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UK news in brief

19 January 2024

Diocese of Bath & Wells

Next Dean of Wells appointed

THE next Dean of Wells is to be Canon Toby Wright (above), Team Rector of Witney, in the diocese of Oxford, since 2009, Downing Street announced on Monday. He succeeds the Very Revd Dr John Davies. Canon Wright, who is 48, trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, and was ordained deacon in 2001 and priest the following year. He served his title at St Peter’s, Petersfield, in Portsmouth diocese, after which he was Priest-in-Charge and then Vicar of St John with St Andrew, Peckham, in Southwark diocese, for five years. He was appointed an honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford, in 2020, and, from 2022 to 2023, was seconded to the Dorchester Episcopal Area, serving as Acting Associate Archdeacon. Canon Wright said: “I am thrilled, and humbled, to have been invited to come and serve among such a wonderful group of people at Wells Cathedral in this amazing place of prayer which was built to the glory of God. The Cathedral has an important role in supporting the mission and ministry of the bishop and of the whole diocese as we live and tell the story of Jesus. I am looking forward to listening with you, as we discern God’s call for the future, build a culture of hope and discover afresh God’s joy in our lives.”

Church-hall application rejected

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNCIL has refused a planning application for a church hall after objections from local residents. The PCC of St Leonard’s, Chesham Bois, had wanted to demolish its hall and replace it with a “new multi-functional parish centre” to accommodate up to 275 people. The PCC said that it was “disappointed” with the decision and would “be taking time to consider their comments” and its “next steps”, the BBC reports. The BBC also reported that Wendy Clow, the wife of Rector, the Revd Laurie Clow, had said in a sermon that opponents of the application were “evil-doers, the enemy and mutilators of the flesh”. A spokesperson for the church told the BBC: “At the time we apologised unreservedly for the offence caused to members of our community, by the sermon.”

No more Joy for Commissioners from April

Church of EnglandChurch of England

THE Church Commissioners’ Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Tom Joy (right), is to leave his post in April after 14 years. A statement from Church House, Westminster, said that Mr Joy would be taking up a new position as a CIO overseas. The process to recruit his successor would begin soon, it said. The First Church Estates Commissioner, Alan Smith, said: “Thanks to Tom, we have one of the world’s most respected, values-driven endowments, with a clearly articulated investment philosophy supported by robust governance and a high-quality investments team. We are all very grateful for what Tom has helped the Church Commissioners’ fund to achieve during his tenure and the strong position he leaves us in as we transition to his successor.”

AlamyRemembering Betty Boothroyd: the Speaker of the Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is seen with his staff in a procession to St Margaret’s, Westminster, on Tuesday for the thanksgiving service for a predecessor, latterly Baroness Boothroyd, who died last year

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