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UK news in brief

08 September 2023


Bishop David Hamid

Bishop David Hamid

Bishop Hamid to retire from Europe in February

THE Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, has announced his intention of retiring in February 2024. One of the longest-serving bishops in the Church of England, he was consecrated in 2002. Born in Scotland in 1955 to Scottish and Burmese parents, he was ordained in 1981 in the diocese of Niagara, in the Anglican Church of Canada, and, from 1996 until 2022, worked as director of ecumenical affairs for the Anglican Communion. He co-chairs the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee for Unity and Mission and is the Anglican president of the international Anglican-Lutheran Society. The diocese in Europe “embodies a profound vision of ecumenical outreach and collaboration and is a beautiful multicultural and multi-ethnic mosaic”, he said this week.

Bishop Atwell speaks up for farmers in Harvest appeal

THE Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, the C of E’s spokesman on rural affairs in the House of Lords, is encouraging churches to raise funds to support farming communities through the Harvest 23 appeal organised by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI). Funds raised will help RABI’s work with farmers who are experiencing difficulties, whether financial, practical, or emotional. “Sadly, some people’s gaze doesn’t extend beyond the supermarket shelf to recognise the hard work of our farmers and agricultural workers,” the Bishop said. “As the farming community knows only too well, agriculture is a tough business. Loneliness is a big enemy, and sometimes there are casualties.”

rabi.org.uk; justgiving.com/campaign/rabiharvest23


Cottrell: Retreats are a time to ‘trust in God more’

THE Archbishop of York will launch “National Retreat Week — renewal:all”, an initiative organised by the Royal Foundation of St Katharine, in east London, that will take place for the first time from 23 to 30 September. Supported by the Retreat Association, the Association for Promoting Retreats, and Archway retreat networks, the initiative is described as “a call to be intentional about setting time aside for a retreat”. A retreat was “a time to trust in God more, nourish our soul and check in on our life’s purpose and direction”, Archbishop Cottrell said. renewall.org.uk


Non-cathedral choirs secure a share of £30,000

SEVEN places of worship are to receive a share of £30,000 after winning a Church Choir Award, a scheme run by the Cathedral Music Trust in partnership with the Royal School of Church Music. The award is designed to support choirs that sing less frequently than the choral foundations that are usually supported by the Trust’s main grant programme. This year’s recipients include St Thomas-on-the-Bourne, Farnham; St Alphege’s, Solihull; Holy Trinity, Coventry; and All Saints’, Leamington.


Lord Williams amplifies Nagorno Karabakh genocide warning

THE former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams has joined the Armenian Primate in the UK and Ireland to call on the Prime Minister to “take decisive action to open the Lachin Corridor to prevent the genocide of the population in Nagorno Karabakh”. The blockade of the region by Azerbaijan, in place since December, affects 120,000 Armenians, including 30,000 children. The letter, sent on 23 August and signed by 11 church leaders, including the Bishops of Southwark, Manchester, and Coventry, notes that the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has issued a “Red Flag Alert for Genocide” in relation to the current situation. “Malnutrition is widespread, and cases of death by starvation are being reported,” it warns.

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