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UK news in brief

14 April 2023


Church leaders oppose Illegal Migration Bill

MORE than 1450 church leaders have signed a statement opposing the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill (News, 10 March), arguing that its proposals are “incompatible with our Christian conviction that all human beings are made in the image of God”. The statement was drafted by the Joint Public Issues Team, a partnership between the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church, and signed by the Churches’ current leaders. The signatories say that they are “appalled” by plans to “detain, punish and reject thousands of people seeking safety”, and call on the Government to withdraw the legislation. It was handed to 10 Downing Street last week. The Bill has passed Committee Stage in the House of Commons and will return for the Report Stage on 25 April. The Archbishop of York has described it as “cruelty without purpose” (News, 17 March).


Bishop Bayes honoured by LGBT charity

A FORMER Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, has won the LCR Pride Foundation Award for his advocacy for LGBT+ people. The awards ceremony was held at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium on Thursday of last week. The LCR Pride Foundation, of which Bishop Bayes is a patron, seeks to make the Liverpool City Region “the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK”. Bishop Bayes described the award as “an honour as great as any I have ever received”.


Pilavachi no longer a director of Soul Survivor

CANON Mike Pilavachi’s appointment as a director of Soul Survivor was terminated on 4 April, a Companies House filing shows. He is no longer listed as a trustee in Soul Survivor’s registration with the Charity Commission, but remains listed as “associate pastor” on the Watford church’s website. Last week, it was announced that Canon Pilavachi had agreed “to step back from all ministry” while “non-recent safeguarding concerns” were investigated (News, 6 April). A statement from Soul Survivor said that the police were not involved, and it was not criminal investigation and “not currently a clergy disciplinary matter”. Canon Pilavachi had not been suspended.


Baptist ‘Cliff’ act makes comeback for Tearfund

TEARFUNDTEARFUNDA FORMER Baptist minister, Will Chandler, who toured as a Cliff Richard tribute act until a brain-tumour diagnosis forced him to stop, has come out of retirement to raise money for Tearfund. Mr Chandler raised more than £2500 by performing a concert in Cromer Parish Church in March. “The act opened lots of doors for me to take Christianity out into the world,” he said, reflecting on his touring years. “Cliff has lots of Christian songs, such as ‘The Only Way Out’, and I could introduce these songs and tell people about the faith background.” justgiving.com/fundraising/will-chandler


Correction: Luke Jerram’s installation Oil Fountain, due to be displayed at Bristol Cathedral (News, 6 April), is part of the Festival of Nature, which will run from 10 to 18 June.

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