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UK news in brief

10 November 2023

Finbarr Webster

Remembrance: a poppy wreath is projected on the west front of Salisbury Cathedral, on Tuesday night, the start of a five-day spectacular by Luxmuralis, Sarum Lights: Illuminating Art. More than 10,000 tickets have been sold to the event, which runs until Saturday. boxoffice@salcath.co.uk

Remembrance: a poppy wreath is projected on the west front of Salisbury Cathedral, on Tuesday night, the start of a five-day spectacular by Luxmuralis, Sarum Lights: Illuminating Art. More than 10,000 tickets have been sold to the event, which runs until Saturday. boxoffice@salcath.co.uk


Dr Hance to be Dean of St James’s Cathedral, Toronto

THE Church of England’s national lead for Evangelism and Witness, the Revd Dr Stephen Hance, is to be the next Dean of St James’s Cathedral, Toronto, in the Anglican Church of Canada, it was announced last week. Dr Hance was Dean of Derby 2017-19 and a Residentiary Canon of Southwark Cathedral 2013-17. He was ordained priest in 1994, and served his title at St Jude’s, Southsea, in Portsmouth, before serving in the dioceses of London and Southwark. In a letter to the clergy and people of St James’s Cathedral, the Bishop of Toronto, the Rt Revd Andrew Asbil, said that he was “delighted” by the appointment. Dr Hance is to be installed as Dean and Rector on 14 January. He is married to Jacqui, who is the Evangelism and Witness Priority Co-ordinator at Lambeth Palace. They have three adult children.


Jesus Army compensation scheme closing soon

SURVIVORS of the Jesus Army who were abused in the Northampton-based organisation are being urged to come forward before the compensation scheme closes on 31 December. The scheme was launched in September for anyone who was “sexually physically or emotionally abused” or had an “adverse community experience” (News, 30 September 2022). Since then, Malcolm Johnson, head of abuse claims at Lime Solicitors, which is facilitating the scheme, has represented 140 claimants and settled 25 claims. He said: “I would strongly advise survivors to apply to the scheme as soon as possible; we are running out of time to ensure that survivors can receive the apology and justice they deserve.” Philippa Barnes, media lead of the Jesus Fellowship Survivors Association, said: “No apology or compensation scheme can change what happened, but it is essential to ensure the abuse of the past is acknowledged. With the scheme’s end fast approaching, I hope that more will come forward to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.” www.limesolicitors.co.uk



Vicar sells church flooring to fund arts centre

THE Vicar of St Andrew’s, Kettering, the Revd Thomas Houston, is selling the church’s parquet flooring to raise the £20,000 needed to fund a new stage, heating, and lighting for the Kettering Arts Centre, which is housed in the church. Mr Houston, who also manages the centre, said that, while £300,000 had already been raised, rising costs meant that the project was £19,644 short, while a December deadline loomed. “We are so close to reaching this dream,” he said. “We’ve given everything to make this happen; the only thing left to do was sell the floor.” The oak tiles can be bought individually or in sections. They will be replaced with tiles and underfloor heating. Currently, arts-centre visitors “may need to bring a coat or two and take care when [crossing] the loose ‘clickity clackity’ parquet floor”, Mr Houston said. “Anyone — businesses, organisations, or individuals — who donates will receive a unique parquet woodblock, and their name will be added to a ‘thank you’ display board.” justgiving.com/campaign/loveyourartscentre


Gloucester Chapter woos corporate partners

THE Chapter of Gloucester Cathedral has launched a corporate partnership programme. Membership allows local businesses to attend exclusive cathedral events and host functions in its historic rooms. WSP Solicitors, based in Stroud and Gloucester, has become the first member. Three corporate packages are available: for the “Canon” package, businesses will be featured in the cathedral newsletter, receive discounts at the Monk’s Kitchen eatery and Gift Shop, and can attend special events; the “Dean” package also includes complimentary hire of designated event spaces, corporate volunteering opportunities, and a private tour of the cathedral; and the “Bishop” package is “bespoke and can be tailored to the needs of the partner”. The Dean, the Very Revd Andrew Zihni, said: “Links with local businesses have always been crucial to the cathedral’s life and mission. . . We are delighted to be launching this new scheme, which will enable us to further develop those links.” To join the programme, email: liz.gough@gloucestercathedral.org.uk


New call to abolish bishop’s Tynwald vote

A MEMBER of the House of Keys (MHK) on the Isle of Man, Lawrie Hooper, is renewing a call to remove the Bishop of Sodor & Man’s right to vote (News, 3 November), the BBC reports. The Bishop is one of the three ex-officio members of the Legislative Council, the upper chamber of the Tynwald. Mr Hooper said that his Private Members’ Bill would remove this vote, but that the Bishop would keep his seat, allowing him to “keep his perspective” without compromising the democratic process. Last week, the retiring Bishop of Sodor & Man, the Rt Revd Peter Eagles, defended the Bishop’s right to vote, saying that, without it, the seat would “become simply a sort of chaplaincy rather than a spiritual voice in public life”. There have been two attempts to remove the vote during his six-year tenure.


Urban Fund appeals for Advent walkers

THE Church Urban Fund is asking its supporters to walk 90 miles before Christmas to raise funds for its work with churches and communities. The suggested distance for its campaign, Walk with Hope, reflects Mary and Joseph’s journey to reach Bethlehem. “As we head towards another challenging winter, many of us are in need of support, care, and community,” its website explains. “We’re asking you to follow in the footsteps of the Holy Family’s walk to Bethlehem. . . The support you receive from your family and friends will go a long way to helping local churches welcome and care for people in need.” cuf.org.uk/walk-towards-hope


Charity launches anti-loneliness campaign

THE Christian charity Faith in Later Life has launched a campaign urging Christians and churches around the country to support older neighbours who may be lonely this winter. It estimates that 25,000-30,000 excess deaths each winter are caused, in part, by isolation. The campaign “Love My Neighbour”, launched last week, will run until March. It encourages Christians to pray for, offer practical support to, and “bring good news” to older people in their communities.

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