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30 June 1999: The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Alwyn Rice Jones, has been the primate of The Church in Wales for eight years. He retired today. The retirement was covered by the BBC, but we can't find any coverage of it on the Church in Wales' web site.
29 June 1999: News and meta-news. The Anglican Communion News Service has sprung from its late-spring snooze and issued some stories. Hospitality Day at Lambeth Palace is a very brief comment on a recent invitation-only "hospitality day"; The Archbishop of Canterbury visits South America, and a tribute to, on the occasion of the death of, His Holiness Karekin I, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin.
28 June 1999: Large political issues are often encoded in seemingly minor events. There was a whirlwind of the politics of sexuality encoded in the election of the new Bishop of Rochester, about which we reported the facts last week. Doug LeBlanc did his usual fabulous job of reporting the facts and issues behind this event; his stories are in Anglican Voice. Anglicans Online is somewhat tired of stories about the politics of sexuality, but we have no quarrel with referring you to others who still have the energy to write about them, and Doug is the best in the business. Anglican Voice carries four stories about the Rochester election.
27 June 1999: On 22 June 1999, exactly on the 50th anniversary of his baptism, the Rev. Paul Woolley was ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada by the Rt Revd Robert Townshend, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Huron. We carry this story because it makes us happy, and not because it has global significance. Or even a web page. But in some sense everything a priest does has global significance, and we wish we could publicise every ordination. We are forever thankful for the people who are willing to devote their lives to the priesthood. Revd Woolley is employed in youth ministry across the border in Michigan, USA.
27 June 1999: Her Majesty's Stationery Office has published a transcript of some of the debate in the House of Commons on the issue of cathedrals and Westminster Abbey. Your News Centre editor was born and raised in the United States, and he has no idea what is going on here, but it makes for interesting reading to see a national government passing laws about cathedrals and their governance.
27 June 1999: The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Church of England is planning to reform the centuries-old rules for weddings, perhaps making the new rules liberal enough to permit outdoor weddings at the beach.
27 June 1999: The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Queen of England is "highly concerned" that the Archbishop of Canterbury may boycott the opening of England's Millennium Dome on New Year's Eve because he fears the occasion does not have a strong enough Christian content. He's right, of course, but the question is whether or not he should boycott it because of that.
Aside: The Telegraph's web site is so very much better than The Times'.
26 June 1999: The Independent reports that the Church of England reports an increase in the number of ordinations recently. The Times is downright excited about this news (in Faith, in Weekend, for 26 June; read our instructions for how to see it).
26 June 1999: The Tablet has published an obituary of Basil Hume. It is a Roman Catholic publication and he was a Roman Catholic Cardinal, so if you are as fascinated by this man as we are, you should definitely read this spin on his life and death. And don't miss Robert Runcie's tribute to Basil Hume, which The Tablet also printed. While we're on the subject of Cardinal Hume: we couldn't get to The Guardian's web site last week to find its obituary of Basil Hume. It's still worth reading, and it's still on their web site. Click here. And Ruth Gledhill has weighed in about Hume; like almost everything Ruth writes, it is worth your time to ferret it out of the b***ing Times web site for 26 June and read it; in At Your Service, in Weekend.
26 June 1999: An ordination is absolutely not an online event; it requires that the bishop physically touch the ordinand. But ordinations largely determine the future of the church (along with baptisms and education.) Every generation runs the risk of being the last generation for any church, and the selection and training of ordinands has a large effect on what the church will be in twenty years. We therefore this week step slightly out of character and report a non-online event. Your News Centre editor wrote this commentary on the ordination of Ann Markle, a friend of the Anglicans Online US staff, to the transitional diaconate by the Rt. Rev. Michael Garrison, Bishop of Western New York. We don't normally report ordinations, but we made an exception this time because she is our friend and because there is a cyberspace angle.
25 June 1999: From time to time we refer you to articles in The Tablet, an English Roman Catholic weekly magazine of some stature. The structure of their web site makes it utterly impossible to link to articles, so you must go to their main web site and click on Feature Article, to read Lavinia Byrne's essay about why the Internet is not so awful as people say it is. If you do this after July 1, then the article will be gone, and you will have to read our pirated copyright-violating copy of it, which we have used the evil powers of the Internet to make available to you.
25 June 1999: If you can believe what you read in the newspapers, the English are getting downright unpleasant over the issue of the ordination of women. The Independent has an article about the upcoming BBC feature on the problems at St Paul's Cathedral. The same society that hosts Anglicans Online also hosts the St Paul's web site (we bet you didn't know that the web site for St Paul's Cathedral was physically in Palo Alto, California); maybe we can use that to help calm somebody down.
