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UK news in brief

08 July 2022

Andy Bowerman

Long way round: The new Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Andy Bowerman, walked from Ripon Cathedral to Bradford along the Yorkshire Heritage Way before his installation at the end of last month

Long way round: The new Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Andy Bowerman, walked from Ripon Cathedral to Bradford along the Yorkshire Heritage Way before...


Benefact Trust awards £500k to support Ukraine

THE Benefact Trust (formerly Allchurches Trust) has awarded half its £1 million pledge to support Ukraine through grants to six charities working in Eastern Europe: Tearfund, World Vision, British Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Depaul International, and All We Can. The trust fund-raising manager for the Salvation Army, Alexandra Cairns, said that the money had helped them to continue providing “vital humanitarian aid and emotional support on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries”.


Bishop of Peterborough to retire in new year

THE Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, is to retire on 8 January next, he announced in a letter to the diocese last week. A farewell service will be held at Peterborough Cathedral on that day. Bishop Allister writes: “I simply repeat what I have often said since I came here in 2010, that being your bishop continues to be a great privilege and (mainly) a great joy. I look forward to six more months of that.”


Teenager pleads guilty to church arson

A TEENAGER, Johnny Brady, has pleaded guilty to a series of arson attacks on churches and schools in Derbyshire. This includes the Grade I listed All Saints’, Mackworth, of which only the tower survived after a fire in December 2020 (News 11 December 2020; 1 January 2021). Mr Brady, who is 18 and of no fixed abode, appeared via video link before Derby Crown Court, and pleaded guilty to six counts of arson and one count of burglary. He is due to be sentenced on 2 September.


Savills director to deliver affordable housing

THE Church Commissioners have appointed a former associate director of Savills, Jennifer Longstaff, as strategic land and affordable-housing asset manager to help to deliver its affordable-housing targets. The Commissioners’ portfolio includes significant landholdings, which the Archbishops’ Housing Commission reported should be used towards improving housing quality in the UK (News, 26 February 2021). Ms Longstaff is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute; her current work includes project development and securing planning permission to support new developments, including rural housing. She has previously worked with the Commissioners as a development consultant on their rural housing projects.


Young environmental author wins Diana Award

A 15-YEAR-OLD, Jamie Hawker, who wrote Changing the Climate: Applying the Bible in a climate emergency (Bible Reading Fellowship, 2021), has been presented the Diana Award for his environmental work. The award, which recognises the humanitarian efforts of young people, is made by the charity of the same name, supported by the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex. The book, which Mr Hawker wrote with his parents, Debbie and David Hawker, during lockdown, includes more than 130 ways in which to care for creation.


Guide seeks to ‘revitalise’ village churches

A NEW guide has been published to help the clergy and laity make the most of village churches, through such things as weddings, creative use of the building, and activities for children. The book, How Village Churches Thrive: A practical guide (Church House Publishing, 2022), published last week, has ten chapters focusing on ten key areas, the first of which — “Extending a warm welcome” — was written by members of the Growing the Rural Church team in the diocese of Exeter. The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, who is the lead bishop for rural affairs, writes in his foreword: “Our churches are holy places that speak of God’s unchanging love. If they are to survive as the home of living, praying congregations, they need to recover their role as hubs of community life.”

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