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UK news in brief

03 March 2023

Church of England

The book of daily prayers for use in the run up to the Coronation

The book of daily prayers for use in the run up to the Coronation

C of E releases Coronation prayers

THE Church of England has released a book of daily prayers for use in the run up to the Coronation of King Charles III on 6 May, as well as an information pack to help churches and others to “celebrate community, faith, and service”. Covering 28 days from Easter Day (9 April), the 48-page full-colour daily prayer booklet includes themes and reflections for use by individuals, churches, or groups. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said on Wednesday: “The Coronation will be a time to celebrate community, faith and service — values that are reflected in these prayers. Please set aside some time each day between Easter and the Coronation to pray with us for Their Majesties, the Royal family and our nation.” Copies can be ordered direct via chpublishing.co.uk/Coronation, or booksellers.


Welby praises ‘political courage’ of NI deal

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has praised the “political courage” of the Prime Minister in securing a new deal with the European Union on post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland. Known as the Windsor Framework, the deal allows goods from Britain to travel through a “green lane” to NI, with normal checks carried out on red routes to the EU. Bans on certain products entering NI have been scrapped; there are no new requirements for travelling with pets; and UK VAT will apply to alcoholic goods. The NI Protocol Bill has also been scrapped. Archbishop Welby said: “I pray for the people of Northern Ireland and this new chapter in UK and EU relations. May the political courage shown by the Prime Minister and those involved be carried into the next stages.”



Bishop of Carlisle to retire in the summer

Diocese of CarlisleThe Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James NewcomeTHE Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, has announced that he is to retire in August after more than 20 years of senior ministry in Cumbria. He and his wife, Alison, first came to the county in 2002, when he was appointed Suffragan Bishop of Penrith. Seven years later, he became diocesan bishop. He wrote in a letter to clergy on Wednesday that, while he could not say he’d enjoyed “every single minute” of his ministry in the diocese, “these have been among the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life.” Bishop Newcome, who is turning 70, was ordained in 1979. He served his curacy at All Saints’, Leavesden. He was in parish ministry in Ely until 1994, when he became director of ordinands in Chester diocese, and director of education until his move to Carlisle in 2002. A service of thanksgiving for his ministry is planned for 16 July, at Carlisle Cathedral.


Archbishops deplore shooting in Omagh

THE Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Armagh have condemned the shooting of a senior police officer in Omagh, Northern Ireland, on Wednesday evening of last week. The off-duty officer, DCI John Caldwell, was shot multiple times outside a sports complex where he had reportedly been coaching youth football. He remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital. Three men who were arrested in connection with the shooting were released on Tuesday. In a joint statement after the attack, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, and the RC Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Eamon Martin, said that they were “united in our condemnation of this abhorrent attack on someone serving our community”.


National Churches Trust partners with lottery fund

THE National Churches Trust has been awarded a £1.9 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support skills, resources, and funding for historic places of worship otherwise at threat of closure. The partnership three-year grant programme, announced on Tuesday, will focus on Wales — where visitor offers will be developed — and Scotland, and the north-west of England (Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Cumbria), where potential community uses for buildings will be found. The funding will support three full-time local support officers based in the regions; a digital toolkit of buildings’ care; and training in the need, ownership, and care of places of worship, including project management, writing funding bids, maintenance skills, and tourism. Maintenance grants of between £500 and £10,000 will be available from May through the National Churches Trust’s online portal: nationalchurchestrust.org/get-support/grants


Bishop calls for compassion for asylum-seekers

THE Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, has repeated his concerns over escalating protests outside hotels housing asylum-seekers in the East Midlands. He asked people protesting against the placements to be compassionate and remember the humanity of the vulnerable people who were being housed. “These are human beings with feelings, with a desire for not just safety but to contribute to society,” he told the BBC. “I understand people’s concerns, but I hope that through encounters — actually meeting those people — they’ll understand that often these people are very fragile and vulnerable, and they are here for very good reasons in most cases.”


Methodists move headquarters

THE Methodist Church in Great Britain has moved out of Methodist Church House in Marylebone, and into Church House, Westminster, as a temporary measure while its new residence is being renovated. Its future location and current registered address is Methodist Church House, 25 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SF.


Young public speakers win at Cranmer Awards

THE winners of the 34th Cranmer Awards — a national public speaking competition organised by the Prayer Book Society — were announced on Tuesday. They were Bethany McGreevy, from the diocese of Sodor & Man, and Micah Smith, representing the dioceses of London and Southwark. Candidates recite from memory passages from the Book of Common Prayer.

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