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This page last updated 29 August 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 28 August 2016

The News Centre
Editor: Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle and Allie Graham

IN THE NEWS CENTRE we report news of global interest that relates to the Anglican Communion. Sometimes we write news articles ourselves. More frequently, we refer you to some article we have found elsewhere in the world. We focus more on news reported about the church than by the church. New articles are also referenced in our Noted This Week section. We depend on you to tell us about news where you live; here's how to contribute. It is unusual for us to mention news items that contain phrases such as 'youth gather', 'bishop calls for', 'releases report on', 're-envisions', or 'synod debate'.

Simon Sarmiento, our UK correspondent, maintains a list of more specific UK-oriented news articles as part of the Thinking Anglicans site. There you can find items we might not normally link at Anglicans Online.

Other News Centre resource pages: Newspapers Online, Official Church Publications, and Online News Sources. And of course, our News Centre Archives. If you are having trouble finding something, don't forget our search engine.


News Stories


27 August 2016: ABC interviewed at Britain's Greenbelt Festival
Christian Today reports on and quotes from an interview with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by British television star Kate Bottley. One notable quote: 'I am constantly consumed with horror at the way the Church has treated gay people.'

27 August 2016: New testimony in Diocese of Newcastle sex abuse hearings
The Australian reports that the child abuse royal commission released a slew of exhibits about the Anglican diocese. On Monday it begins a third week of hearings, when the Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, is due to be the first facing cross-examination. One revelation is that the former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral wrote a character reference for a priest he knew to be a pedophile.

26 August 2016: Bid to install padded chairs squashed by Court
The parishioners at the 12th century Church of the Holy Trinity in Long Itchington, Warwickshire, had to move their Victorian pews whenever they held Messy Church, or hosted village events. Despite concerns from the Victorian Society, they were permitted to remove the pews. The Church Times reports. However, the Chancellor of the diocese of Coventry has ruled that they must be replaced with un-upholstered wooden chairs. He suggested that wine-coloured padding might be off-putting to newcomers, and that an ‘overly casual appearance can be incompatible with a house of God’. One of the wardens told the Telegraph that she felt the court's decision would hinder the mission of the parish. The Telegraph has the best headline: ‘Not the comfy chair! Parishioners given Spanish Inquisition’, but the article is behind a paywall.

23 August 2016: Maori Archbishop to retire in March 2017
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the announcement by Archbishop William Brown Turei of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, that he will retire at the end of March 2017 at the age of 92. He is the oldest Primate in the Anglican Communion.


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21 August 2016: The Revd Roly Bain
The Guardian reports the death of the 'Holy Roly', whose clown ministry took him around the world. He felt himself in the old tradition of jesters in church, who symbolize the comedy and tragedy of life. During his career, he had custard-pied ten bishops, 'and most were grateful'. 

21 August 2016: Anglican church commences construction of trauma centre for Boko Haram victims
The Diocese of Maiduguri has laid the cornerstone on this trauma centre according to the Premium Times (Nigeria). Though 'the centre belongs to the Anglican communion, its services will cut across all religions and denominations' and is expected to cost N15 million (£33,220).

21 August 2016: City square shut down, fears for Cathedral under Melbourne Metro rail tunnel drilling plans
Fears have raised about the stability of the ground beneath the 125 year-old St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne once drilling starts in 2018. The Herald Sun (Melbourne) also reports of concerns that the project could 'represent a major threat to the practical functioning of the Cathedral'.

19 August 2016: Interreligious Summit for Peace set for September
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will join Pope Francis and other prominent Christian and Muslim leaders for a peace summit in Assisi this September. Writes the Catholic News Agency, the meeting is '"a necessary encounter," especially given the current global climate of conflict.'

19 August 2016: Brazil’s Anglicans protest destruction of Indigenous land
Anglican Journal reports Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB) has joined a coallition of churches protesting the removal of indigious peoples from their land to make way for agro-business, which has led to nearly 400 murders and over 500 suicides over the last 12 years. The group has led demonstrations and met with legislators, with support from USPG.

