This week's UK news: 17 July 2014
18 July 2014

First women managers in Church of England

There have been women priests (vicars) in the Church of England since 1992. Ever since then, there have been arguments about whether those women could be promoted to become bishops, who each oversee many churches and vicars.

This week there was a special meeting of Church members and they voted in favour of women being allowed to become bishops. There has been opposition from church members who believe the Bible says that men should never be taught by women, and also from people who hope that the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England will work more closely.

Now the question is where the first woman bishop will be appointed, and who it will be.


Best new British buildings in competition

Every year the people who design buildings in the UK (architects) have a competion to choose the best new building. The shortlist for this year's competition has just been announced.

One building on the list is The Shard in London. This is a glass-covered spike near the River Thames, and is also the tallest building in the European Union. People think the Shard is the most likely winner.

Also on the list is the Aquatics Centre built for the 2012 Olympics. The building had extra seating on the sides for the Olympics but this has now been removed and it is now easier to see the wavy lines of the roof and walls. Some people say it is like swiniing inside a whale.

Another of the buildings is in London, at the London School of Economics. It is the new student centre, called the Saw Swee Hock building.

There are another three buildings on the shortlist, all outside London. These are the new Birmingham library, which looks from the outside like a pile of decorated boxes, the Manchester School of Art, where a 1960s building has been developed, and the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. The winner of the Stirling prize will be announced in October.


Site of first UK spaceport to be decided

Space travel got a bit closer this week when a shortlist of six places where a UK centre for space travel could be built was announced. The "spaceport" could be built in four areas of Scotland, one in England and one in Wales.

All of the chosen sites have airports with long runways and the ability to let space planes operate alongside ordinary planes. The areas chosen are also all far away from large towns and cities and close to the sea, in case there is a problem with a spaceplan.

Although more of the possible sites are in Scotland, the report on the sites says that they are more likely to have bad weather which would mean fewer flying hours. Cloud would also make it harder for space tourists to see the view.


UK has oldest mothers in the world

The average age of new mothers in the UK has risen to 30 for the first time since records began in 1938. The average age has been rising to 1975. The government body which produces the figures says this could be because more women are going to university and having a career, as well as problems with the cost of childcare and housing.

The number of births dropped last year by over four per cent. This was the biggest drop in almost 30 years. This could also be caused by problems with jobs and promotion, the government office said. Almost half of all babies were born to parents who were not married, and just over a quarter had mothers who were themselves born outside the UK.




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