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This page last updated 16 November 2003  

Formerly Hot Issues

In the early days of Anglicans Online it carried a section called "Hot Issues" that tried to stay current with links to both sides of issues that people were arguing about. Beginning some time in 1998, we folded this into the News Centre and now we run issues along with news. This is the archive of what was in the Hot Issues section when we retired it. There is a certain Pompeii quality to this material.

Sexuality, Homosexuality, and the Church
Schism in the Church of England?
Women in the Priesthood?
Will There be a Future Church Without Youth?
The Future is Now

Schism in the Church of England?

The Sunday Times (9 November 1997) thinks so
The front-page story began: 'Rebel Anglican bishops are planning to break away from the Church of England and set up their own independent church. In what would be the most serious split since the Methodist movement broke away 200 years ago, traditionalist bishops are intending to lead more than 1,000 parishes out of the state church. Their proposals, which will be outlined fully by Christmas, could weaken the church's established status and provoke a financial crisis'. To read the remainder of the article and a related piece, go here to access the back issues of the Sunday Times and type in 9 November 1997.

The director of Forward in Faith responds

Greenbelt Interfaith News queried Stephen Parkinson about the accuracy of the 9 November 1997 Sunday Times report. Here's his take.

The Reverend Dr Jeffrey John sees reason for hope

In his address (10 November 1997) at the Oxford branch of Affirming Catholism, Dr John gave a spirited picture of what the Church of England has to offer. Read a summary of the evening: Passionately Moderate: Affirming Anglicanism in the Church Today, a special report for Anglicans Online.

Andrew Brown surveys the field
In a piece for the Church Times (partially reprinted here with permission of the author), British journalist Andrew Brown summarises some of the interest groups--and interests--that swirl around the Forward in Faith movement.

The Tablet strives for balance
The respected Roman Catholic weekly, The Tablet, featured an in-depth look at the ministry of women in holy orders in the Church of England on the fifth anniversary of the General Synod decision.

Sexuality, Homosexuality, and the Church

Sexuality issues at the 1998 Lambeth Conference
For better or worse, issues involving sexuality loomed large at Lambeth. We provide you with a number of resources.

The Kuala Lumpur Statement: Which one?
Simon Sarmiento, our UK-Europe editor, has summarised the surprising situation.

A Catechesis on Homosexuality
'Written at the suggestion of the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, Bishop of the Diocese of Newark (USA) and the Rt. Rev. Peter John Lee, Bishop of the Diocese of Christ the King (Southern Africa)' The "Catechesis" is occasioned by the 1998 Lambeth Conference, where homosexuality is expected to be a critical topic of discussion.

Communities of Faith & Homosexuality [Bridges Across the Divide]
Links to articles on faith communities' varied responses to the issue of homosexuality. At present, the page provides links to multifaith and multidenominational, Anglican, Baha'i, Buddhist, Humanist, Islamic, Pagan, and Zoroastrian documents.
Several links are provided to Anglican documents.

Gay Clergy Respond to Anglican Bishops' Statement on Homosexuality: An article in Greenbelt Interfaith News (March 1998) by Heather Elizabeth Peterson.
'It was a Catch-22 situation: Gay clergy are the ones most affected by the recent statement of the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada reiterating that practicing homosexuals may not be ordained. But because of what the bishops said, many gay clergy could not speak publicly on the matter. Now a solution has been found'.

Archbishop George Carey and Bishop John Spong - November 1997 The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Newark exchanged public letters on the issue of homosexuality and the role the issue may play at the Lambeth conference in summer 1998. Here's the schematic: Bishop Spong wrote to all the Primates, attached to which letter were Bishop Spong's statement which refers to the earlier Koinonia statement issued by a group of American bishops in 1994, to the Kuala Lumpur statement issued earlier this year, and to the Dallas statement. The Archbishop wrote back to Bishop Spong. (This press release can also be found at Most recently Bishop Spong has replied further.

Greenbelt Interfaith News (December 1997) takes a close look at the issues
The article 'Canadian Anglican Statements on Homosexuality Please Both Sides in Debate' concerns the Canadian bishops' statement on homosexuality and includes reactions to the statement by members of Integrity and Fidelity. The article also describes the Bishop of Toronto's dialogue group, through which members of Integrity and Fidelity have been discussing peacefully their agreements and disagreements. 'Pro-Gay and Ex-Gay ó Is There Room for Dialogue?' is an in-depth three-part article by Heather Elizabeth Peterson, editor of Greenbelt Interfaith News. The third part reprints a statement just issued by the dialogue group, 'Emerging Common Ground'
. At the end of it you'll find numerous and extensive links to background articles, whitepapers, a spectrum of views, and related web sites.

Action for Gay and Lesbian Ordination
AGLO describes itself as "a single-issue pressure group" which campaigns for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals to be equal with heterosexuals in the Anglican priesthood. With members in 29 British dioceses, their website has links to related news, and their newsletter,

Bishop Righter Trial
In the fall of 1990, Barry Stopfel was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Newark. Stopfel is gay and, at the time of his ordination, was living, according to ECUSA papers, 'in a sexual partnership' with another man. The assistant bishop of Newark, the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, was absolved of church charges over his decision to ordain the gay man.

