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UK news in brief

by
14 June 2024

Joe Griffiths

Above par: the Revd Joe Griffiths, the assistant curate of the Epiphany with St John the Baptist, Corby, and St James’s, Gretton, in Peterborough diocese, will be attempting to qualify for the Open Championship golf tournament in June. Every year, amateurs (with a handicap of 0 or better) are eligible to enter regional qualifying. Of the 120 players at each venue, five qualify for final qualifying: two rounds of golf at four venues. Three players qualify from each venue. He said this week: “It would take a miracle for me to qualify! But God is in the business of miracles; so I believe it is possible.” Mr Griffiths is also hoping to raise £5000 for the charity the Chapel Gym Corby, which is beginning an outreach project for 20 young people at risk of permanent exclusion from school. parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/corby-church-of-the-epiphany-corby

Above par: the Revd Joe Griffiths, the assistant curate of the Epiphany with St John the Baptist, Corby, and St James’s, Gretton, in Peterborough diocese, will be attempting to qualify for the Open Championship golf tournament in June. Every year, amateurs (with a handicap of 0 or better) are eligible to enter regional qualifying. Of the 120 players at each venue, five qualify for final qualifying: two rounds of golf at four venues. Three players qualify from each venue. He said this week: “It would take a miracle for me to qualify! But God is in the business of miracles; so I believe it is possible.” Mr Griffiths is also hoping to raise £5000 for the charity the Chapel Gym Corby, which is beginning an outreach project for 20 young people at risk of permanent exclusion from school. parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/corby-church-of-the-epiphany-corby

 

Premier chief executive dies, aged 63

THE chief executive of Premier Christian Media, Peter Kerridge, died on Saturday, aged 63, after suffering from acute leukaemia for more than a year. The Archbishop of Canterbury was among those who paid tribute, describing Kerridge as “a witness to Jesus throughout his life”, whose death was “a huge loss to Christian broadcasting and more widely, Christian testimony and witness”. The Coptic Orthodox Archbishop Angaelos of London described Kerridge as a “pioneer and champion of electronic and online ministry for decades, and a visionary whose legacy will live on to impact and benefit many for years to come”.

 

Archbishop patron of new Gypsy church group

THE Archbishop of York has become a patron for the organisation Gypsy Roma and Traveller Friendly Churches. It was established after the General Synod voted in 2019 to support the appointment of chaplains to Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers in every diocese, for church leaders to speak out against racism, and to encourage the making available of land for new Gypsy and Traveller sites. Archbishop Cottrell, who introduced the Synod debate, said: “My prayer is that every church becomes a place where people from these culturally rich and godly communities are welcomed.” The chaplain for Durham diocese, the Revd Nicky Chater, who chairs Gypsy Roma Traveller Friendly Churches, said that she was “shocked by the systematic and deeply ingrained racism there is towards Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. . . It’s vital that the Church challenges this injustice.”

 

Former Liverpool vicar convicted of child abuse

A FORMER Vicar of St Peter’s, Woolton, John Roberts, 89, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court last week of five non-recent sexual offences against a boy under the age of 14, and sentenced to a further four years in prison. He is currently serving a nine-year sentence for previous offences. In 2020, Roberts was found guilty of ten counts of indecent and sexual assault (News, 1 January 2021). The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd John Perumbalath, said in a statement after the conviction on Thursday of last week: “I want to thank all those who have diligently pursued this, and in particular pay tribute to the victims and survivors for their courage in coming forward and bringing this matter to justice. . . I hope anyone who has concerns about the past or current behaviour of individuals or the Church can raise them. I can assure you we will listen and act.”

 

Guildford Cathedral plans scuppered again

PLANS submitted by the Chapter of Guildford Cathedral and its developers to build 124 new homes, including 94 flats, on land surrounding the cathedral have been dismissed on appeal. An application for the plans was rejected by Guildford Borough Council in March 2023 (News, 14 April 2023). Last week, a government planning inspectorate dismissed an appeal on the plans. The inspector, Tom Bristow, said that attempting to fit 124 homes on the site on Stag Hill, “would have little affinity with the prevailing characteristics of the area”. Proceeds from the sale of the land were expected to generate about £270,000 per year, he said, but, “Irrespective of the outcome of the scheme, the cathedral will continue to be predominantly reliant on other sources of funding for upkeep.” The Interim Dean, the Ven. Stuart Beake, told the BBC that it was unlikely that the cathedral would be able to “operate in the same way” as it had previously, and that an additional £150,000 was needed each year to cover the shortfall in day-to-day costs. He said: “Whilst naturally disappointed by the outcome, the cathedral Chapter is determined to carry on delivering the mission of the cathedral in the community.”

 

Trust crowdfunds to save ‘last-chance’ churches

THE National Churches Trust has received a private of donation of £500,000 towards paying for urgent repairs to 18 historic “last-chance” churches, all of which are in desperate need of funding to stay open. After an appeal, the donation has been matched to £1 million — the first time that the Trust has raised funds against a private donation this way. A press release this week said that private philanthropy was of increasing importance in church repair, and that “There is an opportunity to generate more private donations through tax relief or other financial incentives.” The chief executive of the Trust, Claire Walker, said: “Foodbanks, warm spaces, community cafés, and other vital services that are a lifeline for the community will now be kept open.”

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