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Archived News Headlines for Oct/Nov/Dec 2000

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31 December 2000: Faith, hope, and clarity
The Observer (London) published today an opinion piece by Will Hutton arguing that 'with the Churches fighting for their lives, we must now look beyond gods to ourselves to build a new moral order'. We presume that Will Hutton would not describe himself as 'Christian'.

31 December 2000: Five-year battle of vicar v. village leads to cash crisis
The Telegraph (London) reports that everyone seems to be the loser in the battle at St Peter's Ropley.

31 December 2000: Cathedral choristers to help children sing again
The Independent (London) reports that Britain's cathedral choristers have been enlisted to help rescue the declining art of singing in state primary schools. The Choir Schools Association is so alarmed by the dwindling number of young singers that it plans to send choristers to work with pupils at primary schools around Britain.

30 December 2000: At your service
Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London) expertly describes a Welsh/English Christmas service at St Cyngar's Church in Llangefni.

30 December 2000: We come closest to God when we become parents
The Credo column in The Times is written this week by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

29 December 2000: Letters about the third Archbishop
The Church of England reported recently that there might be an administrative need for a third Archbishop besides those at York and Canterbury. In today's Letters column in The Times, the public disagrees.

29 December 2000: Anglican politics in Zimbabwe
The Times (London) reports on what look like ugly national politics in the election and planned consecration of a new Bishop of Mashonaland in Zimbabwe. We can find no official record of the existence of this diocese, but we will keep looking and update our records when we find it.

28 December 2000: Feminism to blame for decline of Christianity
The Times reports that Dr Callum Brown, a religious history scholar in Scotland, has said that 'women’s liberation had weakened the Church and led to a sharp fall in the number of worshippers.'

27 December 2000: Roman Catholic on the throne?
The Guardian (London) published an article by the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, suggesting that even if the Church of England is disestablished in Britain that a Roman Catholic monarch might be unacceptable. We do not find his logic to be compelling. This followed a comment on disestablishment made a few days beforehand by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as reported in The Guardian.

27 December 2000: Defender of the Faith defends her faith
The Queen of England used her annual Christmas speech to make an unusually personal statement of her religious beliefs. Report in The Guardian and The Church Times and The Times and the ACNS. For now, at least, Her Majesty's Christmas 2000 broadcast is here on the Royal Family's web site; if you click on 'The 2000 message in video and audio', seen to the right of the Queen's elbow, you will see the text of her speech and a nearly-endless RealAudio download that you can dismiss with 'cancel' if you just want to read it.

27 December 2000: Let us all share in the glory of our churches
Simon Jenkins, arguably England's leading expert on church buildings, argues today in The Times that church buildings are too wonderful to use just once or twice a week, and should be available for other things.

27 December 2000: St Martin in Perth?
The Church Times reports that church bells hung for 250 years in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London will ring in the new millennium in Perth, Western Australia. AO's Britain correspondent was actually in Perth to see these bells.

26 December 2000: Ecumenical complaint
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches expressed disappointment at the Kenya High Court ruling that declared the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority illegal.

25 December 2000: Asylum seekers are Christ-like
The Archbishop of Canterbury used his Christmas sermon at Canterbury Cathedral to point out the similarities between Jesus and those seeking asylum in our modern world. Report in The Guardian and The Times and The Church Times.

24 December 2000: Bp Holloway on disestablishment
The Guardian reports that the Rt Revd Richard Holloway, retired primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, is still going strong and attracting attention. Here he talks about disestablishment and other controversial topics.

24 December 2000: A child is born
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. (Luke 2:1-18).

23 December 2000: Christmas gives us spiritual sustenance for the new year
The Credo column in The Times is written this week by the Rt Revd James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

23 December 2000: Keeper of the flame
The Guardian profiles the Bishop of London, considered to be in the running to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

23 December 2000: The voice in the valleys
The Guardian profiles the Archbishop of Wales, considered to be in the running to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

23 December 2000: Family values
An opinion column in The Telegraph (London) on family values and the Nativity.

23 December 2000: British choirs
The Telegraph published a Saturday piece about the choirs in Britain. Sweet. And The Times has one on 'the rich choral tradition that flourished in pre-Tudor England’s churches'.

23 December 2000: Zulus in excelsis
The Telegraph writes about a Zulu song-and-dance team singing odd Christmas carols in an English church.

23 December 2000: I'm an atheist, but all my best friends are religious
The Independent (London) published a Saturday piece by David Aaronovitch.

23 December 2000: Hard-up churches are fighting for survival
The Times writes about a church in Bloomsbury (London) struggling to stay alive. But it also writes that 'the Church is thriving beyond its empty pews'.

23 December 2000: A cheerful reformer in Coventry
So many Saturday pieces today. The Times writes about 'the former barrister truned [sic] cleric who is putting bums on seats'

22 December 2000: Senator and bishop in conflict
MSNBC reports that Alaska senator Ted Stevens has lashed out against Bishop Mark MacDonald of Alaska over oil development in that state.

22 December 2000: The miracle of Taizé
Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London) asks, 'If the Church is dying, why will thousands of young people travel to a small French village this Christmas to pray, meditate and work?'

