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UK news in brief

17 March 2023

Diocese of Sodor & Man

The Rt Revd Peter Eagles

The Rt Revd Peter Eagles


Bishop of Sodor & Man to retire

THE Bishop of Sodor & Man, the Rt Revd Peter Eagles, is to retire in October, he announced at the diocesan synod last week. Until the vacancy is filled, the Bishop of Middleton, in Manchester diocese, the Rt Revd Mark Davies, will be Acting Bishop. Bishop Eagles, who is 64, was ordained priest in 1990. He served his title at St Martin’s, Ruislip, in west London, and was an Army Chaplain for 25 years, serving as Archdeacon for the Army before his consecration in 2017 (News, 12 May 2017). He was also a Canon and Prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral from 2015. In an ad clerum, Bishop Eagles wrote: “There is rarely a good time for a bishop to step down from the ministry of care for a diocese, but, continuing to discern my vocation in the light of God’s will, I believe that now is the right moment.” He plans to move to southern England with his wife, Gail, to be closer to family.


Nottinghamshire wave of church-plate thefts

VALUABLE silver has been stolen from several churches in Nottinghamshire over two nights, Nottinghamshire Police report. Thieves broke into St Wilfrid’s, Nottingham, on 28 February. The next night, St Leodegarius’s, Basford, St Mary the Virgin and All Souls’, Bulwell, and St Mary’s, Plumtree, were all targeted. On each occasion, silver was stolen, including a set of six candlesticks from All Souls’. Officers believe that the break-ins may be linked, and are appealing to the public for information. A warning has been issued to churches in the area. The church-liaison officer at Nottinghamshire Police, Inspector Matt Ward, said: “These offenders are clearly targeting local churches, and we are determined to catch up with them. To this end, I would like to hear from anybody who saw or heard anything suspicious in these locations, or who has seen or been offered for sale large silver items like plates, cups, and candlesticks. Our churches are in many cases at the very heart of our communities, and we will simply not allow criminals to prey on them in this way.”


St Hild College, Sheffield, to have new Principal

THE next Principal of St Hild College, Sheffield, is to be one of its current Vice-Principals, Dr Daniel McGinnis, the trustees announced on Tuesday. He succeeds Canon Mark Powley, who leaves at Easter. Before joining the college, Dr McGinnis led a church-planting team in Sheffield, and established the Leeds School of Theology. He has been a vice-principal since the college’s launch in 2017. His doctorate is in New Testament studies; his recent publications include Missional Acts: Rhetorical narrative in the Acts of the Apostles. He is a member of the British New Testament Society, and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. The Bishop of Selby, Dr John Thomson, who chairs the college’s council, said that Dr McGinnis had been “integral to the formation and development” of the college.


Go-ahead for solar panels on York Minster

PLANS to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of York Minster have been approved by the City of York Council and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, it has been announced. The 199 panels, which will be placed on the roof of the south quire aisle, are expected to generate 75,000 kilowatt-hours of power annually. Surplus power will be used for the cathedral’s evening services and events, the Chapter says. A panel inside the Minster will display its energy production and carbon savings to visitors. The Dean, the Very Revd Dominic Barrington, hoped that other cathedrals would follow suit. The lead bishop for the environment, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, wrote on Twitter: “The approval of plans to put solar panels on York Minster & King’s College Chapel are major steps forward as we work with planning authorities & amenity societies to reach net zero in @churchofengland.” The college’s plans were unanimously approved by Cambridge City Council last month.


Methodist housing charity celebrates 75 years

THE Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society (MMHS) is marking 75 years of providing retirement accommodation for ministers. More than 600 people gathered in the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, last week, for a concert to launch a year of celebration. The chair of the board, the Revd Alan Taylor, was interviewed by the Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes. The charity was currently housing 700 presbyters and deacons in houses and flats, he said. “The needs can be diverse, but we have a small team that go the extra mile to meet those needs.” The chief executive, Mairi Johnstone, said in a video address: “We provide much more than a house — we provide a home. Your home is your sanctuary.” An online service and a specially commissioned song are planned.


Society backs campaign for free school meals

A CAMPAIGN for free school meals is being backed by the Children’s Society. More than 40 organisations, unions, councils, and politicians joined the campaign on International School Meals Day, on Thursday of last week. They are asking the Government to remove the “stigmatising” means-tested provision, and instead provide healthy food for all primary- and secondary-school children by 2030.

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