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Uk News

News in Brief

  • Outbid in Canterbury

    David Longley

    Emmanuel Church Canterbury (see January en) was outbid in an auction for a redundant chapel.

    Despite the disappointment, the church family has seen the Lord at work within it, bringing a great sense of unity, seeing very generous giving, and bringing together a team of ‘professionals’ from both within and outside the church to work on the acquisition of a property. They plan to work together to this end in the months ahead.

  • Aberystwyth: Bibles kept

    Bible Society

    After it emerged that Aberystwyth Student’s Union planned to vote on removing Bibles from student’s rooms, the university issued a statement in February stating they had no plans to remove the Bibles.

    ‘For many years Aberystwyth University has been receiving copies of the Bible to place in rooms in halls of residence. The Students’ Union have not contacted the university to request that this arrangement be changed, [therefore] Aberystwyth University will continue to place … Bibles in halls of residence’.

  • Church: the future

    Christian Concern

    ‘The future of religion in Britain is to be found in Islam and the black majority churches’, said a professor of population studies in late February.

    In a blog for religious think-tank Theos, Professor David Voas claimed that the: ‘Future of religion among the white British is bleak ... Muslims already contribute ten per cent of British births; within several decades people of Muslim heritage will form ten per cent of the population, even if immigration came to an abrupt halt tomorrow.’

  • Buildings: a future?

    Fellowship of European Broadcasters, The Times

    Churches, some dating from the 12th century, are being sold by the Church of England as the number of worshippers continues to fall, it was reported in late February.

    Nineteen former churches are currently listed for sale, with an estimated value of nearly £3 million. The oldest is the 12th-century St Peter’s in Buckinghamshire. The latest figures, for 2012, suggest that fewer than 800,000 people worship at Anglican Sunday services, half the number in the 1960s.

  • Compulsory sex ed

    Christian Concern

    The House of Commons’ Education Select Committee called on the Government to make sex education compulsory in all state primary and secondary schools, in mid-February.

    Although the MPs recommend that the right of parents to withdraw their children should be retained, the proposals would restrict the freedom of schools and parents to shape what is taught.

  • Red card for Red Cross

    The Christian Institute

    The British Red Cross volunteer axed for opposing the redefinition of marriage has lost his appeal against the decision, it was announced in mid-February.

    The charity upheld its original ruling to dismiss Bryan Barkley, a volunteer for over 18 years, for holding up a sign saying ‘No Same Sex Marriage’ in March 2014.The Red Cross apologised for taking such a long time to deal with his case and for not following its own procedures, but refused to overturn the original decision.

  • Same aim, new vision


    The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) has agreed a new strategy to enable mission to flourish and in March appointed a new chair (Hugh Palmer, rector of All Souls, Langham Place) and a new president (the Bishop of Blackburn, the Right Revd Julian Henderson).

    Evangelicals in dioceses with existing Diocesan Evangelical Fellowships or similar are invited to renew their engagement with CEEC. In dioceses where there are no such groups, evangelicals are encouraged to make contact through the CEEC website.