25 June 1999: Some meta-news (news about news). The web site of the venerable Church Times (not to be confused with the venerable web site of the Church Times, which does not yet exist) has for the first time carried colour photographs. There are two, though one is linked wrong so you can't see it without mucking about inside the HTML. To our practiced eye, it looks as though they must have popped a Windows 95 floppy disk into a Macintosh computer and forgotten to repair the file name that results therefrom. We've fixed it in our local copy of the article, should you wish to see the picture. The Church Times is our favourite newspaper, so we always cheer when their level of online technology increases.
24 June 1999: The Diocese of Brisbane has posted the full text of the address given by the Archbishop of Brisbane, The Rt Revd Peter Hollingworth, to the annual Synod of that diocese been posted on the Diocese of Brisbane's web page. We don't often report diocesan speeches as news, but Bishop Hollingworth is a clear and educated voice that should be heard even by people who might not agree with him. And we are always hungry for any news from the vicinity of the Tasman Sea.
21 June 1999: The Diocese of Rochester (the one in upstate New York, not the one in England) has elected a new bishop. Covered by the Rochester News; the diocese itself does not yet have a web page. The Rt. Rev. Jack M. McKelvey, currently suffragan bishop of Newark, was selected on the fifth ballot in a diocesan convention in Bath, New York.
20 June 1999: If you are going to read things like the Anglicans Online News Centre, you should pay attention to the column by John Naughton in The Observer for Sunday, 20 June. He talks about online news sources.
20 June 1999: The Hartford Courant reports that the Diocese of Connecticut has elected The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, currently suffragan bishop in that diocese, over five other nominees after two ballots. The Diocese of Connecticut has issued a news release, and The Courant's web site will probably have the article online until late June 1999.
20 June 1999: The death of Cardinal Hume leaves an almost unfillable gap between the Roman Catholic church and the Church of England, at least in England. This could become a serious problem for the Anglican church. Paul Vallely writes a thoughtful opinion piece this week in The Independent.
18 June 1999: The big news story this week is the death of Cardinal Basil Hume, the leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales. The real story, of course, is his life and not his death; he was one of those singular men who come along every century or so to remind us of what human greatness can be. The BBC has extensive coverage of his life and death, with a huge collection of links to stories about him. As the BBC does not link to its competitors' stories, you won't find there any mention of the obituary by Andrew Brown in The Independent, nor of the obituary by Hugo Young in The Guardian or the obituary in The Telegraph nor the story about the Cardinal earlier in the week in The Telegraph. Our next paragraph guides you to coverage in The Times. As of our press time there is no official statement on the Church of England or ECUSA web sites. The closest thing to an official Anglican statement that we can find is the article by David Hope, Archbishop of York, that was published in The Times for 18 June 1999, though the Catholic Church has published the letter it received from Archbishop Carey.
18 June 1999: Usually on Saturday there are some articles worth reading in the dreadful web site operated by The Times and The Sunday Times. Today, because of the death of Cardinal Hume, there is quite a collection in the Friday edition. You can follow our instructions to gain entrance to that triumph of content over form. First read The Times' articles on Cardinal Hume, in the Britain section. There are half a dozen major stories. Start with "Cardinal Hume dies of cancer," then keep clicking on the , which will take you to all of the stories except the formal obituary, which is in the Obituaries section. There is a hyperlink to the obituary just underneath all of the advertisements on the first article.
Take time to think about what you have read, and then continue to read "Churches urged to chase the lost donations" in the Britain section, "Anti-heresy code" also in the Britain section.
17 June 1999: A Joyful Wedding. It wasn't held in Westminster Abbey, and it wasn't televised around the world, but the wedding, reported here by the Episcopal News Service will probably have as much impact on the history of the world as any other wedding likely to be reported this month. And no, we don't think that the bride looks at all like Diana Spencer.
16 June 1999: The Independent reports that the first woman priest at St Paul's cathedral has suffered from prolonged antagonism from the church, congregation, and fellow clergy. Article by Terri Judd.
13 June 1999: The Sunday Times (London) reports that the Vatican is poised to declare that Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of the Internet. In the Britain section of The Sunday Times for 13 June.
12 June 1999: In 1958 the University of California at Davis developed the first mechanical tomato-harvesting machine, but farmers discovered that it damaged the tomatoes too much. In 1961, the VF145 tomato varietal was introduced to US agriculture; it was genetically modified to be undamaged by mechanical harvesting. So began genetically modified food in the United States. As a schoolchild in the USA in the 1950s, your News Centre editor was taught that the Spartan custom of leaving babies to die on the hillside if they were not strong enough was just genetic modification.
