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UK news in brief

07 July 2023


An NHS matron, Mayflor Bernal, looks at the George Cross, awarded to the National Health Service last July and displayed at the service held in Westminster Abbey, on Wednesday, to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the service

An NHS matron, Mayflor Bernal, looks at the George Cross, awarded to the National Health Service last July and displayed at the service held in Westmi...

NHS anniversary marked in Wales

THE Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd Mary Stallard, praised the “passion, dedication, and commitment” of NHS staff, at a service to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS in Wales. The multifaith service was held at the Resurrection, Ely, in Cardiff, and was led by the Team Vicar, Canon Jan Gould. In attendance were the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, and the Chief Executive of NHS Wales, Judith Paget. In her sermon, Bishop Stallard said that hope was at the heart of the health service. “Faith invites us to be people of hope; those who have a vision and inhabit a calling not to stay with the difficulties, but to be stirred by need, and to roll up our sleeves, to strive to make a difference, to do what we can and play our part, and most especially to care for the weak and the vulnerable.”


New President and Vice-President for Methodists

Carolyn Godfrey, Vice-President elect of the Methodist Conference for 2024-25THE Methodist Conference has elected the Revd Helen Cameron and Carolyn Godfrey to serve as President and Vice-President respectively, for the period June 2024 to June 2025. Mrs Cameron currently chairs the Northampton District, and is Moderator of the Free Church Group and a President of Churches Together in England. She represented the Free Churches at the late Queen’s funeral. Mrs Godfrey is the safeguarding officer for the Darlington and Newcastle Districts and a local preacher. The elections took place after the suspension of the current Vice-President and investigations into the conduct of the President (News, 16 June).


Kirk expresses alarm over fire service

THE General Trustees of the Church of Scotland have expressed concern about the impact a new policy on responding to fire alarms could have on its buildings. In an effort to reduce unnecessary callouts, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is no longer travelling to investigate all automatic alarms. The responsibility to investigate now lies with the local “duty holder”. The Trustees are worried that the directive could spark confusion among volunteers not equipped to make confident judgements about the seriousness of a fire; and that it would increase costs and risk to properties outside office hours, particularly in rural areas.


Church charities celebrate share of £1m fund

FIVE Christian charities have received donations of £1000 each as part of the Benefact Group’s Movement for Good Awards. Members of the public were invited to nominate causes close to their hearts. More than 135,000 nominations were made, and 150 charities were chosen as beneficiaries at random. More grants will follow later this year. The five are Bury Street Pastors; Northern Inter-Schools Christian Union; St Richard’s, Aldwick; St Michael and All Angels, Thurmaston; and St Peter and St Paul, Fakenham.


New Fairtrade scheme for grass-roots campaigners

THE Fairtrade Foundation has re-launched its Fairtrade Communities scheme, which seeks to enable grass-roots campaigners to stand up for trade justice. The new scheme will simplify the processes involved in achieving Fairtrade Community status, and aims at widening participation. The Fairtrade Town was named in 2002, and there are now more than 650 Fairtrade Communities across the country. The Foundation’s campaigns manager, Sarah Hazlehurst, said that the refreshed scheme would provide more “support, resources, and leadership to our local campaign base” and help to drive positive change.


York is pioneer in new anti-racism strategy

A FIVE-YEAR anti-racism strategy has been developed with the expressed aim of helping York to become the first city in the north of England to be anti-racist and inclusive. The strategy was created by the campaign group Inclusive Equal Rights UK, in partnership with academics from the Institute for Social Justice at York St John University, and is a response to data collected from councils, schools, higher education, policing, healthcare, social care, housing, government agencies, and the private sector. The Director of the Institute for Social Justice at York St John University, Matthew Reason, said: “Tackling systemic racism requires a sustained, collaborative approach. We hope this five-year plan provides a solid foundation for our city to become more inclusive and equitable for everyone.”

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