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UK news in brief

23 February 2024

Diocese of Gloucester

Community shop: volunteers welcome the first customers to a new café and shop that opened at Holy Trinity, Amberley, this week. It was established with the support of Gloucester diocese to fill the gap left by the closure of the village shop seven years ago. An assistant curate, the Revd Coral Francis, said that some parishioners had raised concerns about the project, but “came to understand that it was a not-for-profit community enterprise rather than a money-making business”. A Community Benefit Society was set up to fund the project, which, together with the community, raised £270,000 through grants, donations, an appeal, and fund-raising activities

Community shop: volunteers welcome the first customers to a new café and shop that opened at Holy Trinity, Amberley, this week. It was established wit...


Mandatory reporting to be added to statute book

THE Government has announced its intention of introducing into the Criminal Justice Bill mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse. On Wednesday, the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, said: “Having listened to the voices of victims and survivors, and reviewed the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, we are working at pace to get a mandatory reporting duty for child sexual abuse on to the statute book.” The Church of England group Forward in Faith has previously opposed the extension of mandatory reporting to priests, arguing that it would compromise the seal of confession — the obligation under canon law for the priest to hear confessions in strict confidence (News, 18 August 2023).


New partnership to help on climate “front line”

THE Anglican Alliance and Christian Aid have signed a new three-year partnership agreement to tackle extreme poverty in the wake of climate change, beginning in Bangladesh, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Anglican Alliance was formally established in 2011, having been discussed at the 2008 Lambeth Conference. It is mandated to provide a platform for development, relief, and advocacy work across the Anglican Communion. The memorandum of understanding will initially focus on three areas: helping communities living on the front line of climate change; supporting churches and their congregations to prepare for climate disasters; and promoting equality and reducing violence and conflict.


Four convicted for Euston drive-by shooting

FOUR men were convicted at Kingston Crown Court last week 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 — Tyrell Lacroix-Omar, 23, of Dorman Way, Swiss Cottage, Jashy Perch, 20, of Churchfields Road, Watford, Jordan Walters, 24, of Hilltop Avenue, Brent, and Alrico Nelson-Martin, 20, of Griffin Close, Brent — were convicted of conspiracy to wound with intent to cause serious harm. Nelson-Martin was also convicted of possession of a shotgun with intent to endanger life.


Last Bishop of Malmesbury, a BBC producer, dies

THE former broadcaster and Suffragan Bishop of Malmesbury, in the diocese of Bristol, the Rt Revd Peter Firth died last Friday, aged 94, his family announced this week. He was the last Bishop of Malmesbury (1983 to 1994) before the see was changed to Swindon, and was also an honorary assistant bishop in Bristol and Gloucester dioceses at the time of his death. After Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had trained for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, and was ordained in 1956. He served his title at St Stephen’s, Barbourne, in Worcester diocese. After a second curacy, he was Rector of St George’s, Abbey Hey, in Manchester, from 1962 to 1966. He became a religious-broadcasting assistant for the BBC’s northern region, and then a senior producer of BBC religious programmes in Bristol. When a suffragan, he was also Anglican adviser for HTV West.


Gloucester CathedralWhere they sing: the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester meet the choristers of Gloucester Cathedral before evensong on Sunday. The visit was part of the Duke’s “Cathedrals in Pilgrimage” plans to visit cathedrals around the country. The Duchess is Patron of the Cathedral Music Trust

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