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Weekly News Summary on Tuesday 30 June 2020

Posted on: June 30, 2020 2:13 PM
Related Categories: Global

CSI chief speaks out after father and son die after Covid-19 lockdown arrests

The General Secretary of the united Church of South India (CSI) has added his voice to the growing international furore over the deaths of a father and son in police custody in Tamil Nadu. P Jeyaraj, 58, and his son Fenix, 38, were arrested on 19 June for allegedly keeping their store in Thoothukudi open past the permitted hours during a Covid-19 lockdown in the State. Both men, members of the Thoothukudi- Nazareth Diocese of the Church of South India, died days later. Their relatives say that they had been subjected to brutal torture while in police custody.

In an open letter, the General Secretary of the CSI, Advocate Fernandas Rathina Raja, called for stringent action to be taken against the police personnel involved in what he called “the custodial murder” of Jayaraj Fenix.

He said that that the police personnel who used the excessive force did not follow the guidelines in the law and procedures authorised by the India’s Supreme Courts. He also said that the Duty Doctor who gave the fitness certificate had deliberately ignored and violated the rules in issuing the certificate; and he said that the Magistrate who remanded the pair in custody had “not exercised his judicial conscience.”

Mr Raja said that the CSI joined with the general public at large in expecting the personal intervention of the Chief Minister and the Minority Commission Chairperson to “initiate firm action against all the culprits in accordance with the law and take stringent measures so that such brutal incidents does not take place in future.”


Covid-19 Lockdown – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa churches re-open with Pentecost service

Pigeons and balloons were flown on Pentecost Sunday (31 May) to mark the return to worship in the Pakistan province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Moderator of the united Church of Pakistan, Bishop Humphrey Peters, led a special service in All Saints’ Church in Peshawar after a three-month suspension of public worship. Congregation members wore face masks and other measures were taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Frontier News, the magazine of the Diocese of Peshawar, reported that “worshipers showed immense happiness over opening of the Churches.”

In his sermon, Archbishop Humphrey said that the character of Christians must reflect traits of true believers of Christ and must stay stronger in faith in these testing times. Prayers were also offered for healing those affected by the virus.


Mothers’ Union says “thank you” to Covid-19 key workers in Britain and Ireland

The Britain and Ireland branch of the Mothers’ Union Anglican mission agency is preparing to say a big “thank you” to key workers in the two countries. It has joined with the Together coalition and says that it wants its 55,000-strong membership to “come together to say the biggest thank you possible to all those who have helped us to get us through Covid-19”

On Saturday (4 July) the Mothers’ Union is holding an online service of reflection and celebration for community and kindness – Love Thy Neighbour. The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, will preach during the service.

The Together coalition is bringing together community groups alongside some of the UK’s biggest organisations, including the BBC and the Women’s Institute, with the aim of bringing people together and bridge divides, to help build a kinder, closer and more connected country. Its steering committee is chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

“The ethos of the Together coalition couldn’t have chimed more clearly with us, not just because of the work that we do, but especially at this moment in time when we are focused on the exceptional need for recovery and rebuilding within families and communities.”, the Chief Executive of the Mother’s Union, Bev Jullien, said. “At our best and through our own 55,000 local members we know that when people come together locally to solve their own challenges, amazing things happen. By coming together as Mothers’ Union in our new initiative to say thank you to our more unrecognised key workers, we want to create some amazing experiences and memories for them and their families.”

The Mothers’ Union have also announced a “thank you to key workers” appeal. Through it, they want to recognise the work of a range of professions, including nurses, delivery drivers, careworkers and cleaners, who they save have made a great deal of personal sacrifice through the lockdown, including the loss of quality family time.

The appeal will fund day experiences and short breaks for key workers to help rebuild family connections and togetherness, especially for families who have been kept apart or who are on low incomes.

  • You can take part in Saturday’s online Love Thy Neighbour service at 9 pm BST (8 am GMT) on Saturday 4 July at facebook.com/pg/MothersUnion.

