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UK news in brief

by
03 November 2023

Church of Scotland/John Young

The Revd Dr Shaw James Paterson in Strathaven Trinity Parish Church

The Revd Dr Shaw James Paterson in Strathaven Trinity Parish Church

Next Moderator of Kirk’s General Assembly announced

THE next Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is to be the Revd Dr Shaw James Paterson, it was announced last week. He succeeds the Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, who took a sabbatical from Christian Aid Scotland to fulfil the year-long tenure (News, 26 May). Dr Paterson will take up the position on 18 May 2024. Despite being told by his teachers that his Lanarkshire accent would hold him back, and that he was not cut out for study, he has four degrees from Glasgow University, including a doctorate in practical theology. He spent 30 years in church ministry, including as a Presbytery Clerk and as Minister of Strathaven Trinity Parish Church, Lanarkshire.

 

Former Lambeth Chief of Staff, Chris Smith, dies

A FORMER Chief of Staff at Lambeth Palace, Chris Smith, died of cancer on Monday, aged 74, the Church Times has learned. Mr Smith was appointed to the post in 2003 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and left during a staff shake-up in 2013 “to pursue other interests” (News, 28 June 2013). He played a significant part in organising the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Before his time at Lambeth, Mr Smith worked in finance, for the private bank C. Hoare & Co., and as a partner Price Waterhouse Coopers in London. He was also General Secretary of the diocese of London. He is survived by his wife, Nina, and two grown-up children. Obituary to follow

 

Sodor & Man defends Bishop’s Tynwald vote

THE retiring Bishop of Sodor & Man, the Rt Revd Peter Eagles, has defended the right of the Bishop to hold a seat in the Legislative Council of the High Court of Tynwald, the parliament of the Isle of Man. Currently, the bishop can take part in debates and votes, including votes for new members of the House of Keys, who serve alongside the Council. During his six-year tenure, there have been two attempts to remove the Bishop’s vote. Bishop Eagles, who took his last service on Saturday, told the BBC that it could be “quite hard for an elected politician to vote against” strong public opinion, but that the Bishop “may do it for a variety of reasons”. Without the vote — which, he acknowledged, some viewed as “controversial” — the Bishop’s seat would “become simply a sort of chaplaincy rather than a spiritual voice in public life, which, I believe, is really important”.

 

Winter Warm Welcome campaign relaunched

MILLIONS of people are burdened with “fear and anxiety” about the cost of heating their homes this winter, the Archbishop of York has said. In a video to relaunch the Warm Welcome campaign to provide a network of heated community spaces — including church buildings — in which people on lower incomes can gather for free in the colder months, he said: “Sadly, what began as a cost-of-living crisis has simply become the new normal for many.” A warm welcome was also “about kindness and community” and hope and dignity for individuals, he said. “But, of course, none of that will happen if people are cold.”

 

Charity launches anti-loneliness appeal

THE Christian charity Faith in Later Life has launched a campaign urging Christians and churches around the country to support older neighbours this winter who may be lonely. It estimates that 25,000-30,000 excess deaths occur each winter which are caused, in part, by isolation. The campaign “Love My Neighbour”, launched on Wednesday, will run until March. It encourages Christians to pray for, offer practical support to, and “bring good news” to older people in their communities.

 

Former Lambeth chief of staff, Chris Smith, dies

A FORMER chief of staff at Lambeth Palace, Chris Smith, died of cancer on Monday, aged 74. Mr Smith was appointed to the post in 2003 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, before he left during a staff shake-up in 2013 “to pursue other interests” (News, 28 June 2013). He played a significant role in organising the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Before his time at Lambeth, Mr Smith worked in finance. He is survived by his wife, Nina, and two grown-up children. Obituary to follow.

 

Simon Knott/YouTubeOne of more than 120 carved wooden roof bosses in All Saints’, Gazeley, in west Suffolk, which are at risk of decay from leaks in the wagon-roof. The church is appealing for £140,000 to repair and preserve the roof. The bosses were discovered during a refurbishment in 2006

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