Global Briefs for Sept. 29

By John Martin

Crime Novelist Attacked: James Runcie, author of the Granchester series of mystery novels, sustained head and eye injuries while attacked on his way to give a talk at Ely Cathedral. Runcie, 56, son of the late Archbishop Robert Runcie, was helped by passersby who called the police and an ambulance. Police say they have arrested a man in connection with the attack.

Happily Christian, Whatever that Means: A new study has found that while 57 percent of people in England are happy to be called Christians, two in five think Jesus was a mythical figure. Most of the 3,000 people polled said they knew at least one Christian and would most likely describe them as friendly, caring, good-humoured, generous, and helpful; 43 percent said they believed Jesus rose from the dead. But more than a third (39%) thought Jesus did not exist and people under 25 are more likely to hold that view. The study is a shared project of the Church of England, the Evangelical Alliance, and Hope UK.

Bones Found at Westminster Abbey: Demolition work on a lavatory block has uncovered the remains of at least 50 people in Westminster Abbey. Archeologists believe the bones are those of senior clergy and monks from the 11th or 12 centuries. The bones appear to have been disturbed and reburied when King Henry III (1207-72) demolished the original building and replaced it with the huge minster edifice. This latest discovery takes the number of individuals buried in Westminster Abbey to 3,500.

Bishop Mallally Ordains: The first ordinations by a woman bishop of the Church of England took place during the weekend. The Rt. Rev. Sarah Mallally, Bishop of Crediton, ordained two deacons and two priests in separate services in Devon in the west of England. She told the BBC, “It’s another milestone and a great celebration.”

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