No Glamour Required

Grantchester Seeks Vicar: The parish became a household name thanks to the ITV television series. Now it needs a new vicar. The appointed candidate need not be male, floppy-haired, or prone to solving murder mysteries.

The Rt. Rev. Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, has posted an opening for priest-in-charge of Church of St. Andrew & St. Mary in Grantchester and St. Mark’s Church, Newnham, in Cambridge.

The chosen candidate will live in the same vicarage and preach in the same parish church as James Norton, who played Sydney Chambers in the TV series.

Set in the 1950s, Grantchester featured vicar/sleuth Chambers fighting crime in partnership with detective Geordie Keating, played by Robson Green. The new vicar will see at least one famous face in the pews: novelist Lord [Jeffrey] Archer is a parishioner.

“We are looking forward to appointing a priest-in-charge for Grantchester, and would like to reassure those interested in the position that the time spent investigating crime is now somewhat less than in Canon Sidney Chambers’s day,” a diocesan spokesman said.

The TV series is based on the Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie, son of the Rt. Rev. Robert Runcie, 102nd Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ugandan Bishops Attacked: Police have apologized to the Anglican Church of Uganda for failing to provide security for a group of bishops touring church land in Ntawo, Mukono, near the capital city, Kampala.

The bishops, led by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, were attacked by a mob while on their way to see a square mile of land that will accommodate expansion of Uganda Christian University (UCU). One press report claimed there was an attempt to lynch the archbishop.

Fred Ahimbisbwe, the Mukono District’s police commander, apologized to the church.

“It is true I received the letter from UCU requesting us to accompany the bishops,” he told the bishops. “We were supposed to give you security but I was in a meeting, so I did not know that you (bishops) had gone to the place.”

Mukono police have arrested one person and others are under investigation.

Bishops from the church’s 35 dioceses had gathered to review the church’s 10-year strategic plan. The group also planned to discuss issues of land-grabbing involving church property.

Remembering London’s Great Fire: September 2 of this year marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, which began in a bakery on Pudding Lane and raged for four days in 1666. The fire destroyed much of the city and left 100,000 people homeless.

The fire destroyed 3,200 houses and 87 parish churches and most of the buildings of city authorities. St. Paul’s Cathedral was the most important landmark lost to the fire. The rubble of old St. Paul’s made way for Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece. Wren rebuilt 51 of the destroyed churches.

The Changing Scene of Youth Work: The Archbishop of Canterbury has written an editorial in the 25th anniversary edition of Premier Youthwork.

Recalling the Disney film Sleeping Beauty, once a favorite of his children, he writes: “I wonder what differences you would notice if you had fallen asleep in 1991 and only just woken now?”

He believes the most visible changes include the internet, other new technology, and “how much we are prepared to pay for a cup of coffee.”

He adds there have been enormous changes in Christian youth work in the United Kingdom.

“You would notice how many more youth workers had been trained and deployed in the Church, notice how the Church is the largest provider of youth work in many towns and cities,” he writes. “In the atmosphere you might be surprised to notice a whole positive subculture of music, initiatives, heroes and great examples of people working together. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be hard to see the unfortunate lack of any youth work in so many churches.”


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