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UK news in brief

12 May 2023

Diocese of Exeter

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell

Bishop of Exeter to retire at ‘sensible moment’

THE Bishop of Exeter since 2014, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, is to retire in September, shortly after he turns 69, he announced on Wednesday. “There is no ideal time to retire, but this seems like a sensible moment,” he said. He underwent surgery last year, and said that he was “increasingly conscious of how precious the gift of life and health is, and I don’t want to take it for granted”. Bishop Atwell was ordained priest in 1979, and served his title at John Keble Church, Mill Hill, in north London, and went on to be Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge. He spent ten years as a Benedictine monk in Oxfordshire. Latterly, he served as Vicar of St Mary’s, Primrose Hill, until becoming Suffragan Bishop of Stockport in 2008. He has been a member of the House of Lords since November 2021.


Commissioners seek slave-trade experts

THE Church Commissioners are seeking to appoint members of an Oversight Group who will design and implement a new investment fund in response to the recent focus on early links between the Commissioners’ £10.1-billion fund and the transatlantic slave trade (News, 17 June 2022). Applications opened on Wednesday. The Commissioners are looking for people who have expertise in one or more of the following: responsible investment; grant-making; international and/or community development; contested history and heritage; leadership that has benefited communities affected by the slave trade; lived experience and inter-generational trauma of people connected with the slave trade; theological perspectives relating to the slave trade. Recruitment closes on Wednesday 7 June. More details at: bit.ly/44K7UTH


Evangelical Council names next national director

THE Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) has announced the appointment of Canon John Dunnett as its new national director. He succeeds the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair, whose two-year term ended in April. Canon Dunnett joined the CEEC last year as its director of strategy and operations. He was previously the general director of the Church Pastoral Aid Society. He said: “My prayer is for CEEC to contend for biblical orthodoxy in the Church of England and hold fast to our historic teaching and doctrines.”


Lord Carswell dies, aged 88

THE Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, and his predecessor Lord Eames have paid tribute to Lord Carswell, who died on 4 May, aged 88. A former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Lord of Appeal-in-Ordinary, and member of the Supreme Court, he served as a Chancellor of Armagh and Down & Dromore dioceses. Archbishop McDowell said: “Lord Carswell made a significant contribution to the administration of justice in Northern Ireland, during what were often difficult and extremely dangerous times. On top of an acute and penetrating legal mind, he had great administrative flair. . . He also gave generously of his time and talents to the good governance of the Church . . . with immense conscientiousness and cheerfulness.” Lord Eames described him as “a man of utmost integrity who contributed immensely to the public life of Northern Ireland not least in the dark hours of the Troubles”.


Poverty charity appoints interim chief executive

THE charity Christians Against Poverty has appointed Lisa Pearce as interim chief executive from July, after its current chief executive, Paula Stringer, announced that she was to join the BBC. Ms Pearce is currently chief development and advocacy officer of the Christian human-rights charity Open Doors International, having previously been chief executive of Open Doors UK and Ireland.

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