Victory for Kent University at gospel-choir competition
THIS year’s award for University Gospel Choir of the Year was won by the Kent University Gospel Choir, after a competition on Saturday at Oasis House in Croydon, in which eight choirs took part. A joint initiative with AStepFWD, an organisation committed to seeing more 18-24-year-olds “renew their commitment or be brought into contact with the Christian faith” through music, the competition was devised by Lorraine Wright and is in its 11th year. Kent University Gospel Choir will now open the finale event at Music + Arts Global, a gathering of international choirs at Gaumont State Theatre, London, on 29 April.
Dr Walker: ‘We are in a different world after Casey’
THE Public Order Bill (News, 25 January) must acknowledge the impact of the Casey Report on the Metropolitan Police (Comment, 24 March), “something to say that we are putting down a marker . . . that, whatever we have done in other legislation, now we are in a different world,” the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, told the House of Lords on Tuesday. He also referred to a new report by the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, which found that almost 3000 children had been strip-searched in England and Wales from 2018 to mid-2022. Dr Walker was speaking in support of a successful amendment moved by the Labour peer, Lord Coaker, that seeks to impose conditions on powers enabling the police to conduct suspicion-less stop and searches for protest-related offences.
Moderator welcomes Scotland’s new leader
THE Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Iain Greenshields, has welcomed the election of the new First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, on Tuesday. Mr Yousaf succeeds Nicola Sturgeon, who resigned in February (News, 17 February). “The Church recognises the difficult decisions that people in political authority have to take on behalf of all the people of Scotland, regardless of their political preferences,” Dr Greenshields said. “We pray that Mr Yousaf is imbued with wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity and he finds the strength and peace to do what is right.”