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UK news in brief

05 July 2024

Diocese of Chelmsford

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, with Canon Jessica Martin

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, with Canon Jessica Martin

Dean of Chelmsford appointed

THE next Dean of Chelmsford is to be the Revd Dr Jessica Martin, who is currently a Residentiary Canon for learning and outreach at Ely Cathedral. She succeeds the Revd Nicholas Henshall, who returned to parish ministry last year (Gazette, 6 January 2023). This year, Canon Martin served as a second interim theology adviser to the House of Bishops (News, 9 February) — an appointment made at the request of the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, co-chair of Living in Love and Faith, after the Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, stood down as the other LLF co-chair over “serious concerns” about the appointment of the previous adviser, Dr Tom Woolford (News, 1 February). Canon Martin has questioned both “progressive” and “conservative” theological stances on sexual ethics (Features, 17 July 2020). Her books include Holiness and Desire: What makes us who we are? (Canterbury Press) (Books, 7 August 2020). She was ordained priest in 2004, serving as a non-stipendiary minister while continuing her academic career. In 2010, she was appointed Vicar of three country parishes in South Cambridgeshire.


LGBTQI+ chaplain sought for Newcastle

THE diocese of Newcastle is seeking to appoint a part-time LGBTQI+ chaplain. The job advert, posted on the diocese’s website, says that the appointment is needed to “enable the positive change that is needed . . . to offer a radical welcome to all God’s children and grow a younger and more diverse church”. The Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, interviewed during the February meeting of the General Synod, said that she did not think that same-sex marriage in church was incompatible with doctrine, and would support its introduction. “I am aware that not everybody agrees with that, even in my diocese, but I don’t believe that that means that I can’t still be their bishop and allow them, with their integrity, to have those views,” she said.

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