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UK news in brief

17 February 2023


Primus and Moderator pay tribute to Nicola Sturgeon

THE Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Mark Strange, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Revd Dr Iain Greenshields, have paid tribute to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who resigned on Wednesday, when she spoke of the “brutality” of political discourse. “May we all wish her a more restful time in the months to come,” said Bishop Strange, who praised her promotion of dialogue between the government and church leaders during the pandemic. “As Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, I was acutely aware of the pressure that the Covid pandemic placed upon us all,” he said. Dr Greenshields spoke of the “tremendous weight of responsibility” borne by Ms Sturgeon. The Kirk, he said, “continues to uphold all elected politicians in our prayers as they seek to do their best”.


C of E Pensions Board develops new framework

A GROUP of investors, co-chaired by the Church of England Pensions Board, have announced a new framework for judging the green credentials of sovereign-debt providers. The framework, Assessing Sovereign Climate-Related Opportunities and Risks (ASCOR), builds on the work of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), which was developed by the Church of England in partnership with the London School of Economics and the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund (News, 13 January 2017).


Archdeacon told to resign over conduct unbecoming

THE Archdeacon Pastor for Coventry diocese, the Ven. Sue Field, has been instructed to resign, after a complaint brought against her under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) of “conduct unbecoming and inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders”. The penalty, imposed on 4 January, is listed as “resignation from office and injunction”. A spokesman for the diocese of Coventry declined to comment.


Conservationists oppose solar panels on King’s, Cambridge

PLANS approved by Cambridge City Council for the installation of almost 500 solar panels on the roof of King’s College Chapel have been criticised by Historic England. A spokesperson told The Times: “We understand King’s College’s commitment to sustainability . . . but we regret that this is to be done at some cost to the beauty of Cambridge’s finest building.” A statement on the college’s website says that the power generated will cover the energy needs of King’s and reduce carbon emissions by more than 27 tonnes per year. The Provost, Professor Michael Proctor, is reported as saying that the college is “inherently aware of the duty we have to protect the Chapel as a building of exceptional significance, for the benefit of everyone, forever. The installation of the panels represents the merger of our remarkable heritage with the urgent necessity to safeguard the future.”


Bradford offers breakfast to boost Fairtrade Fortnight

Bradford CathedralMembers of the Bradford Cathedral EcoGroup on the top of the cathedral towerBRADFORD CATHEDRAL is hosting two events in March to raise funds for Transform Trade: a breakfast before the main eucharist on 5 March, and a “Big Brew” after the service the following Sunday. Fairtrade products will be served and sold at both events. Transform Trade is the charity arm of Traidcraft PLC, which went into administration last month (News, 24 January). The cathedral is also also running a photo challenge, using the hashtag #ExtremeBrew, and inviting participants to share a photo of themselves enjoying a cup of tea in an unusual setting. “Obviously, please don’t do anything dangerous or illegal,” a spokesperson said.


Cathedral to hold memorial service for Ronald Blythe

THE Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, will lead a service of thanksgiving for the writer Ronald Blythe on Wednesday 1 March at 2 p.m (Obituary, 20 January). The service, in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, will include a eulogy by Julia Blackburn, who contributed to Blythe’s last book, Next to Nature: A lifetime in the English Countryside — a compilation of Church Times columns with contributions from other writers, published for his 100th birthday (Books, 4 November). The service will also feature music by his friend Benjamin Britten. All are welcome to attend. The service will be streamed live on the cathedral’s Facebook page.


Correction: Last week’s reference to the Mappa Mundi (News, 10 February) in a story about Lincoln should have referred, instead, to the cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta. Our apologies.

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