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UK news in brief

01 December 2023

The Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley

The Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley

Prebendary Hamley to be Principal of Ridley Hall

THE next Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge, is to be Prebendary Isabelle Hamley (above), currently Secretary for Theology and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops. She will take up post in April, and succeeds the Revd Dr Michael Volland, who is now the Bishop of Birmingham (News, 8 September). Prebendary Hamley, who is originally from France, has held her current post since 2020, before which she was was, for three years, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. She has also held teaching posts at St John’s College, Nottingham, and Ridley Hall. Archbishop Welby said: “Isabelle is a strategist of supreme and remarkable theological skills, a communicator of exceptional ability with a soft heart and great efficiency. I am so delighted she will be bringing the same gifts she shared with us to the next generation of ordinands at Ridley Hall.”

Singles in church are isolated, charity warns

THE launch of Single Friendly Church Network as a charity was held in St Ethelburga’s, Bishopsgate, in London, on the Wednesday of last week. Prayers were led by Bishop Pete Broadbent, a patron, and there was interview with the Revd Kate Wharton, a trustee who is the Vicar of St Bartholomew’s, Roby (Features,16 March 2018). Forty per cent of the people in the UK are single; the charity’s executive director said that they could feel “isolated, marginalised, and even excluded in church”. The charity encourages churches of all denominations to complete a “guided audit” on how “single-friendly” they are.

Forward in FaithBishop Jonathan Baker and Bishop Paul Thomas

One becomes two at The Society and Forward in Faith

THE Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, is to succeed the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, as chair of The Society’s Council of Bishops, it was announced this week; and Bishop Robinson is to be succeeded as the chairman of Forward in Faith by the Bishop of Oswestry, the Rt Revd Paul Thomas. In a press release, Bishop Baker said: “Our entire movement owes a huge debt of gratitude to Bishop Tony for his many years of selfless devotion to the flourishing of catholic life in the Church of England, all conducted with a profound sense of pastoral care to clergy and people alike, and with pragmatism and good humour.”

Genders joins call for teacher-development funding

INVESTMENT in teacher development through the Early Career Framework (ECF) and fully funded National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) must continue, an article in Schools Week by a group or authors, including the Church of England’s chief education officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, says. The support was part of the package introduced in 2021 in response to the Covid pandemic. Continued investment “will help to ensure that the impact of the ECF and NPQs can grow, especially important against the backdrop of the current recruitment and retention challenges”, the article says.

Theology lecturer seeks damages from Methodist college

A THEOLOGY lecturer, Aaron Edwards, is taking Cliff College, a Methodist institution, to an employment tribunal, alleging that it threatened him with referral to the Prevent counter-terrorism scheme after he criticised the Church’s stance on homosexuality, The Times reports. In February, he wrote on social media: “Homosexuality is invading the Church. Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this [because] they’re busy apologising for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it’s true” (News, 24 March). He is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre and is seeking damages for unfair dismissal and compensation under the Equality Act 2010. Press

Cleric’s stalker imprisoned for two years

A MAN who stalked a priest for ten months has been jailed for two years, The Times reported on Wednesday. Reading Crown Court heard how the Revd Lucy Fyfe-Jamieson, a Team Vicar in the Beaconsfield Team Ministry, had been stalked by Terry Atkins, 47, in Canterbury in October 2021. He had breached a restraining order and tracked her down to her new location and was eventually arrested when he tried to enter her new church. In her victim-impact statement, Ms Fyfe-Jamieson said that her ministry had been “overshadowed by his efforts to sabotage it”.

Hitchin the location for anti-slavery launch

A NATIONWIDE project to encourage local action against human trafficking and modern slavery, in partnership with police and other agencies, was due to be launched yesterday at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew, Hitchin. Hitchin was one of the first towns to set up its own anti-slavery society in 1825. The leading abolitionist and former slave Henry Garnett visited the town in 1850. The event has been organised by the diocese of Westminster and the Santa Marta Group, set up in 2014 when Pope Francis instructed the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, to lead work to end human trafficking and modern slavery. The Group’s new “guidance and awareness handbook” will be distributed for the first time.

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