What does this have to do with Anglican news? There is a big row in Britain involving the testing of genetically modified crops on Church of England land , and so this week all of the major religious journalists in the UK are covering the issue of genetically modified food. Victoria Combe, religion writer for The Telegraph, and Ruth Gledhill, religion writer for The Times have issued articles about genetically modified food. We are impressed by the depth, lucidity and timeliness of the C of E's essay on this topic, which was recently added to The Church of England's view on the Environment and Animal Welfare. The web lets you read primary material unfiltered by journalists, but you have to find it first. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics web page has links to primary scientific source material.
10 June 1999: This is a UK political topic, but most of the people who would be making Solid Anglican News are busily arguing about genetically modified food, sexuality, prayer books, Goods and Services Taxes, or the ordination of women. So we have to dig for stories. Here's a good one. Jonathan Aitken is a former UK cabinet minister who has been convicted and sentenced for perjury. The Tablet carried a feature story on Aitken in its 12 June 1999 issue should you wonder who he is. One could easily misread the story by Andrew Pierce in the Britain section of The Times for 10 June 1999 to think that part of Aitken's sentence is to attend Wycliffe Hall, an evangelical theological college. The mind wanders: maybe if it should ever come to pass that the organist of an important place breaks the law, he could be sentenced to study with the Brown University Band, "home of the only ice skating college band."
10 June 1999: Do the work of getting into The Times' web site, then look at "Curate berates 'pagan' suburbia" in the Britain section for 10 June, "Sophie's Dictionary" in the Leading Articles for 10 June, and, since you probably haven't read it yet despite our having mentioned in in the previous paragraph, "Oxford welcomes disgraced graduate on theology course" in Britain for 10 June. Now switch to June 12, and read "Revival in the City", the At Your Service (in Weekend).
June 1999: The
Guardian printed an
article by Dr Martyn Percy, in which it argues that Great Britain
could stand to act more like the Diocese
in Europe (a diocese of the Church
of England). This article is more about UK internal politics than
it is about the Anglican church, but its message is universal and it
is worth your attention. Those who do not live in Britain will probably
not know that the "St Albion's" referred to here is a spoof
parish newsletter that runs regularly in the humour magazine Private
Eye; the rector of this mythical parish is Britain's prime minister.
5 June 1999: Andrew Brown writes in The Independent one of those pieces that gives taxonomists nightmares. Read "Faith and Reason -- Elvis, Dawkins, the Pope, and the lesser of evils" and decide for yourself what it is about.
5 June 1999: Get yourself into The Times for 5 June 1999, in the Weekend section. Once you are in, we direct your attention to a very worthwhile article by Ruth Gledhill in her "At Your Service" column, on the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr. David Gitari, preaching at Holy Trinity Clapham Common. "As long as the church in Africa is involved in humanitarian activities ... those in authority are happy. But the moment the church begins to question the root cause.... we're told those ... should be left to politicians." If you are going to go to all of the trouble to click into The Times' web site, you should read the entire Faith section while you are in there, but even if you are in a hurry, make sure you read June Osborne writing about Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury who died in 1099.
4 June 1999: This week, on June 9, is the 450th anniversary of the first public use of the Book of Common Prayer, and there is quite a lot of commemoration of that book. Worldwide, various Prayer Book Societies are conservative organizations devoted to keeping things intact. In this week's Church Times, Nicholas Orme (professor of history at Exeter University) asks whether Cranmer would have joined the prayer book society, or whether he would have seen the prayer book as an act of revolutionary change.
3 June 1999: The Prayer Book Society of Canada has published a treatise on "The crisis in Common Prayer in the Anglican Church of Canada." Regardless of which side of this issue you might take, you should read this if you care about the Canadian prayer book. It is obvious that the Prayer Book Society takes a firm stand on the issue, but they do not try to conceal their opinion or pretend that it is news.
3 June 1999: On 21 March 1999 we reported on a story about controversy over a partnership between the Bank of Scotland and conservative US religious magnate Pat Robertson. Today The Guardian reports that the deal is probably off, not so much because of religious issues but because the Scots seem to have had enough of Mr. Robertson. "He may be in touch with God, but the Scots are a bit more difficult." Yahoo News carries the Reuter wire version of the story in a format that we can link to.
2 June 1999: The Anglican Communion News Service wire carried a story which is not yet on their web site (hence the lack of link here) saying that at the recent Provincial Synod meeting of the Anglican Province (May 26-29) a move to allow the ordination of women as presbyters (priests) was narrowly defeated. A majority voted in favour of the motion but there was not the 2/3 majority vote needed for it to pass. The Province does have women deacons. The Synod was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, and was attended by the Most Rev George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury. We will add more material to this story as it becomes available.
31 May 1999: Episcopal churches in Utah, USA, have posted signs asking people not to bring guns into the church. An article, which includes a photograph of such a sign, is carried in the ECUSA news service.
30 May 1999: The new Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Timothy Stevens, has caused a fuss by including a feminist prayer in his enthronement service. Coverage in The Telegraph in a story by Jonathan Petre.
