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Bath Abbey buskers prompt social media backlash

Bath Abbey service abandoned because of loud buskers

The choral service of Evensong in Bath Abbey was abandoned yesterday because clergy said they could no longer compete with the noise of buskers outside the building. Rector Edward Mason halted Evensong mid-service, asking choir and congregation to leave.

A busker with amplified voice and guitar played and sung in the square before and during the Evensong service outside the Roman Baths adjacent to the Abbey. It is the first time that the noise of buskers outside has led to the abandonment of the centuries old tradition.

Bath Abbey Credit: PA

I feel like weeping for a city ruined by the clamour of music and weeping for an Abbey that has had a superb ministry of peace, healing and quiet for hundreds of years and which is being subject to the violence of noise.

– Rector Edward Mason, speaking to Classic FM


Meeting tonight on new Bishop of Gloucester

People in Gloucester can have their say tonight on what the city's next Bishop should bring to the diocese.

A public meeting is being held at Gloucester Cathedral (7pm) to discuss the successor to the retiring Right Reverend Michael Perham.

The process for finding the next Bishop will take just under a year with an announcement expected next spring.

Right Rev. Michael Perham. Credit: PA


Vicar sets off on marathon coastal challenge

A school chaplain from Somerset is setting off this morning on a marathon coast path challenge. The Rev. Mike Haslam is attempting to run the 630 rugged miles of the South West Coast Path, from Minehead on the north coast round to Poole in Dorset, in just 16 days. He is raising money for the charity Christian Aid.

Bishop of Gloucester interviewed over alleged indecent assaults

The Bishop of Gloucester Right Rev Michael Perham has been interviewed by police today on suspicion of indecently assaulting a woman and a girl more than thirty years ago.

Bishop Michael, 66, attended a police station in Gloucestershire today to be interviewed about the allegations which date back to 1980 and 1981.

The investigation is being run by the Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

The Right Rev Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester Credit: Press Assocation

A 66 year old man today attended a police station in Gloucestershire by appointment and was interviewed on suspicion of indecent assault of a child aged under 18 and indecent assault of a second female aged over 18.

He was not arrested.

The alleged incidents are said to have occurred between 1980 and 1981 and are being investigated by officers from the Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command. Enquiries continue.

– Metropolitan Police

Today's police announcement follows a brief statement from the Gloucester Diocese last weekend saying Bishop Michael was 'stepping down' from his post for 'personal reasons.'

There has since been no further comment from the diocese except to say that steps are being taken for the Bishop of Tewkesbury, Right Rev Martyn Snow, to take over his duties.

Bishop Michael, who has served as Bishop of Gloucester for almost ten years and was due to retire on his 67th birthday on Nov 8, did not fulfil an engagement to take part in a major World War One centenary service at Gloucester Cathedral on Sunday.

A service to say farewell to Bishop Michael had been organised for his birthday at the cathedral but it now appears that will not be going ahead.

The Bishop of Gloucester leaves post early

The Bishop of Gloucester has mysteriously left his post - three months earlier than planned. 66 year old The Right Reverend Michael Perham was due to retire in November after almost a decade in the role but stepped down this weekend blaming "personal reasons".

He was due to feature in First World War centenary commemoration services today but it is understood his move is with immediate effect.

In a statement, the Diocese of Gloucester simply said Bishop Perham had "stepped back" from his ministry due to "personal reasons" and did not elaborate further.

Bishop Michael has served in six full time posts in the Church of England, before taking up the post of Bishop of Gloucester in 2004. It is expected that the Bishop of Tewkesbury Martyn Snow will perform Bishop Michael's duties in his absence.