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UK news in brief

09 June 2023

Southwell Minster

Bishop Milner after the service

Bishop Milner after the service

Bishop celebrates 70 years of ordained ministry

A FORMER Bishop of Burnley in Blackburn diocese, the Rt Revd Ronald Milner, marked 70 years of ordained ministry on Sunday. Ordained deacon in June 1953, and priest in 1954, he served his title at Sheffield Cathedral. He was Vicar of St John the Baptist’s, Westwood, from 1958, and St James’s, Fletchamstead, from 1964, in Coventry diocese, and witnessed the rebuilding and consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral. In 1970, he became Team Rector for a new team ministry in the city of Winchester. He was appointed Archdeacon of Lincoln in 1983, and was consecrated bishop in 1988. In retirement, he has been involved in the life of Southwell Minster, with his wife, Audrey, who died in 2017. The Dean, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, said: “The Minster community is thankful to God for Bishop Ronald’s ministry, friendship, and prayers over the 30 years since his retirement to Southwell.”


Synod to debate new safeguarding code

A NEW safeguarding code of practice for Church of England clergy and office-holders is to be debated by the General Synod in July, in York, after 25 members expressed a wish to do so. The draft code replaces the requirement for clergy and office-holders to “have due regard” for the requirements of the code, stating instead that they have a duty to “comply” with these. The draft states: “All Code documents contain both requirements, which are mandatory, and good practice advice, which is advisory.” It also gives more detailed guidance on carrying out lessons-learnt case reviews, particularly regarding cases deemed more serious. Three distinctions are outlined: responding to, assessing, and managing safeguarding concerns about church officers; responsibility and accountability for actions, including the establishment of guilt; and understanding why events happened in the way in which they did, including “underlying organisational and contextual issues”.



Chester Cathedral buys back bank to improve frontage

CHESTER CATHEDRAL is to buy back a building from Barclays Bank so that the cathedral is easier for city visitors and tourists to identify, the Chapter has announced. Discussions with the bank and Chester Council began in 2021. The move is part of an £11-million redevelopment project to “reconnect the Cathedral with the city centre and its communities”. Work is to begin later this year, with an estimated completion in 2028. Two new locations for the bank have been identified.


New study: UK public among most trusting in the world

THE UK public is among the most trusting in the world, a new study suggests. The research was conducted by the Policy Institute at King’s College, London, as part of its World Values Survey (News, 19 May). In the UK, a random probability sample of 3056 adults was analysed from March to September 2020. These data were measured against those of 24 other countries. Most UK participants (84 per cent) said that they trusted people of another nationality — behind only Sweden (91 per cent) and equal to Norway (84 per cent). This had increased from 71 per cent in 2005. Fifty-two per cent of UK respondents said that they trusted people they met for the first time — third on the list, again, behind Sweden (74 per cent) and Norway (68 per cent). Nearly all (98 per cent) said that they trusted people they knew personally — joint top with Sweden and Norway. The findings were published on Wednesday in a report, The State of Social Trust: How the UK compares internationally.


Pensions Board supports Toyota resolution

THE Church of England Pensions Board will support a shareholder resolution at the AGM of the Japanese manufacturer Toyota. The resolution calls on the company to improve disclosure of lobbying related to climate change. The director of climate and environment for the Pensions Board, Laura Hillis, said: “We’re concerned that Toyota’s lobbying, and that of its industry associations, may be undermining the goals of the Paris agreement. While we welcome that Toyota has produced previous disclosures related to climate lobbying, we believe we need more depth and detail to properly understand what Toyota is doing.”


Children asked to design episcopal badge 

Diocese of SheffieldThe winners from last year’s Bishop’s Badge competition

CHILDREN in South Yorkshire and Goole, in the diocese of Sheffield, are being invited to design a logo for a new Bishop’s Badge competition. The winning design will be worn by the Bishop of Doncaster, the Rt Revd Sophie Jelley, during Wear Your Faith Fortnight (23 October to 6 November). The campaign, run by the diocese and Arise Sheffield, encourages Christians to wear a symbol of their faith for two weeks. The winning design will be made into a badge and stickers. Last year, four badges were created to represent different aspects of the Christian faith. Almost 5000 badges were given away to participating schools and churches around the diocese.


Correction. The sentence “The Steering Group has adopted this vision believing it to be the way God is asking us to grow, therefore it is important to note that we are not seeking opinions on God’s given vision,” quoted in the story about developments in Truro (News, 2 June), was attached to a deanery rather than diocesan plan. Partly in response to feedback and consultation, the offending line was removed from subsequent drafts.

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