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Bishop of Peterborough abseils down cathedral

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes.

The Bishop of Peterborough got a little bit closer to God today - as he abseiled from the top of the city's cathedral.

More than 200 people had signed up to abseil down the historic building Credit: ITV News Anglia

He was taking part in a sponsored event to raise funds for improvements at the Cathedral, in time for its 900th anniversary in 2018.

The historian and television presenter Jonathan Foyle was among those taking part.

Region's first female archdeacon to become bishop

The Right Reverend Jan McFarlane will move to Derbyshire. Credit: ITV Anglia.

East Anglia's first female archdeacon leaves her role this week to become one of the first women bishops.

The Right Reverend Jan McFarlane will move to Derbyshire to become Bishop of Repton after 17 years in Norfolk.

"Norfolk and Norwich has become home really.

I always feel like I've been adopted by the people of Norfolk. I just know how we're going to leave this incredible cathedral, this beautiful city and the people who really have become friends over the years"

– Right Reverend Jan McFarlane

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Luton Mosque hoping Ramadan can help build bridges to wider community

Muslims across the region have been fasting each day between sunrise and sunset from the 6th of June to the 6th of July as part of the holy month of Ramadan.

But once the sun has gone down there's a chance to catch up with friends and family at the evening meal or Iftar - and in Luton one mosque has been using the event to build bridges with the wider community.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey.

Campaign to highlight the problem of forced marriage

There have been hundreds of calls to a charity helpline from the Anglia region about forced marriage.

A national roadshow has been in the Anglia region aiming to shine a light on the problem of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

It highlights the women abused, disowned and ostracised by their own families - simply for wanting a say in who they marry.

The charity Karma Nirvana, which supports victims, has received hundreds of calls to its helpline from people in the Anglia region since the beginning of 2014.

  • Bedfordshire - 153 calls
  • Cambridgeshire - 92 calls
  • Hertfordshire - 133 calls
  • Milton Keynes - 42 calls
  • Northamptonshire - 33 calls

Click below for a report from ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper who met one survivor who is now taking control of her life

Four historic churches in east to get lottery funding boost

Four historic churches in the eastern region are to be give a share of £650,000 in grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money for the Grade I or II listed churches has been awarded through the 'Grants for Places of Worship' programme.

  • All Saints Church, Turvey in Bedfordshire will get £113,000
  • St Mary the Virgin, Baldock in Hertfordshire will get £211,200
  • All Saints, Wood Norton in Norfolk will get £193,000
  • Borley Church, Braintree in Essex will get £151,200

"Churches have been at the heart of our communities for hundreds of years. We are delighted that All Saints has been awarded a grant to address the urgent repairs needed to its structure. The church itself is a very important building, both architecturally and to its community, and this project will enable it to continue to function as a space for worship, and serve local people of all ages for a range of activities."

– Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England

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Muslim converts face discrimination says new report

The report studied the challenges and concerns facing Islamic converts in the UK today Credit: PA Images

People who convert to Islam face being shunned by family and friends, and even targeted by the security services, according to a new report from Cambridge University.

Academics from the university's Centre of Islamic Studies found that many Muslim converts also suffered physical and mental abuse.

The study by the Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies examined nearly 50 Muslim converts of all ages, ethnicities, faiths and social backgrounds.

"I always joke with people that it's a bit like 'coming out' and I've discovered a lot of people who concealed this until the later stages.

I was exposed as a Muslim to friends and family inadvertently and my parents took it hard. They never came to my wedding.

I was also subject to some ridicule at work, which I now look back on as completely unacceptable in the modern world."

– Adrian (Jamal) Heath, Participant

New lead Chaplain joins Southend Hospital

Reverend David Childs is the new lead chaplain at Southend Hospital Credit: Southend Hospital.

Southend Hospital has welcomed the arrival of a new lead chaplain, Reverend David Childs who was a former parish priest in Essex and Oxfordshire.

He will help deliver a 24-hour on-call service to make sure someone is available day and night.

“I may be the lead chaplain or the face of chaplaincy but there’s a really good team of people around me. It’s a privilege to be in a role where I meet people of every possible outlook, background. You realise ‘wow’ humanity is exciting. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the staff. "

– David Childs
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