mary Magdelene’s, Knighton, from 1974 to 1981. Clarke, 93, of Malden Road, Sidmouth, in Devon, was sentenced last month at Leicester Crown Court to 30 months’ imprisonment for indecent assault of a female minor, which he committed while he was a teacher at a non-church school in the diocese in the 1970s. He pleaded guilty to all six allegations. Clarke was ordained in 1954 and served in the dioceses of Chester, Peterborough, London, Leicester, St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, and Exeter, where he retired. From 1960 to 1962, he was a chaplain and tutor at St Monica’s, Mampong, an Anglican girls’ school in Ghana. Bishop Snow said: “These crimes are a betrayal of the standards expected of all clergy and church officers. We offer an unreserved apology to the person affected, knowing that the effects of abuse are lifelong.”


Police: Worcestershire church damage a hate crime

VANDALISM at St Peter’s, Upper Arley, a Grade II* listed church in Worcester diocese, is being treated as a hate crime, West Mercia Police said last month. On the night of 23 December, intruders urinated in the chancel, smashed a leaded window, damaged a piano lid and two pews, and tore off the door of the empty wall-safe. They also broke into the bell tower and stole a set of handbells, two bell-ropes, a clock, and the bell-tower donation box. On the same night, the walls of Arley Arboretum near by were spray-painted with graffiti, and other areas were daubed with white paint. On Monday, the BBC reported that repairs had begun at the church. The treasurer at St Peter’s, Louvain Beer, said that the response from the village community had been “amazing . . . They’ve supported us, they’ve cleared up, they’ve cleaned, and the church is looking quite spick and span now.”


Sixth-form teacher banned indefinitely

A TEACHER at John Wallis C of E Academy, Ashford, in Kent, Stephane Lecurieux-Clerville, aged 41, has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely after a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency found him responsible for developing an inappropriate relationship with a pupil,and for continuing and intensifying the relationship after she left school. The determination, completed on 22 October and published this month, states that Mr Lecurieux-Clerville, leader of the sixth form at the school from 1 September 2010 until 11 September 2019, admitted the allegations. He was dismissed by the school after a disciplinary investigation.


Bishop of Connor waits again

THE installation, which had been due to take place on Sunday, of the Rt Revd George Davison as the Bishop of Connor, in Northern Ireland, has been postponed owing to concerns about Covid-19, the Belfast Newsletter reported on Saturday. Bishop Davison was elected on 17 February 2020 (News, 21 February 2020). His consecration, originally planned for last May, was delayed until last September, when it took place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, with a congregation of fewer than 30.


New Master of the Charterhouse

PETER AIERS, the chief executive of the Churches Conservation Trust, has been appointed the 34th Master of the Charterhouse, the 400-year-old almshouse charity near Smithfield Market in London. He will succeed Ann Kenrick on 1 April. Ms Kenrick oversaw significant changes to the charity during her period in office, including its opening to the public and the introduction of female Brothers.


Correction: The Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Revd Will Hazlewood, not the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, was the celebrant at the Christmas Day eucharist in St Mary’s, Ringmer (News, 31 December).

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