29 May 1999: The Times for Saturday 29 May is chock-a-block with minor but interesting stories, and since it is such a bother to read stories online in The Times, we shall list them all together here so you need brave the complexity of their archive only once. In FAITH (part of Weekend), David Foster writes about commerce at Winchester Cathedral. In BRITAIN, a story about an 87-year-old chorister retiring after 80 years in the parish choir. A Harumph about Heresy in the Letters to the Editor. Ruth Gledhill retreats to Wells Cathedral and writes about it in At Your Service, (part of Weekend). The Bishop of Wakefield asks for a religious television channel, in FAITH.
28 May 1999: Westminster Abbey has hired a new organist, and some people are all a-dither because he is a Roman Catholic. His name is James O'Donnell, and he is indisputably a good musician regardless of who administers his wafer. The Abbey has issued a press release announcing it. The Telegraph has an article by Victoria Combe. The Times covers it in the Britain section for 28 May 1999 (see our instructions for finding articles online in The Times). The Independent's coverage also focuses on how terribly untraditional this is. We at Anglicans Online think that all of the important traditions have been upheld: he is a talented organist and an experienced church musician. Had they hired a Reggae drummer, now THAT would have been a break with tradition.
24 May 1999: The Church of Ireland has finished its General Synod 1999. Every General Synod is too large and complex for us to cover in detail, but the official web page coverage is quite good. See the presidential address, Bishop Clarke's sermon, the Resolution on the situation in Kosovo, and the press release on passing motions from the Sectarianism Report. And don't miss the photo gallery. Even if you don't read the words, look at the pictures.
24 May 1999: Anglicans Online subscribed to a commercial search service that lets us search Australian and New Zealand newspaper archives for Anglican stories. Because this costs real money, we only search every second week. The newspapers Down Under don't seem to carry much Anglican news, but this week we found something. Bishop Andrew Curnow, Bishop of the Northern Region of the Diocese of Melbourne, who is chairman of Anglicare Australia, has lent his voice to that of the Bishop of Newcastle in the annual Winter Appeal for food. Most readers of Anglicans Online are in the northern hemisphere, and might forget that winter is here in Melbourne. And the Newcastle Herald reports also that Bishop Curnow has made a plea for food to be exempted from the GST, holding that GST (Goods and Services Tax) on food weighs more heavily on the poor.
The Telegraph reports that
the Archbishop of Canterbury is planning a summit meeting with leading
gay-rights campaigners, a move that has dismayed traditionalists. Article
by Jonathan Petre.
22 May 1999: In the "At your Service" section of The Times for 22 May 1999 (part of "Weekend") there is an article worth reading about a visit by Ruth Gledhill to St Barnabas Dulwich. See our instructions for reading articles in The Times. St Barnabas uses the new Church of England liturgies that will next year succeed the ASB (Alternative Service Book 1980). The old St Barnabas Dulwich had burned up in a fire in 1992.
21 May 1999: The Anglican Communion Office has significantly expanded its web resources devoted to "The Gift of Authority", though in the process of doing this they changed the location of the English version of the document, which broke last week's News Centre link. We have fixed it below; if you tried it before and it failed, please try again. And please look at the full collection of information, which includes The Gift of Authority itself, the Chairmen's Statement, and commentaries by William Henn and Mary Tanner.
21 May 1999: In one sense, nothing that Andrew Brown writes is "news", but he has written a typically Brownian column in this week's Church Times, on the topic of church and diocesan web sites. Don't miss the reference to the annual "Oppression of the Traditionalists" liturgy in the BCP, held in the Judas Chapel.
21 May 1999: Anglicans Online is edited in the US, but we try to cover stories worldwide. We are therefore quite dependent on international newspapers and news sources; we are thus very interested in news about newspapers and their fortunes. Probably you aren't, but if you are, then you might want to compare the coverage of the Newspaper Pricing Scandal in The Independent and The Times. Ah, the search for truth. Your News Centre editor is nine time zones away from the dead-tree editions that these folks are squabbling about, and doesn't take sides, but cares a great deal about the online web sites of all newspapers. Of these The Guardian and The Telegraph the best, so if you live in the UK, please subscribe to those newspapers to support their web sites.
18 May 1999: In the Church of England, bishops are funded from above, by money from the national church. (In the colonies it is generally the other way round, dioceses paying money upwards to the national church). Whenever there is a central funding arrangement there will always be investigation and monitoring and review, and such an investigation has been launched. The Telegraph eventually ran a story about this investigation.
