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UK news in brief

19 April 2024

The Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst

The Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst

Bishop to be Principal of Queen’s, Birmingham

THE Suffragan Bishop of Aston, in the diocese of Birmingham, the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, is to be the next Principal of the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Educational in Birmingham, it was announced last week. She will take up the post in September, succeeding Professor Clive Marsh, who is retiring. Bishop Hollinghurst was ordained priest in 1997, and served her title at St Saviour’s, Nottingham. In 1999, she became a chaplain of Derby University and the cathedral for six years, before moving to Manchester diocese. She was Vicar of St Peter’s, St Albans, from 2010 until her present appointment.


New independent co-chair for Response Group

THE independent co-chair of the group responding to recent reports on safeguarding in the Church of England (News, 15 March) has been appointed. It is Lesley-Anne Ryder, a former charity chief executive with experience of work supporting vulnerable adults and children. She has worked on social-care policy in the NHS, is a supervisor for Cruse Bereavement Care, and chairs a local charity. The other co-chair of the Response Group is the Bishop of Stepney, Dr Joanne Grenfell, who is the lead safeguarding bishop. It is understood that the Response Group will conduct a consultation on responding to the recommendations in the reports by Professor Alexis Jay (News, 23 February) and Dr Sarah Wilkinson (News, 15 December 2023). The announcement on the C of E website, on Tuesday, says that an independent recruitment firm was responsible for the selection of candidates, and that Ms Ryder was interviewed by members of the Response Group and survivor representatives.


Decision regarding the Archdeaconry of Harlow

THE rural deanery of Harlow is to join the archdeaconry of Stansted, and the rural deanery of Epping Forest and Ongar is to join the archdeaconry of Chelmsford, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, has announced on the diocesan website. Harlow archdeaconry, in the Barking Area — the smallest of the seven archdeaconries — “was never intended as a full-time post”, she says. A consultation followed the previous Archdeacon’s retirement. “The majority supported making a change, and the single largest response came in support” of the merger, she says. The Bishop’s Order will mean “a redrawing, not only of Archdeaconry boundaries but also of Episcopal Areas. . . At the June 2024 Diocesan Synod a clarificatory amendment will be put forward to reflect this change in our Area Scheme.”


Four men jailed for Euston drive-by shooting

FOUR men have been sentenced to between 13 and 26 years in connection with the injury of two children and four women outside St Aloysius’s RC Church, Euston, in London, in January 2023, when shots were fired from a moving vehicle (News, 20 January 2023). The men were convicted in February of conspiracy to wound with intent to cause serious harm (News, 23 February). At Kingston Crown Court on Friday, Tyrell Lacroix-Omar, 23, of Dorman Way, Swiss Cottage, was sentenced to 26 years. Jashy Perch, 20, of Churchfields Road, Watford, who was also convicted of possession of a knife and cannabis, was sentenced to 20 years. Jordan Walters, 24, of Hilltop Avenue, Brent, was sentenced to 13 years. Alrico Nelson-Martin, 20, of Griffin Close, Brent, who was also convicted of possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life, was sentenced to 14 years.


Thirtyone:Eight launches election-year ‘manifesto’

THE independent Christian safeguarding charity Thirtyone:eight has published its first manifesto to improve policy, legislation, and guidance for parliamentarians, lawmakers, charities, and faith-based organisations, to give better protection to adults and children in the UK. Recommendations in Together We Can: A manifesto for a safer society for all, published on Tuesday, are grouped under three main themes: to strengthen safeguards already in place; to protect victims and survivors of abuse better; and to create safer environments for all. The manifesto is divided into four policy areas for Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales. In an election year, the charity is calling on the Government to align safeguarding legislation as far as possible across the nations. The public policy and research manager for Thirtyone:eight, Leigh McFarlane, said: “We’ve already seen significant success; we know it works. We’re looking forward to working together with other like-minded organisations and individuals.”


CYM survey looks at ministry to young people

THE Institute for Children, Youth, and Mission (CYM) is to research into the state of ministry for younger generations. An online survey — “Taking the pulse of ministry amongst children, young people and families in the UK” — is open until 19 May. The research is being led by Dr Sarah Holmes of the CYM Research Centre and Liverpool Hope University. Questions include: “Does anyone care about ministry amongst kids, youth and families? Why are there so few on the teams? Why is there not more funding available? Do the activities make a difference anyway? Do people actually want younger generations in the church? Do families feel welcome and included in church?”


Correction: In our story last week about the flooding of St John the Baptist, Edlingham, in Northumberland, we misspelt the location of the church and incorrectly stated that it was now part of a united benefice with St Michael and All Angels, Felton. We apologise for the errors.

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