Mailing list: LUTI: Gay, Lesbian, and Bi-sexual Episcopalians
"You don't even have to speak or be known. If you need to, you may sit in the corner and lick your wounds. This is not a place for proselytization but a place to discuss our own journey and listen to others discuss theirs."

Should We Ordain Women to the Priesthood?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ
In Ireland, a campaign is underway for the ordination of women to the priesthood. While the BASIC web site is indeed quite basic, it provides a good overview of their organization.

Questioning Women's Ordination
The breakaway Anglican group Province of Christ the King joined forces with the American Church Union to produce this essay.

One extreme

The Bishop of Chichester (England) insists on men only to take hospital communions (January 1998) --
read the article in full in the Guardian.

The view of The Tablet
The respected Roman Catholic weekly, The Tablet, featured an in-depth look at the ministry of women in holy orders in the Church of England on the fifth anniversary of the General Synod decision.

Women in Ministry (mailing list)
To join, send an e-mail to In the body of the message, type: subscribe

Will There be a Future Church Without Youth?

What Do Young People Think about Cyberchurch?

A 1998 survey of US youth and adults, and their attitudes about religion on the Net
. See what you think about the conclusions.

Are Children Really Welcome in Church?

A parishioner of church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has addressed many of the issues in a study she did for her parish. You'll find some of the questions she raises quite provocative.

Youth Specialties's "Youth Ministry Central" section has this listing of over 400 links to Web sites of interest to youth workers. Links point to valuable resources, such as clip art sites, drama sites (many with free scripts), and new conferences. The calendar
produced by Youth For Christ, is now automated.

Canadian Anglicans Youth Workers' Association
The Canadian Anglican Youth Workers' Association, born out of the Anglican Essentials conference, seeks to support and encourage youth ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly providing opportunities for sharing resources, and providing training and development for those involved in youth ministry.

YANEL mailing list
For Anglican youth and young adults. To join, send an email to In the body of the message, type: sub YANEL [your name].

The Future Is Now

With the approaching Millennium as a backdrop, the news media will inevitably get caught up in reporting on various interpretations of the Bible's apocalyptic passages, and it is likely that prognosticators of all stripes will put forth a variety of theories on the future of the world. Thus, it seems to be an appropriate time to introduce the topic of alternative forms of spiritual experience that are gaining in popularity throughout the world. Here are a few. Please let us know of others.

All the World Sing Praise

Ever wish you could help the world to sing in perfect harmony? Here's your chance. This is a project designed to create an ecumenical world-wide "songs of praise event" in every capital city of the world for the first day of the next Millennium. It is under the auspices of the Catholic Youth Ministry Faith Alive in the UK who are members of the Association of Co-ordinators of Catholic Schools of Evangelisation, a branch of Evangelisation 2000.

Churches of England's Millennium Celebration Project
Sunday April 6th, 1997--exactly one thousand days before January 1st, 2000. And on that day, the Churches of England asked everyone in the land to observe a "Millennium Moment" -- keep silence for a minute, light a candle, and say a prayer. And that was just the beginning! The English Churches suggest doing more to prepare for the new century and to ensure there is "a Christian resonance to the civic plans" that inevitably will include all-night parties and fireworks on December 31, 1999. The web site offers a place for Christians throughout the world to share their millennium plans.

God Online?
'Finding God Online', a feature article (with plenty of links) from the April 1998 Yahoo Internet Life.

The New York Alpha Conference
The Alpha course is a ten-week practical introduction to the Christian faith. Designed primarily for non-churchgoers and those who have recently become Christians, it is popular in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe but it is relatively new in the United States where it has its share of detractors. Alpha's proponents find it a simple and effective way of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear and non-threatening manner to people from all walks of life.

The 'Nine O'Clock Service' in the Diocese of Sheffield
From the web site: 'NOS (Nine O'clock Service) was a religious group based around an Anglican church in Sheffield Diocese, Yorkshire, UK, between 1988 and 1995. It was seen as a flagship congregation by many, developing new styles of worship, theologies and practices. Many people visited the services, including leading figures in the Church of England. This version of reality was shattered overnight by a series of allegations and stories...'

The Taizé Community
For many people the name "Taizé" evokes a certain style of singing that has become popular in more and more churches, retreat centers, campus parishes and even seminaries. For some, the word also suggests gatherings which attract large numbers of young adults. Still others are aware that Taizé is, in fact, an ecumenical community of about 100 brothers located in a small village in eastern France. Tens of thousands of people, mainly between the ages of 17 and 30, come each year to spend a week returning to the roots of the Christian faith. Pope John Paul II visited Taizé in 1986, and in 1992, Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spent a week here with 1,000 young Anglicans from all the dioceses in England. Since then, other church leaders have followed his example in coming to Taizé with their young people. The web site includes a daily Bible verse, a meditation and audio samples of the music from Taizé.

VERIDITAS, the World-Wide Labyrinth Project
According to Dr. Lauren Artress, founder of the Labyrinth Project at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, "We are coming into the center of our spiritual hunger as we face the year 2000. Our social structures are changing.You can see it in every institution in our society. This is frightening people. That is why we see an increase in violence. Mainline churches have favored teaching religious content while neglecting spiritual processes and it is spiritual processes that help us deepen our spiritual journeys." She contends that people need to know how to quiet the mind, how to meditate and pray and sees the labyrinth as "a perfect spiritual tool for helping our global community to order chaos....You walk to the center of the labyrinth and there, you meet the Divine."

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