12 May 1999: The Guardian reports on an incident in which a Cambridge university chaplain has been accused of Internet blasphemy by using "god@" in his email address. Hmm. Your News Centre Editor's brother lives in a house high in the hills, with a commanding view of San Francisco Bay. It's a nice place to be, and first-time visitors say "this place is heaven" often enough that when he got his first computer there, he gave it the network name "heaven". This was in the days before .com and .org and .net; email addresses were just @heaven. His was "glenn@heaven". He found that a fairly large amount of traffic to his computer was addressed to "god@heaven" by people genuinely looking for answers. He had to create the mailbox to avoid the expense of returning the email. He never did start dispensing wisdom, though his brothers often encouraged him to do so. No one can convince me that this was blasphemous; it was completely light-hearted.
11 May 1999: The biggest news story in the Anglican Communion this week is the issuance, and reactions to, a document called "The Gift of Authority." It was signed in September 1998 but only now published by ARCIC, the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. The document has been filed for reference on the Anglican Communion Office web site. The Church Times has a good analysis of it. The ECUSA press office ha released a statement on it. The Archbishop of Canterbury has released a statement on it. The Anglican Communion News Service has released a backgrounder offering an official explanation of this document and the organization that created it, and also published the official statement from the two people who wrote the document. The Anglican Centre in Rome issued a news release on the event of its being signed. London's The Telegraph has a slightly odd news story about it that you probably shouldn't read until you've read at least some of the primary material. And The Guardian carries an article by Margaret Hebblethwaite that calls the document "either a stunning breakthrough, or an act of lunacy." And the Anglican Church of Canada has published a story and evaluation as the lead story on its web site; the always-on-the-leading-edge Canadians have even got a picture of the cover of the published book.
9 May 1999: Schism is always complicated and often breeds hostility. It is therefore very pleasant to see motion towards reconciliation and unity in a branch of the Body of Christ that was, quite literally, born of schism. Various bishops of the continuing Anglican churches and traditionalist bishops of the Episcopal church in the USA met at St Benedict's Abbey in Bartonville, Illinois to discuss unity. In other words, leaders of groups that have split away from ECUSA met with like-minded leaders who did not split away. The bishops released a document, which we have not yet found on the web, so we have typeset a copy for you here. If we find an official copy online we will link to it.
9 May 1999: London's The Telegraph published on 1 May 1999 an obituary of Dame Christian Howard, who fought for women's ordination and helped save the contents of Castle Howard. We didn't notice this obituary until today, which is why we are mentioning it this week instead of last week.
9 May 1999: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has threatened to boycott the opening ceremony of England's controversial Millennium Dome if he is prevented from leading the nation in a Christian prayer. Dome organisers are said to want to keep the celebrations free of prayers and speeches so they can choreograph a spectacular show involving music, dancing and lights. Article by Jonathan Petre in The Telegraph.
8 May 1999: Anglicans Online is almost certainly the oldest online Anglican news service, but others are appearing and carrying good material. We never know whether to copy stories from other news sources or simply to refer you to them. This week the Prayer Book Society of Canada, which is evolving into one of the most well-maintained conservative news sources, carries at least a dozen news stories that are hard to find elsewhere. The PBSC's Breaking News page includes "ESA Parish departs ECUSA," "Persecution and Petro-dollars," stories about the ongoing pressure being applied to ECUSA by other provinces, and various opinion pieces.
7 May 1999: The Church of England has gone on record as saying that Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jews should have guaranteed seats in the House of Lords. The Telegraph reports in an article by its political correspondent. The Church has issued a press release on the topic of parliamentary reform; its position makes it now certain that Anglicans will lose their monopoly position, but the Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to oppose any move to reduce substantially the number of his bishops allowed to sit in the House of Lords. This is part of a larger set of ongoing discussions of loosening the ties between church and state, as discussed in an article in The Independent and the amazing removal of the ban on priests standing for Parliament, as reported in The Telegraph. Parliament banned all Anglican and Roman Catholic priests from the UK House of Commons in the early years of the nineteenth century.
7 May 1999: For many centuries the church has fretted about keeping young people, and, clearly, since the church still exists, it has succeeded. But every generation could be the last, and responsible church leaders always wonder about what to do. This week's Church Times reports on an unusual, but successful, garden party thrown in England by 60 bishops for thousands of young adults. Read the report, but make sure you also read the editorial.
6 May 1999: Christ Church Cathedral Oxford has announced an event to commemorate the 450th anniversity of the first prayer book, to be held in that cathedral on Thursday 27th May, 1999. This event will include a lecture by Thomas Cranmer's biographer, Prof. Diarmid MacCulloch.
For whatever reason, Prayer Book Societies have developed a reputation as being focused on conservative church issues, but they do in fact also focus on prayer books, and are thus a good source of information about the various 450th anniversary celebrations that will be taking place around the world. The Prayer Book Society of Canada seems to have the best web presence, but the ECUSA Prayer Book Society mentions it too.