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13 August 2016: Top cleric says C of E risks becoming a 'suburban sect'
Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, Oxford has warned that the Church of England is in danger of becoming a narrow sect 'driven by mission-minded middle managers' who are alienating clergy, congregations and the general public.

12 August 2016: ABC says silencing of abuse victims is itself a form of abuse
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that in the foreword to the current issue of Crucible, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the silencing of abuse victims is itself a form of abuse 'as bad if not worse than the first betrayal.'

10 August 2016: More from Australia's Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
The Guardian (London) maintains a good synopsis of activity and findings of the Royal commission. This week's reports include testimony from a former police officer that after being brought in to clean up the Anglican church in Newcastle, he was subjected to personal harassment and attacks on his home. The commission's Newcastle case study is examining the way the local Anglican diocese responded to allegations of child sexual abuse made against clergy and lay members of the church.

10 August 2016: Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa elects new chair and vice-chair
The Anglican Communion News Service has announced the election of Albert Chama, Archbishop of Central Africa, as chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA). The newly-elected vice-chair is Archbishop Stanley Ntagali from Uganda. CAPA is an organization formed to work with, rather than be antagonistic to, other parts of the Anglican Communion.

9 August 2016: ABC announces that C of E will block protests
Christian Today reports that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has announced that the Church of England will ban protests at the consecration of female bishops. The report adds 'The mechanism for banning protests is not clear and the Archbishop of Canterbury's office declined to comment further for Christian Today.'

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5 August 2016: WATCH urges Archbishop and Deans to take steps against serial interruptor
The Church Times (London) reports that the British campaign group WATCH (Women and the Church) has urged the Archbishop of Canterbury and cathedral deans to ensure that a man opposed to women bishops is not allowed to interrupt any more consecrations. 'Such interruptions create the perception that the Church is willing to allow a woman who has been called by God and the Church, and appointed by the Crown, to be publicly insulted and undermined,' WATCH’s statement said.

4 August 2016: Church of England clergyman found guilty of past sex crimes
The Guardian (London) reports that a British jury found George Granville Gibson, 80, the former archdeacon of Auckland, guilty of two counts of indecent assault. He was found not guilty of five other charges. Earlier, two charges were dropped.

3 August 2016: Archbishop of York repeats call for Mugabe resignation
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the renewed call by Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu for the resignation of Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe.

3 August 2016: C of E issues guidelines for use of social media
The headline in The Telegraph (London) says, somewhat frivolously, 'The Gif of God: Church of England issues eight social media commandments'. The article is not much in keeping with that headline, but it does include a list of eight smartphone apps recommended by the C of E for use by church staff. Mostly the article is about a series of steps taken by the Church of England to encourage and promote the use of social media by parishes.

2 August 2016: Refugees turn C of E into fastest growing religious group in Finland
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) notes that The Church of England is the fastest growing religious group in Finland, growing by 20 per cent over the past year. This is due not to evangelism but to immigration: much of the growth is because arriving refugees are Anglican, from Sudan and South Sudan.

1 August 2016: Australia's Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
The Guardian (London) maintains a good synopsis of activity and findings of Australia's ongoing Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Some recent reports ('Anglican bishop Roger Herft "berated" mother over priest abuse' and 'Anglican priest accuses Church of failing to act after her son was abused') haven't yet made its way into that synopsis.

29 July 2016: 4 injured as Sapele Anglican church factions clash
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that protesters gathered at the synod meeting of the Diocese of Sapele alleging financial mismanagement by Bishop Blessed Erifeta. A group of soldiers were called to keep the peace, but beat the protesters, injuring four women and a youth. This was the latest of a series of protests. Last fall a group led by a churchwarden of the cathedral sought a police investigation into the finances of the diocese, and the bishop sued them for defamation of character. The Sapele High Court dismissed the suit when the bishop failed to show up. Leadership (Abuja) outlines some of the charges and the bishop’s reaction, which was to dismiss all charges against himself. Christian Today noted that the four victims were hospitalised.

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28 July 2016: Belfast RC priest named canon of Anglican cathedral
Catholic World News (Virginia, USA) reports that a Roman Catholic parish priest in Belfast has been named an 'ecumenical canon' of the city’s Anglican cathedral, St Anne. Belfast is in the Diocese of Connor.

