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UK news in brief

28 July 2023


Planetary experience: Mars: War & Peace, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, is unveiled at St John the Baptist, Holland Road, London, last Friday, as part of the Kensington and Chelsea Festival. Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features detailed NASA imagery of the planet’s surface. At an approximate scale of 1:1 million, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars. It was created using the same techniques as Mr Jerram’s previous works, Museum of the Moon and Gaia

Planetary experience: Mars: War & Peace, a touring artwork by Luke Jerram, is unveiled at St John the Baptist, Holland R...


Unfreeze housing benefits, says Salvation Army

UNLESS the current freeze on housing benefits is lifted, more families will lose their homes because of rent rises, the Salvation Army has warned. Official figures on statutory homelessness in England, released on Tuesday, show that 83,240 households became homeless or were at risk of homelessness between January and March this year. This includes 27,750 families with children — 5.7-per-cent higher than the same figure last year. The figures also show that 1760 households were homeless because of rent arrears, compared with 1390 last year. The director of the Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services Unit, Nick Redmore, said: “More people than ever are losing the battle to keep a roof over their heads. The Government must now accept its freeze on the Local Housing Allowance is totally at odds with its commitment to tackle the rise in homelessness and is inadvertently sabotaging its own efforts. Unless housing benefits are urgently raised to cover the cost of rent, the homelessness crisis will only worsen.”


First Bishop of Islington recalled in Godmanchester

A SERVICE has been held at St Mary the Virgin, Godmanchester, in Ely diocese, this month the centenary of the death of one of its curates, Charles Turner, who was the first and only Bishop of Islington, in London, for 25 years until his death, until the see was revived in 2015. During his 50 years in London diocese, he was also Bishop’s Chaplain, a rector, and a Chaplain to Queen Victoria. He and his wife, Edith, had nine children, and were buried in the churchyard at Godmanchester, where their courtship had begun. Bishop Turner died in July 1923, and his widow in July 1949. The special service was led by the present honorary curate, Canon Jonathan Young, himself a former Vicar of the parish.


Founder of the Pentecostal Credit Union dies

A PENTECOSTAL pastor of the Windrush generation, the Revd Carmel Jones, who founded the Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU), died on Saturday, aged 85. He was born in Jamaica and came to the UK in 1955, aged 17. He registered the PCU (now worth £16 million) in 1980, at a time when the Windrush generation experienced financial exclusion. He also founded the New Assembly of Churches and the RESCUE Training organisation for ex-offenders. He was married to Iveline for 65 years. In 2020, St Paul’s, Clapham, in south London — whose parish priest had turned him away when he first arrived in the UK in 1955 — held a service at which he received a public apology (Diary, 27 November 2020).


Worcester already thinking about Christmas trees

APPLICATIONS can now be made to enter the annual Worcester Cathedral Christmas Tree Festival. Schools, businesses, charities, other organisations, or individuals can apply to enter a tree by completing a form on the cathedral website. The festival will be open to visitors from 7 December until Sunday 14 January 2024 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), during normal visiting hours. worcestercathedral.co.uk

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