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UK news in brief

10 March 2023

Pride of Birmingham

Canon Eve Pitts

Canon Eve Pitts

Canon Pitts recognised for racial-justice work

A CAMPAIGNER for racial justice, Canon Eve Pitts, who in 1994 was the first Black woman to be ordained priest in the Church of England, received a lifetime achievement award at the Pride of Birmingham Awards on Monday. Canon Pitts is the Vicar of Holy Trinity, Birchfield, an inner city parish in Birmingham. An announcement said that, in addition to her work in the Church: “Canon Pitts is passionate about sharing Black history and educating those around her about the reality and legacy of slavery and racism.”


New audio Bible celebrates women’s voices

THE first audio NIV Bible to be voiced entirely by women from around the UK was released on Wednesday, International Women’s Day. Her Audio Bible UK, which features “a wide range of accents”, is the first project of the newly registered charity Open Word UK. The four Gospels and the Revelation of St John were released on Wednesday. The rest of the New Testament is to follow monthly. It is free to listen to. The audio was directed and produced by the Revd Katy Partridge. Readers include teachers, doctors, nurses, journalists, priests, and scholars. Open Word UK is crowdfunding to record the Old Testament, which it hopes to begin in September. Between 700 and 800 audio Bibles have been recorded around the world. Just eight so far are thought to have been recorded using women’s voices.


CAP founder releases missional app

THE founder of Christians Against Poverty (CAP), John Kirkby, is to lead a new mission charity, the Isaiah 61 Movement (i61m), launched on Monday. It is named after the text “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news.” The strategic founding partners are Stewardship, the Evangelical Alliance, and CAP. For the past two years, Mr Kirkby has helped to design a free app to encourage evangelism. Users are asked “challenging questions” such as “How many non-Christian friends do you have?” i61m.org


Next leader of New Wine announced

THE next national leader of New Wine England is to be the Revd Rich Johnson, who has been the Vicar of All Saints’, Worcester, since 2014. He will succeed the Revd Paul Harcourt, from April, it was announced at the New Wine Leadership Conference in Harrogate last week. Mr Johnson’s wife, Kath, was also “invited . . . to become part of the leadership going forward alongside her role with IJM (International Justice Mission)”, a statement said.


Church launches youth music project

A CHURCH in Norfolk has launched a project to inspire musical excellence in the region. Primary-school-age children in the community are invited to sing and socialise with AMP Voices, with free sessions held at St Mary’s, Attleborough, after school on Tuesdays. AMP Voices is led by a Youth Music grant-funded outreach worker, Judith Williams, who said: “We wake up our ears, our bodies, our voices, play some rhythm games and team games, learn and perform songs.” Ms Williams hopes to “create a community choir made up of students from various schools in the area”. musicoutreach.attleborough@yahoo.com


Fifth bishop for breakaway Anglicans in Europe

A NEW bishop for the Anglican Network in Europe (ANiE), a group of churches affiliated to the Global Anglican Futures Conference (Gafcon), is to be consecrated on 18 March. The Archbishop of Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Dr Foley Beach, who chairs Gafcon, will lead the service, alongside ACNA’s Missionary Bishop to Europe, the Rt Revd Andy Lines. The Revd Stuart Bell will be consecrated to be the Assistant Bishop for the ANiE during a service in Aberystwyth Arts Centre. ANiE currently comprises 35 churches, most of them in the UK. Bishop Bell will be the network’s fourth assistant bishop.


Corrections: last week we incorrectly illustrated a story about St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, with a picture of St Botolph’s without Aldgate. In our Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature photo coverage, James Gilchrist was singing a passage from Bach’s St Matthew Passion, not Handel’s Messiah. We apologise for the errors.

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