Archbishop of Canterbury presents 32 Lambeth Awards

The Chair of the Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association (JMECA), a Kenyan theologian and a Kenyan bishop have been awarded the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. They are amongst 32 Lambeth Awards presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury today (Tuesday). The majority of recipients are from England; but award winners include members of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia; the US-based Episcopal Church, the Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales.

The Lambeth Awards are a suite of Awards named after former Archbishops of Canterbury presented each year by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They are usually presented at an awards ceremony at Lambeth Palace in London; but this year’s recipients will receive their awards by post because of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Recipients of the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion including John Clark, “for an outstanding and selfless contribution to the life and witness of churches of the Anglican Communion, especially in the Middle East and specifically Iran, over 50 years.”

Between the 1970s and 1992 he worked as a missionary, desk officer, and then Communications Director for the Church Mission Society before becoming Secretary of the Church of England’s Partnership for World Mission.

He has served on successive Anglican Communion Commissions for Mission and was the first Director for Mission and Public Affairs for the Archbishops’ Council’s. He has chaired the Friends of the Diocese of Iran and the Diocese of Iran Trust Fund; the Jerusalem & East Mission Trust; and the JMECA. “He has consistently demonstrated the tireless, level-headed, solution-orientated approach which has long characterised his outstanding contribution”, his citation reads.

Another recipient is Professor Joseph Galgalo, a leading Anglican African theologian and Vice Chancellor of St Paul’s University in Kenya who is described as “a significant influence in the vitality of the Anglican Communion.”

In 2015 he gave the inaugural seminar papers of the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion project at both Durham University and Lambeth Palace in the UK. He has served on the Anglican Communion’s Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference, and was part of the Listening Process of the Anglican Communion – contributing a chapter on Christian Spirituality and Sexuality to the book The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality (2008).

His citation says that he “has demonstrated a rare combination of profound scholarship, lucid writing, prayerful humility, and administrative acumen.”

The third recipient of the Cross of St Augustine is Dr Joseph Wasonga, the former Bishop of Maseno West and Dean of the Anglican Church of Kenya, for his role as a researcher and facilitator for Bishops Peer Mentoring workshops across the African continent.

Bishop Joseph had been one of the longest serving bishops in the Anglican Church of Kenya, having served Maseno West for 28 years, from 1991 until his retirement last year. He has been a member of the Anglican Communion Bishops in Dialogue Consultation and participated in many Anglican and ecumenical meetings. “Throughout his ministry, Bishop Wasonga has committed himself to bringing his knowledge, skills and experience, as a teacher, preacher, counsellor, and leader, for the benefit of the Church and all people, and to the Glory of God”, his citation read.

“This is the fifth year of the Lambeth Awards, and I am constantly impressed and humbled by the work that recipients have accomplished, sometimes in the most challenging circumstances”, Archbishop Justin said. “Not all are followers of Jesus Christ, but all contribute through their faith to the mutual respect and maintenance of human dignity which are so vital to spiritual and social health.”

  • The full list of winners with brief citation follows; the full citations can be read by clicking here (pdf).

The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

  • Mr John Mullin Clark
    For an outstanding and selfless contribution to the life and witness of churches of the Anglican Communion, especially in the Middle East and specifically Iran, over 50 years.

  • Joseph Galgalo
    For being a leading Anglican African theologian, an entrepreneurial Vice Chancellor of a Kenyan University and a significant influence in the vitality of the Anglican Communion.

  • The Right Revd Dr Joseph Wasonga
    The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. For services to the Anglican Communion, particularly in his role as Bishop of Maseno West, Dean of the Province of Kenya, and his role as a researcher and facilitator for Bishops Peer Mentoring workshops across the African continent.

The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation

  • Mrs Jocelyn Armstrong
    For her outstanding contribution to interfaith relations in New Zealand.

