• in brief

    UK news in brief

    30 OCTOBER 2020

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    No home like palace: a 1773 engraving of the Bishop’s Palace, Wells, from the exhibition “Palace 800: The Story of a Palace and a Home”, which marks its eight centuries, and runs until 31 October. Bookings at bishopspalace.org.uk


    Chichester youth retreat centre to close

    THE youth retreat centre in Chichester diocese, St Bartz, is to close at the end of the year, owing to financial pressures during the pandemic, it was announced last week. A spokesman for the centre said that there had been no bookings since April because of restrictions. Any future booking payments will be refunded. The diocesan youth officer, Dan Jenkins, who is a trustee of St Bartz, said: “Youth activities are going online with youth leaders being more creative, sending out craft packs to families and creating video content that walks them through the craft activity whilst telling a Bible story.”


    Mining firms asked about indigenous peoples

    A GROUP of 64 investors in London have asked the boards of Australian mining companies for information about how they carry out their work in areas where indigenous communities live. The inquiry comes in the wake of the explosion at the Juukan Gorge in May for which the mining company Rio Tinto was condemned by local indigenous groups (News, 18 September). The Church of England Pensions Board’s director of ethics and engagement, Adam Matthews, said on Wednesday that the incident had “exposed a systemic issue across the mining sector”, and that fixing it would be “a long process”.


    Pilot scheme launched to boost church tourism

    A PILOT scheme backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to encourage more tourism in churches, particularly those built in the medieval and Saxon periods, has been launched this week in Herefordshire and Shropshire. A grant of more than £200,000 will be used to install visitor desks and contactless donation points in selected churches, and to pay for a branding campaign designed by Orphans Press of Leominster. The scheme has support from the National Churches Trust and the Church Conservation Trust. Work is scheduled for completion next year.


    Quakers call on UK to ratify anti-nuclear treaty

    QUAKERS IN BRITAIN called on the Government last week not to boycott the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, describing it as a “historic step” towards a more peaceful world. Ninety days after ratification by its 50th state, the Treaty will become part of international law. The UK is one of nine states with nuclear weapons which are currently not signed up to the treaty, which seeks to ban production, development, and testing of nuclear weapons, their use, and any threat of their use. The other eight countries boycotting the treaty are the US, Russia, China, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

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