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We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Former Post Office Chief Steps Aside From Church Ministry

xMs Paula Vennells, former Post Office Chief and Church of England NSM cleric, has “stepped aside from ministry” in the Diocese of Oxford after the convictions of dozens of former local Postmasters were over-turned recently by the courts.

Vennells headed the Post Office from 2012 and 2019 and was in charge when a series of prosecutions were brought against postmasters alleging accounting irregularities. Dozens were convicted and some were sent to jail. One of those charged and sent to jail before being acquitted was Mr Harjinder Butoy. After his conviction was overturned and having served 3 years and 4 months in jail, Mr Butoy told the Telegraph: “that those responsible need to be punished, seriously punished”, adding: “They’re just bullies, that’s all they are. Somebody needs to really, really sort this out and charge them for this.”

The problem came from a faulty accounting software program named Horizon which was purchased from Fujitsu Corporation and used in post offices across the country.

According to press reports, Lord Justice Holroyde said in court, “the Post Office knew there were serious issues with the IT system but they continued to claim that Horizon (the software program from Fujitsu) was robust and reliable and effectively steamrolled over any sub-postmaster who sought to challenge its accuracy.”

After leaving the Post Office, Ms Vennells became Chair of the Imperial College NHS Trust and held non-executive directorships in other companies.

In a statement released after the convictions were squashed, Ms Vennells said; “I was deeply saddened by the sub-postmaster’s accounts. I am truly sorry for the suffering caused to them as a result of the convictions which the Court of Appeal has overturned.”

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