3 May 1999: The Sydney Morning Herald reported a story that, if we had paid more attention to the Diocese of Brisbane's monthly magazine, we could have told you about last month. But since the story is about church attendance in Australia from 1991 to 1996, we do not feel that this story is breaking news. The Australian National Church Life Survey is the most comprehensive survey of church attendance taken anywhere in the world; they surveyed almost a third of a million people. The results are out in a book available in Australia; our article summarizes and gives further links.
3 May 1999: The Rector, of Bundaberg, the Reverend Philip Freier, is to be the next Bishop of the Northern Territory. Fr Philip was elected last month to succeed Bishop Richard Appleby, who has been appointed Bishop of the Northern Region in the Diocese of Brisbane. He will be consecrated at St Johns Cathedral on July 22 and installed as Bishop of the Northern Territory at Christ Church Cathedral, Darwin, on August 13.
2 MAY 1999: England's The Telegraph reports that the 900-year-old ecclesiastical court system may be dissolved in favour of private tribunals. The Church of England, says The Telegraph, wants to avoid costly headline-grabbing public trials. Article by Jonathan Petre.
1 MAY 1999: There has been awful violence in England this week. Both secular and religious journalists in England have been covering this violence as well as the ongoing war in Kosovo and the recriminations from the Colorado school shooting. Read it in the Church Times.
30 APRIL 1999: Whether a news item is suitably Anglican to be included in this specialised publication is often a difficult decision. While we have decided that the war in Kosovo, the bombings in London, and the school shooting in Colorado were not Anglican news, we think that the copycat school shooting in Alberta does meet the requirements of being Anglican news. One of the victims was the child of an Anglican priest, who has written eloquently about it all. The web page of the Diocese of Calgary has extensive links to relevant stories. If you haven't heard about what happened, the best link we can find is in the Calgary Herald on Thursday and Friday.
28 APRIL 1999: We have obtained a copy of the letter written by the Bishop of Bethlehem to the clergy in his diocese. Entitled "How does one treat theological minorities in the Church?", we find it very much worth reading. We have heard that the Bishop of Pittsburgh has written a letter on this same topic, but we have not managed to find a copy yet.
27 APRIL 1999: A teenage arsonist burned down an Anglican church in Missisauga, Ontario, and the church responded by accepting his apology and telling him they forgave him. We think this is a useful form of evangelism, though it's hard on church buildings. You can read about it by going to The Toronto Star, selecting "back issues", and searching for the keywords "Trinity Anglican Church."
27 APRIL 1999: The Rt Rev Steven Charleston, formerly Bishop of Alaska, has been chosen as the new President and Dean of Episcopal Divinity School. Read the EDS press release. Episcopal Divinity School is in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA, and is one of 11 official ECUSA seminaries.
27 APRIL 1999: We have updated our coverage of St Mary's in Venezuela (see below) to include a link to a Venezuelan news service report.
26 APRIL 1999: The Prayer Book Society of Canada has published an exchange of letters amongst various bishops and journalists on the topic that might perhaps be categorized "Lambeth Aftermath." We again note that somehow journalist Doug LeBlanc, oneof the participants in this exchange, manages not to sound mean-spirited or venomous when writing about emotionally charged issues.
25 APRIL 1999: The Independent reports that none of the small number of organists in the world who are talented enough for the Westminster Abbey position is willing to apply for the job, citing the "poisonous atmosphere" there. Story by Louise Jury.
23 APRIL 1999: Much of the world's Anglican news this week is about Serbia, which topic is actually covered very well by the secular press. There's nothing like a war to make secular reporters think and write about moral and religious issues. Much of this week's Church Times is devoted to the situation in Serbia.
23 APRIL 1999: The Church Times reports that the congregation at St Mary's pro-Cathedral in Caracas, Venezuela has seceded from the Diocese of Venezuela. That Cathedral's new web page makes no mention of this, but does not contain any links to the diocese or the bishop. The situation (as reported in the Church Times) looks ugly enough for an English cathedral. The Venezuelan news service VHeadline.com reports on it here.
23 APRIL 1999: Worldwide Christian leaders all said that they were deeply shocked by the gun massacre in Littleton, Colorado. Good representative coverage in this article in the Kansas City Star.
22 APRIL 1999: The organization "Forward in Faith" has opened in Australia in the Diocese of Brisbane. This group seems to exist fundamentally for the purpose of opposing the ordination of women. The Diocese of Brisbane has covered this in its monthly newspaper Focus. We note in that issue a short mention that the Most Rev Keith Rayner, Archbishop of Melbourne and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, will retire in November 1999 and will be replaced by someone chosen in an election in February 2000.
21 APRIL 1999: The second "Beyond Inclusion" conference took place in New York City on April 15-18. Its web page describes it from the point of view of its organizers, and Doug LeBlanc of Anglican Voice describes it as an observing journalist. Doug's article contains all of the links that you need, so we will not repeat them here.
