By Ray Fleming

THE Church of England managed to get some media attention yesterday despite the blanket coverage of the Olympics. The first news item was that the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board have sold shares worth 1.9 million pounds in News Corporation because of the Murdoch company's involvement in phone-hacking allegations.

While the principle is to be applauded It seems a little odd that the CoE has acted in this way before the Leveson Inquiry delivers its report or the allegations against senior News Corporation staff have reached the courtrooms.

In the Times the Archbishop of York, John Sentanu, contributed an article entitled “My dog collar stays off until Zimbabwe is free”, in which he recalled how in December 2007 he took off his clerical collar on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show and pledged that he would not wear it again until Robert Mugabe ceased to be in power in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe is still there and Zimbabwe has gone from bad to worse. Its just as well that John Sentanu did not start a hunger strike in 2007 but he is right to try to keep Zimbabwe in the news. I wonder how much this intervention should be taken as an indication of the activist stance he would take if he were to be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury later this year.

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