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This page last updated 29 May 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 29 May 2016

The News Centre
Editors: Helen Gordon and 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 May 2016: Thomas Becket’s elbow to return to site of his murder in Canterbury
When the remains of Archbishop Thomas Becket were reburied in 1220, fragments of bone were dispersed across Europe,with a shard of his elbow ending up in Esztergom, which was then the capital of Hungary. The Guardian reports that the relic has been briefly returned to England, accompanied by Hungary’s president. It has been blessed by both Becket’s successor, Justin Welby, and the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, Vincent Nichols. The pilgrimage will end at Canterbury cathedral, where Becket was murdered in 1170.

27 May 2016: Church contains hardly any converts, report suggests
The Church Times reports that only two per cent of Anglicans in England and Wales are converts. Though the survey, conducted by Dr Stephen Bullivant of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham looks primarily at the Roman Catholic church, other denominations are compared.

25 May 2016: Iona Christian community in 'serious jeopardy'
The Guardian reports of the difficulties facing the popular Scottish pilgrimage destination. The community is looking to raise £1.5m to redevelop the monastery buildings which could be 'unfit for purpose' within a few years.

25 May 2016: Confirmation stays under review
Anglican Taonga (New Zeland) reports that a proposal to remove and replace the rite of confirmation with a the rite of The Laying on of Hands for Affirmation, Renewal and Reception has sparked a debate on Christian initiation in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia.

24 May 2016: Desmond Tutu's daughter gives up Church ministry after same-sex marriage
Christian Today writes of the Revd Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth giving up her preaching license following her marriage to another woman. Though same-sex marriage is allowed under South African law, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa does not. Tutu-Van Furth says "The bishop of the diocese was instructed to revoke my licence. I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it."

23 May 2016: Needing to raise ten of millions, Washington National Cathedral picks a fundraiser for its new dean
The Washington Post (USA) profiles the recently appointed dean of the National Cathedral of the Episcopal Church, USA in Washington, DC. The Revd Randy Hollerith follows Gary Hall, known for his activism in the church. Hollerith, who currently serves at a parish in Richmond, Virginia, is the brother of the Rt. Rev. Herman "Hollie" Hollerith of Southern Virginia.


21 May 2016: Melbourne church offers space to Muslims for prayer after mosque fire
ABC News reports that since last October there have been five church fires in Geelong, Australia. The most recent fire destroyed the main mosque in that city. The building was previously a Uniting Church, and police do not believe the attack was targeting Islam. The Bishop of Melbourne, Philip Huggins, has offered the use of the parish hall of All Saints Church, Newtown for Friday prayers.

20 May 2016: New Primate for Kenya
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the election of the Bishop of Kericho, the Rt Revd Jackson Ole Sapit, as sixth Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Bishop of the Diocese of All Saints Cathedral.

19 May 2016: Bishop of Dunedin announces retirement, wonders if diocese can afford a bishop
The Otago Daily Times reports the Bishop of Dunedin has announced his intention to retire at Easter next year, and raised questions about whether the Dunedin diocese can afford to replace him. The next day, that newspaper published an editorial 'Churches in modern times', lamenting the state of New Zealand's churches and noting 'Many young New Zealanders these days have never attended a church service, not even at Christmas or Easter and not for weddings or baptisms.'

19 May 2016: Thousands join ABC for online Bible study
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) tells us the Archbishop of Canterbury was joined by thousands around the world today for his first live Bible study on Facebook.

17 May 2016: Church of Scotland to introduce online baptism
The Telegraph (London) reports a policy being considered by the Church of Scotland to allow online administration of the sacrament of baptism. Do remember that the Church of Scotland is not Anglican; that would be the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Church of Scotland has already issued a denial.

16 May 2016: Altar cloth in Herefordshire church linked to Elizabeth I
The people of St Faith in Bacton (UK) suspected that the altar cloth they had on display had links to Queen Elizabeth I. It had been donated to the church by Blanche Parry, who was the queen’s personal attendant, and whose effigy is in the church. The Hereford Times reports that the connection has been confirmed, and that it was a unique piece of Elizabethan dress. The confirmation increased its value; it is now thought to be worth millions of pounds. It will now be conserved at Hampton Court, and a facsimile will be produced for display at St Faith.


13 May 2016: Zimbabwe's Kunonga files appeal against court order
Remember Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former bishop of Harare, called 'the Bishop from Hell' by Zimbabwe's Nehanda Radio? NewsDay (Harare) notes Kunonga's filing of an appeal against a court order that he re-pay certain stolen monies.

13 May 2016: NZ Synod puts same-sex blessings on 'hold'
Anglican Taonga (NZ), reporting on the recent General Synod, notes the decision on same-sex blessings in NZ has been postponed until General Synod 2018. Radio New Zealand reported on the division of opinion among Anglicans in that province.

12 May 2016: Empty pews in NZ churches
The Northern Advocate (NZ), reporting on a recent attendance survey, noted that four churches in one district had only 28 regular worshipers, two of whom were actually Methodists.

