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UK news in brief

09 December 2022


Land Rover owner in row with church over access

A MAN who parked his 4×4 outside his house on the path to St Wulfram’s, Grantham, in Lincolnshire, has insisted that he is not preventing deliveries to the church, or disabled access, despite complaints that deliveries have been hindered, including deliveries for the church’s Christmas tree festival. The man, Peter Escreet, who is 39, said that the “constant” stream of cars going past his house was resulting in “ongoing damage” to the building and the path. “We have parked here to block people’s access because we don’t think anybody should be driving up here,” he told Lincolnshire Live. A spokesman for the church said that, while he understood Mr Escreet’s concerns, access to the church was needed. “It is important that deliveries, contractors, and disabled visitors can get as close to the front door as possible.” Mr Escreet said that there was enough room between his car and the wall for mobility scooters to pass, and that it had been possible to deliver the trees.


London churches invited to tackle hygiene poverty

CHURCHES in the diocese of London are being encouraged to join a campaign to relieve hygiene poverty by helping to co-ordinate the collection and distribution of hygiene products. The Priest-in-Charge of Holy Sepulchre, London (St Sepulchre-without-Newgate), the Revd Nicholas Mottershead, who co-ordinates the Square Mile Hygiene Bank, distributes hygiene products from a neighbouring Boots branch to the bank’s 20 community partners (schools, charities, and agencies). There are a further 52 organisations on the partners’ waiting list, which would benefit a further 10,000 people. Mr Mottershead said: “Personal hygiene is not a privilege, but a right.” The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, said: “As many cut back on ‘non-essentials’ due to the cost-of-living crisis, the plight of hygiene poverty will only worsen, and it is unacceptable that anyone should feel unable to participate fully in society due to their inability to pay for hygiene products.”


College principal to be Mission Enabler for the North

THE Principal at St Hild College, in Yorkshire, Canon Mark Powley, has been appointed as the Archbishop of York’s first Mission Enabler for the North, and will focus on “revitalising parishes and planting new churches” in the 12 dioceses of the Province, an announcement said last week. The new position is being paid for by the Strategic Development Fund. There will be a particular emphasis on the growth of a younger and more diverse Church. Archbishop Cottrell said: “This role has emerged after much prayer and collaboration with diocesan bishops and theological-education institutions across the Province.” Canon Powley, who lectures in Biblical Theology and Leadership at St Hild, will take up his new post in May 2023. It was a “great privilege”, he said, to take on the “massive task” with partners around the Province.


Climate protesters interrupt cathedral service

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners held a climate protest during a morning service in Derby Cathedral on Sunday. A banner was unfurled and placards were displayed, calling on the Church of England to disinvest from fossil fuels. One of the protesters, Mary Smail, knelt at the front, while another protester appeared to place ashes on her head. Ms Smail told the Derby Telegraph: “What I did today was an act of repentance — it was a spiritual act. If God so loved the world that he gave his only son as a sacrifice, what are we doing in response to that sacrifice in continuing to sacrifice the earth and the people of God’s love on the altar of greed?” The article was re-Tweeted by Christian Climate Action.


Quakers drop ‘overseer’ title as echoing slavery

QUAKERS have agreed to stop using the term “overseer” because of its connotations of oppression and slavery, it was announced this week. The term has been used since 1753 to represent Quakers who provide pastoral oversight, support, and care. The word has also been used to describe slave-plantation managers. In 2019, Quakers in central Yorkshire raised a concern that the term was outdated. Last week, the representative body of Quaker meetings heard statements from more than 40 areas, many of whom already used other terms, such as “pastoral friend”. The Deputy Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, Siobhán Haire, said: “There is no external scale of anti-racism which we can measure ourselves against, no impact dashboard for the personal and corporate epiphanies which are required of us if we are truly to embody anti-racism and know ourselves to be anti-racist.”

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