20 APRIL 1999: Discover magazine reports that every country in Africa except Somalia now has full Internet access. A fascinating short article, with links to a more detailed web site that was obviously the source of the material for it.
19 APRIL 1999: The Episcopal News Service (USA) releases its stories in batches, about once a month or so. This month's batch is now available. There is nothing in this batch that we would call a "top headline story," but many of the items are worth your attention. Titles include "Compassion in Kosovo," ,"Archbishop visits US," "Lutheran bishops wrestle with proposal for full communion with ECUSA." As always, you can read the full collection at http://ecusa.anglican.org/ens/
APRIL 1999: The
Diocese of Ely was probably the
first Anglican diocese in the world to have its own WWW page (January
1995). Part of the credit for this goes to its bishop, the Rt Rev Stephen
Sykes. It is therefore of Online significance that Bishop Sykes has
just announced that he is resigning from the Diocese of Ely to become
the Principal of St John's College in Durham, and to a chair in the
Department of Theology of Durham University.
18 APRIL 1999: The Independent reports that the Church of England has confirmed that it will sell £31m of shares in the company GEC, in response to criticism that it should not be investing in arms manufacture.
18 APRIL 1999: A judge in Australia's highest court has announced that he is homosexual, one of the highest-ranking government authorities ever to do so in any country. This is Anglican news even though the judge is not Anglican, because the issues of sexuality and homosexuality are so large in our Anglican church right now. The Sydney Morning Herald covers the story.
16 APRIL1999: The Millennium is fundamentally a Christian event, since it is defined by the number of years since the birth of Jesus. But in spite of that we can't figure out why we want to make sure you read about the Millennium Preparedness Expo that took place in Kansas City this week. An article in the Kansas City Star describes it for you.
14 APRIL 1999: People joke that the US is a country in which people think that 100 years is a long time, and England is a country in which people think that 100 miles is a long distance. But here in the Colonies, when you have a church that is 215 years old, that is a news story. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the successful efforts to rebuild Trinity Episcopal Church in Swedesboro, New Jersey. In a similar vein: an old church in New Zealand is reportedly doing less well, but is still there.
13 APRIL 1999: The Federal Government of Australia is looking around to find an official residence for Australia's Prime Minister, along the same lines as the White House in the USA and10 Downing Street in the UK. A government spokesman said "Even though it's not in the Australian style to have overwhelming grandness, the fact is other countries in the world expect that." What makes this worthy of mention in Anglicans Online is that the first-choice property for this purpose is Bishopsgate, which was built to be the residence of the first Anglican Bishop in Australia. The Australian newspaper "The Age" covers the story. While we were poking around Australia looking for facts about this story, we stumbled across the Australian Prime Minister's letter to the government of Vanuatu on the occasion of the funeral of The Rev Walter Lini, an Anglican Priest who led the country of Vanuatu. We liked that story so much that we are inserting this gratuitous reference to it.
13 APRIL 1999: Andrew Brown writes in The Independent about the "Life of Genteel Poverty" of an English Bishop, and Kate Watson-Smyth writes in the same newspaper that English Bishops cost the Church about twice what they did. The money is clearly being spent, but evidently not on the Bishops.
12 APRIL 1999: The Diocese of Atlanta is looking for a bishop, and they have a very nicely done web page announcing and discussing this search. If you think you aren't interested, as, for example, you neither wish to be a bishop nor know anybody who does, we recommend that you at least read the "History and information about the episcopacy" section, which is very nicely done. It's at the beginning, so you needn't work too hard to find it.
1999: There is a delightful
feel-good proud-to-be-an-Anglican interview with the Rt Rev Frederic
H. Borsch, Bishop of Los Angeles, in today's Los
Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times is one of those enlightened
newspapers that permits linking to its articles and also keeps them
there longer than the time it takes paint to dry. Read it and smile.
11 APRIL 1999: Anglicans Online has had difficulty being granted a press pass to cover some Anglican events. But we think that we now know the secret. If we report enough news about Royal Weddings, we'll be taken seriously. So we duly report here that Prince Edward (now who exactly is he?) and his betrothed, Sophie Rhys-Jones, have chosen the traditional service from the Church of England ASB. The one that includes the language "love, cherish, and obey." This is covered in grim detail in the Britain section of The Times for 11 April.
11 APRIL 1999: Westminster Abbey is getting bad press again. One sign that the venerable Abbey is in trouble is that many many people were fooled by an April Fool's joke that took the form of a fake press release called "Kicking the Abbey Habit." Today's news (reported in the Britain section of The Times for 11 April) is that Westminster Abbey has caused a row with the literary establishment by charging the widow of Ted Hughes, the late poet laureate, more than £10,000 for her husband's memorial service.