12 May 2016: Pope considering the ordination of women as deacons
The Guardian (UK) reports the Pope's new plan to appoint an official commission to study the issue of ordaining women as deacons.

9 May 2016: ACC-16 has ended, but the arguments continue
The US Episcopal News Service has published a summary review of the disputes about what exactly happened on the last full day of last month's ACC-16 meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

8 May 2016: Stone running out at Lincoln Cathedral quarry
Each year masons use more than 100 tonnes of stone to maintain and repair Lincoln Cathedral. The BBC reports that the present quarry will last about five years, but that the city is so developed the best quarry sites have been built upon. The Lincolnshire Echo reports that Lincolnshire County Council has identified eleven sites to be guarded from development, to protect the remaining sources of limestone.


8 May 2016: Pomp and colour as Archbishop Wabukala exits helm of Anglican Church
The Star, Kenya (Nairobi) writes of the retirement of Eliud Wabukala as Archbishop of Kenya. Though he will officially retire on 26 June, his last official mass as primate was 8 May. There is currently a slate of six being considered for the province's next primate.

8 May 2016: First bishop for Maseno East in Kenya
The HiviSasa Kisumu County News (Nairobi) reports that the Diocese of Maseno East has elected the Revd Arnold Owiti Joshua as its first bishop.

6 May 2016: Hong Kong Anglican province distances itself from local divinity school
The South China Morning Post reports the withdrawal of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui from the group of Christian denominations in that city that support the Divinity School at Chinese University, raising concerns over whether the move was politically motivated.

6 May 2016: ACC-16 members issue Statement of Clarification
Thinking Anglicans tells us a statement has been issued by the outgoing members of the ACC standing committee. This statement is in response to various published statements about the meaning or consequences of the ACC-16 meeting in Lusaka. The Thinking Anglicans notice of the reflection on ACC-16 by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Journal leader on the event are also worth your attention. The Anglican Communion News Service states 'The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has rejected criticism from six former members of the Anglican Consultative Council’s standing committee of statements made during and after ACC-16.'

4 May 2016: Anglicans reach out to victims of Fort McMurray wildfire
'We have had offers of prayers and support from across the country,' said Bishop Fraser Lawton, of the diocese of Athabasca, in a report by Canada's Anglican Journal. There is also currently an emergency appeal by the The Primates’ World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) which is coordinating the wider church response and has launched across Canada to support the response by local churches. The Alberta-based fire, which has spread to over 2000sq km, has so far taken no lives.
Actual words.

2 May 2016: Three Malaysian bishops seek fraud prosecution of Muslim preacher
The Herald Malaysia tells us that three of Malaysia’s most senior Anglican clergymen want the authorities to act against award-winning Islamic scholar Ayub Abdul Rahman who, they allege, has been speaking in public under the fraudulent guise of a former Christian cleric with their church. His claims of being a former Anglican priest have been investigated and found to be false.

1 May 2016: Buddhist militants erect a pagoda by Anglican church
Asia News (which is based in Italy) reports that U Thuzana, a 73-year-old Buddhist monk and leader of an ethnic armed group (the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army) led hundreds to seize land owned by St Mark’s Anglican church in Hlaingbwe Township, in Myanmar. The Anglican bishop, Saw Stylo, urged his followers to practice benevolence, compassion and detachment rather than harbour grudges. The article notes that most Christians in Myanmar belong to ethnic minorities.


1 May 2016:'a receive Anglican apology for residential schools
The Terrace Standard (British Columbia) reported on an apology by the Primate of Canada to residential school survivors in the Nass Valley for its role in the federal government’s aboriginal residential school program. Church leaders were unaware that the 1993 blanket apology to aboriginal peoples did not include (or was unknown to) many in Nass Valley.

1 May 2016: Christchurch Cathedral's future remains uncertain
Radio New Zealand covered another setback in the rebuilding of Christchurch Cathedral. A working group of both government and Church interests which had been tasked with 'investigaing whether the two parties could work together on meeting the cost and safety requirements of reinstating the cathedral' with a tentative report date of the end of April has not reported any update.

29 April 2016: President Dilma Rousseff retains the support of Brazilian Anglicans
Following the vote in favor of impeachment in the lower house of Brazil's Parliament, the Anglican Communion News Service reports that Brazilian Anglicans stand by President Dilma Rouseff on financial corruption charges. The upper house will vote next month on what the Archbishop claims stems from 'a political alliance between Brazil’s wealthy elite and Christian conservatives in an attempt to stop social advances for the poor'.

27 April 2016: Another downtown neighbourhood - this one driven by churches - looks for revitalisation
The Florida Times-Union described a new outreach of St. John's Cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida, USA to revitalize its neighbourhood by forming a for-profit corporation aimed at 'creating a community advocacy association and bring together a unified voice for the churches, non-profits, businesses and residents'.


PRIOR TO 27 April 2016: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.

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