27 July 2016: Attacks on churches 'very likely'
The Telegraph (London) reports British security services have reported that terrorist attacks on churches in the UK are 'highly likely'.

26 July 2016: Senior Church of England clergy accused of failing to act on rape allegations
The Guardian (London) reports as-yet unproven accusations against bishops for failing to act when sexual violence was reported to them. The Church Times (London) has a succinct report on the 'Goddard Inquiry', also known as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

23 July 2016: Westminster council turns away homeless Jesus
OK, so we couldn't resist the headline in The Guardian (London). And this actually happened and was reported months ago. But we didn't notice it then, and it is rather timeless. The Guardian reported on the action by Westminster city council rejecting an application to install a sculpture of Jesus sleeping on a park bench.

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22 July 2016: USPG backs off on cringe-worthy name change
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the United Society [once 'for the Propagation of the Gospel'] is renouncing the silly name 'Us' and returning to 'USPG', but going forward the acronym will stand for United Society Partners in Gospel. It is once again safe to refer to this organization in conversation without saying something like 'The society formerly known as USPG'. Even its web address (weareus.org.uk) was cringe-worthy, and we trust it will also change.

22 July 2016: Cumbrian church is site of Britain’s first African settlement
St Michael’s Church in Burgh-by-Sands, near Carlisle, was built on the site of a third century Roman for of Aballava, where North African troops provided part of the garrison. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a plaque commemorating that first African community in Britain has been unveiled there, in conjunction with the BBC filming a segment of a programme on the black history of Britain.

22 July 2016: Pokémon in your parish
The Church Times noted 'PokéStops allow churches to catch gamers'. So did Anglicans Online, of course.

21 July 2016: Episcopal Divinity School to 'cease granting degrees'
The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA has announced it will 'cease to grant degrees at the end of the upcoming academic year'. We're confident that there's more to this story than has been announced, but we have no idea what it might be.

20 July 2016: Paedophile ring inside Diocese of Newcastle (Australia) exposed by whistle-blowers
Do note that there are two dioceses of Newcastle, one in Australia and one in the UK. This report is about the Australian Diocese of Newcastle. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC, reports the Diocese of Newcastle for years buried complaints about sex abusers, including reports of a senior priest who was part of a paedophile ring that involved priests and lay people. Huffington Post Australia claims that the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, knew about this abuse and took no action.

19 July 2016: Evidence of New World religious dialogue found in Caribbean cave
The Guardian (London) reports that a team led by the British Museum and the University of Leicester have found evidence of an early religious dialogue between Europeans and Native Americans.

19 July 2016: Bishop of London to retire
The Diocese of London has announced the upcoming retirement of the Rt Revd Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.

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14 July 2016: Edmond L. Browning, an Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop, Dies at 87
The New York Times' coverage of the life and death of retired US Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev'd Ed Browning.

13 July 2016: Gotta catch ‘em all (in the Anglican Communion)
The world-wide craze of Pokémon Go has become a surprising source of evangelism in the past week. The Washington Post has coverage and, for those needing an explanation, the Forward Movement has resources.

13 July 2016: Vicar’s daughter brings quiet Anglican faith to Prime Minister’s post
Crux explores the faith of regular church-goer Theresa May and how her active faith influences her politics.

12 July 2016: Anglican church of Canada backs same-sex marriage, a day after rejecting it
The Guardian reports same-sex marriage received the necessary two-thirds votes in each order at the Anglican Church of Canada's Synod in Toronto which concluded on 12 July. Though initally the vote appeared to have failed by one clergy vote, it was later revealed that a clergy vote had been misfiled and several others were not counted. The resolution will require passage of a second reading to become active. Anglican Journal describes seven bishops' 'public dissent' from the decision.

12 July 2016: Cathedral provides sanctuary as thousands flee Juba violence
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the Anglican and Catholic cathedrals are among the many places of worship providing sanctuary for over 15,000 displaced persons.

12 July 2016: Church of England finishes Shared Conversations on LGBT issues
The C of E has completed a series of ‘shared conversations’ to address the experience of LGBT persons in the church. Thinking Anglicans has coverage, which includes a response from the LGBTI Mission.


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