*** DEBUG END ***

UK news in brief

06 January 2023


The Hardy tree pictured in 2021

The Hardy tree pictured in 2021

Thomas Hardy tree at St Pancras Old Church falls

A TREE in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, famous for the gravestones that were piled around its roots by the novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, has fallen. Hardy had piled the stones when he came to London as a young architect. The curator of Wessex Museum’s Thomas Hardy exhibition, Harriet Still, told the BBC that Hardy’s firm had been commissioned by the Bishop of London to disinter several graves from the old cemetery to make way for a new railway station, which is now King’s Cross St Pancras. Camden Council said of the fallen tree, which had been fenced off for some time: “Sadly, the Hardy Tree was infected with a fungus in 2014, and since then we’ve been taking steps to manage its final few years.” It had warned in the summer that the tree had been weakened by a heavy storm and would almost certainly fall.


‘Longest-serving Anglican religious’ dies, aged 108

Community of the Sisters of the ChurchSister Dorothea CSCSISTER Dorothea of the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC) died on Boxing Day, aged 108, in her 82nd year of life profession. She is thought to have been in vows longer than any other Anglican religious in history. Sister Dorothea was born in 1914, and was Mother Superior CSC from 1962 to 1978. Sister Aileen CSC said that Sister Dorothea had been responsible for making the community “vibrantly alive and ready for the future. She also felt strongly about justice and often went to support the women at Greenham Common.” The historian Dr Petà Dunstan writes: “Eighty years is known as an Oak anniversary; very few Religious make such an extraordinary milestone in years in profession. Whilst a few Roman Catholic Religious have reached it, no Anglican monk or nun, sister or brother, has been known to have done so.” The funeral will be on 25 January in St Michael’s Convent, Gerrards Cross, followed by interment in a woodland burial site.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)