  • The Revd Canon Paul-Gordon Chandler
    For his distinct and exceptional contribution in using the arts for interreligious peacebuilding around the world.

  • Mr Abdul Muquaddas Choudhuri
    For outstanding work in the area of Interfaith Cooperation.

  • Jan Pike
    For her outstanding commitment and contribution to grass roots inter-faith and cross-cultural work.

  • The Revd Canon Stephen Williams
  • For an outstanding contribution and commitment to building relationships between Christians and Jews in Manchester.

The Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness

  • Jonathan Bryan
    In the face of extraordinary challenges, Jonathan has become a communicator of the good news of Jesus Christ and an embodiment of the hope he brings.

  • Canon Richard Fisher
    For outstanding innovative work in supporting and developing Fresh Expressions of Church such as Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? and, more recently, Anna Chaplaincy.

  • Jonathan Osborne
    For exemplary service as Senior Chaplain of the Metropolitan Police Service.

  • Mike Pilavachi
    For his outstanding contribution to evangelism and discipleship amongst young people in the United Kingdom

  • The Revd David Williams
    For outstanding work across two decades, ministering and witnessing to the families of sick and dying children.

The Canterbury Cross for Services to the Church of England

  • Christopher Charles Holland Cook
    For his outstanding work on inter-disciplinary issues between theology and psychiatry.

  • Mr Charles Curnock
    For sustained, voluntary contributions to church leadership and governance, the care of the elderly, and political action, as well as direction of two major church renovation projects.

  • Alan Fletcher
    For outstanding service to the Church of England Pensions Board over a period of eleven years and to the Church of England more generally through service on the General Synod, to the Diocese of Leicester, to Leicester Cathedral and as a member of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group.

  • Phil Johnson
    For outstanding service to improving safeguarding practice in the Church of England.

  • Jo Kind
    For outstanding service to improving safeguarding practice in the Church of England.

  • Hugh McCurdy
    For dedication, loyalty and service to the mission of the Church of England with a particular focus on the mentoring and discipling of others, especially junior clergy.

  • Melvyn Redgers
    For outstanding continuous service in the vocation of Lay Reader since 1958.

The Langton Award for Community Service

  • Kenneth Good
    For giving strategic leadership to the local church to engage fully with the community, throughout his ordained ministry, most of which was in the complex community of Northern Ireland.

  • Mother Jennifer Anne Goodeve
    For outstanding leadership skills in transforming a Victorian convent into a modern nursing home and driving forward change for over thirty years.

  • Bernice Hardie (on behalf of WAVE: We’re All Valued Equally)
    For creating places of true inclusion for people with and without learning disabilities.

  • Dr Margaret Kennedy
    For rendering outstanding service to victims and survivors of Church- related sexual abuse through founding MACSAS.

  • Bishop Donal Mckeown
    For his exceptional and sustained dedication to the cause of peace and social cohesion in an environment of traditional interdenominational tension.

  • Celia Webster
    For creating places of true inclusion for people with and without learning disabilities.

The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship

  • The Revd Dr Lydia Muthoni Mwaniki
    For her prayerful, post-colonial interpretation of the New Testament, astute advocacy of gender justice, and articulate joy in Christ, which have influenced church leaders and the education and hope of innumerable women throughout Africa.

  • Anthony G. Reddie
    The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship. For his exceptional and sustained contribution to Black Theology in Britain and beyond.

  • Professor John Swinton
    The Lanfranc award for Education and Scholarship. For his outstanding contribution to practical theology, particularly in the area of disability.

The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship

  • Pam Rhodes
    For her outstanding work in hosting Songs of Praise on the BBC for over 30 years.

  • Professor Richard Watson
    For his unparalleled contribution to the study and promotion of the use of our heritage of hymnody in Christian worship.

The Dunstan Award for Prayer and the Religious Life

  • Father James Roose-Evans
    For his distinctive contribution in exploring over 65 years the relationship between art and life, the creative and the spiritual.