10 APRIL 1999: Canon Peter Hammond, England's foremost authority on church architecture, has died. His obituary in The Telegraph carries a photograph from 1958, which leads us to believe that he was not a publicity hound.
9 APRIL 1999: Much of the news lately has been about bombing in Kosovo. A radio show from Washington DC called Janet Parshall's America has broadcast an interview with Scott Field, deputy director of Sharing of Missions Abroad (SOMA) USA. He was an eyewitness to a bombing raid on an Anglican Cathedral in Southern Sudan. The RealAudio files are here; you can download a free RealAudio player from http://www.real.com/ You can also find the files by searching for "The Sudan" in the show's searchable audio archives.
6 APRIL 1999: With all of the flurry of preparation for Easter, we completely missed seeing a major article in The Telegraph, a London newspaper, about the Archbishop of Canterbury and whether or not he is suited for his difficult job. Entitled Archbishop, for how long? It explores the assertion that "The problem, to put it bluntly, is that after nearly a decade the nation still shows no signs of treasuring Dr Carey." The article is in the weekend features section for Saturday 3 April.
5 APRIL 1999: Andrew Brown writes in The Telegraph about the war in Kosovo. Brown is one of the world's leading religion journalists, and writes for a number of UK publications. This article in The Telegraph starts with the observation that "conflicts are bloodiest when God is on both sides." Articles in the Electronic Telegraph always have good external links; we recommend that you follow some of them and read the associated material. In that same issue, The Telegraph has queried various religious as to whether there is a just war in Kosovo; their answers make interesting reading.
5 APRIL 1999: A slow news week begins. Victoria Combe and Bruce Johnston of The Telegraph review Archbishop Carey's Easter sermon, and remind us that last year's Easter sermon was the one interrupted by Peter Tatchell, who was both prosecuted by the law and nominated for Preacher of the Year by journalists as a result of that act. Peter Tatchell would seem to be a suave professional by comparison with the person who tried to interrupt the Easter service at York Minster this year; the story is handled lightly in this week's Church Times, though the Church Times stops short of using the word "nutter."
1999: We have again updated our story (see
archive) about a dispute between a parish and its diocese in Brockton,
Massachusetts, USA. We now include the Diocese's account of the issue.
4 APRIL 1999: The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Easter sermon to call for humanitarian efforts to help the victims of the Serbia conflict. No one invaded his pulpit to try to win the Preacher of the Year award, so he was able to finish the sermon undisturbed. The full text of the sermon is available on the Archbishop's web site, though the BBC reports that he added one sentence to the spoken sermon that is not in the written version. You'll have to read the BBC article to learn what it is.
3 APRIL 1999: The UK press is full of stories worth your attention. Most prominent among them is the essay by Richard, Bishop of London, published in today's The Independent. Don Cupitt, who has been and perhaps still is a Cambridge academic, writes in The Guardian. You will have to register with The Guardian to be able to read the article, but registration is free, and if you live in the UK or Ireland you can enter a lottery to win a free iMac if you register. And that same Guardian, in an editorial, takes a stance that is pretty much the opposite of that put forth by Bishop Richard. In The Times (see our instructions for finding articles there) in the Weekend section, June Osborne writes on the Easter Vigil at Salisbury Cathedral (Faith subsection) and Ruth Gledhill visits St Mary's Bourne Street for a mass and prayers for the victims of war (At Your Service subsection).
We are fascinated by our utter inability to find Easter stories of this quality and relevance outside England. We have seen more in English about Easter from the Vatican than we have seen from more than 75% of the primates of the Anglican Communion. While not every Anglican primate can write as well as the Bishop of London, they all have something to say. Gentlemen, if you are listening: next year write to your flock at Eastertide. If nobody else publishes it, we will.
2 APRIL 1999: The parish of St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean, which has one of the world's finest parish web sites, has announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Carey will be visiting the parish 16-18 April. He might be the Archbishop, but he is also the Bishop of Canterbury, and he is obligated to visit his parishes. This is one of those visits. This is news worthy of international reportage because the parish will be covering that visit with a level of live online news coverage that is unprecedented in the history of the Internet. This is a preview of 21st-century religious journalism. Read details on their web site.
2 APRIL 1999: We have updated our story (see archive) about a dispute between a parish and its diocese in Brockton, Massachusetts, USA. We have located some links written from points of view that we had not previously located on the web to link to.
1 APRIL 1999: This week's Church Times is what this Yank would call a home run. Probably there's an equivalent phrase involving wickets and innings and outings, but I don't know what it is. Read the leader essay on the Kosovo crisis, the Most Rev David Hope on the crucifixion, and the Most Rev Robert Eames on the resurrection of Ireland. I think that one must be English in order to laugh at the cartoons in the Church Times, though.
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