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UK news in brief

24 March 2023


Professor Philip Esler

Professor Philip Esler

Helsinki honour for New Testament scholar

THE University of Helsinki is awarding an honorary doctorate to Professor Philip Esler, Portland Chair in New Testament Studies in the University of Gloucestershire’s School of Education and Humanities. He is among just 30 people around the world to receive the honour bestowed by four faculties at the University, which was founded in 1643. A statement from the university described Professor Esler as “a pioneer in the social-scientific study of the Bible. He has opened up a number of new approaches to the study of early Jewish and Christian texts through sociological, anthropological and socio-psychological perspectives.” The ceremony will take place on 9 June.


More coronation resources published, for mission

PRAYERS for the King are among the resources for the coronation published in the past week. Hope Together, a Christian mission charity, is offering free resources for downloading, including prayers, an assembly plan, and a grace to be said at street parties. Also available online are resources to help churches to volunteer in their neighbourhoods through “The Big Help Out”. A release described the coronation as “a one-off opportunity for missional outreach with a unique angle at a time when the nation is united in celebration”. The Liturgical Advisory Committee of the Church of Ireland has also published a set of prayers, including a short series of intercessions. hopetogether.org.uk


Archbishop of York defends bishop in Tynwald

THE Archbishop of York has defended the presence of the Bishop of Sodor & Man in Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man. During a visit to the Island last week, Archbishop Cottrell told Manx Radio that the diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Peter Eagles, was “held in high regard across the Island, and, particularly, people mention the wisdom and the perspective that he brings to Tynwald”. The Church spoke up for “a moral and ethnical vision about how we inhabit the world”.


New Bristol scholarship for Black student

THE Jubilee Scholarship, an annual scholarship for a Black undergraduate or postgraduate student, has been launched by Trinity College, Bristol, prompted by research that has revealed historic links between the College and the Transatlantic slave trade. At the time of its 50th anniversary last year, research by the College’s director of postgraduate research, Dr Jamie Davies, showed that its main building, Stoke House, had been funded by a family which had links to the trade. The scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition fees for a student studying for a BA in theology, ministry, and mission (up to three years), or an MA in theology, ministry, and mission (up to two years). It is not open to ordinands. More information is available at trinitycollegebristol.ac.uk; the deadline for applications is 12 May.


Quakers urge Labour to address causes of offending

A LABOUR government, if elected, must focus on prevention, rehabilitation, and restorative justice to repair the criminal-justice system, says a submission to a Labour Policy Forum consultation sent this week by Quakers in Britain and Quakers in Criminal Justice. The contribution argues that more neighbourhood policing, multi-agency approaches, and investment in programmes for young people would help to prevent crime, and that the Labour Party should “trust the evidence from academic research, think tanks, working parties, and committees of enquiry” and “consider how militarised British policing should become”.

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