22 December 2000: Maurice Sinclair says 'Last chance for ECUSA'
The Church Times (London) reports that the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, the Most Revd Maurice Sinclair, says that the Primates' meeting in March 2001 will be the last chance for ECUSA before the church falls apart. The Rt Revd Ray Smith, a bishop in the Diocese of Sydney, wrote this report on the same topic.

19 December 2000: Diocese of Colorado information
The Diocese of Colorado has provided Anglicans Online with a copy of the letter to Bishop Winterrowd from Ephraim Radner and Scot Peterson explaining the thinking behind the action taken against priests who have withdrawn from the diocese. It is always good to read primary source material when you can; here is some for you to read.

19 December 2000: Ruth Gledhill answers your questions
The Times (London) periodically takes questions for its writers and gathers the answers into articles like this one, in which Ruth Gledhill answers her readers.

19 December 2000: A clarification and apology
The news item below has caused Anglicans Online to receive a goodly number of complaints about what bad people we are. Perhaps so; we mean well, and we don't hate anyone. We are writing this note to address the charge that we are part of an organised campaign to sabotage the episcopal election process in Florida. While we seem to have misunderstood the situation, we are most certainly not part of any organised process to do anything. Anglicans Online does not conspire with anyone or accept guidance or direction from anyone. We read news stories, try to understand them, link to their web pages, and sometimes add a sentence or two of commentary. What happened below is that we had a somewhat naive understanding of the internal politics of leading conservative groups, and made the incorrect assumption that because Fr Atwood's goals and AMiA's goals were similar, and that he was described by a respected conservative group (FiFNA) as being the 'godfather' to the movement, we mistakenly assumed that he was in some way associated with AMiA. We know that Fr Atwood would make a fine bishop, and we want no one to think that we were arguing for or against any candidate. We were just wondering aloud what it would mean for a diocesan bishop to choose to withdraw that diocese from ECUSA. The AO News Centre is written entirely by me (Brian Reid), and I just made a mistake this time. I'll try to be more careful.

17 December 2000: Many things start in Florida. Watch carefully.
The Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast has had more parishes defect to the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) than any other diocese, despite having had a very conservative bishop for 20 years. We note that the slate of candidates for the Third Bishop of the Central Gulf Coast includes the Revd Will G Atwood III, General Secretary of the Ekklesia Society. He is generally considered to be the person who created the context that enabled the AMiA, though never a member of it. His name is on the press release announcing the Rosemont confirmations last month, an event that is in the minds of most people affiliated somehow with AMiA. And the Forward in Faith web site, under 'foundations', refers to him as the 'godfather' of the movement:

All major U. S. traditional organizations dispatched representatives to the summit meeting: FiF, AAC, First Promise, the Prayer Book Society, Episcopalians United, the Ekklesia Society (whose Texas-based general secretary, the Rev. Bill Atwood, with his deftly-plied connections among Anglican traditionalists, qualifies as godfather to this now-international movement), and Scholarly Engagement on Anglican Doctrine, or SEAD, an agglomeration of mostly evangelical scholars, doing the heavy theological lifting that would have served the Episcopal Church well at the time Bishop James Pike began challenging its doctrines.

We can't help but wonder what would happen if an entire diocese were to affiliate with the AMiA. Would its member parishes need to come with it because their bishop so instructed? Would there now be two dioceses with the same name, one affiliated with ECUSA and the other affiliated with AMiA? We're sure that this situation will get more interesting as Epiphany, the election day, arrives.

16 December 2000: The birth of a notion
An essay in The Guardian (London) about the real and symbolic meaning of the birth of Christ. This time of year there are many such essays. This one is well worth your attention.

16 December 2000: Archbishop launches anti-racism forum
The Panafrican News Agency (Cape Town) reports that South African Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane on Saturday launched a national anti-racism forum in Cape Town, with a call for reconciliation among all race groups in the country.

16 December 2000: Songs of praise?
The Telegraph carries today a story by Imogen Stubbs, about her search to discover if the church she abandoned as a child has anything for her now.

16 December 2000: Nostalgic memories of a child's Irish Christmas
In the Independent (London), columnist Fergal Keane writes about St Stephen's Day in the Listowel of his youth. None of this 'Boxing Day' stuff for him.

16 December 2000: Remembering Robert Runcie
The Times (London) writes that 'Robert Runcie was often mocked by the media, but Mary Loudon knew the true face of a wise and brave man.'

15 December 2000: Now that we run your state, here are the new rules
This Day (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Executive Council of the Nigerian state of Kano, which has recently adopted the Islamic law system known as Sharia, has issued a proclamation banning the production or distribution of films or video tapes in Kano because they are 'an affront on the sacred teachings of the sharia legal system'. This is Anglican news because Nigeria is an Anglican country, with the largest number of practising Anglicans of any country in the world.

15 December 2000: A different Bethlehem?
The Associated Press reports that the 'Christmas Eve sermon at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Barrytown, NY, was no routine celebration of the savior's birth. Bruce Chilton, who is both an Episcopal priest there and a religion professor at nearby Bard College, used the holy night last year to present an unconventional theory.'

14 December 2000: Bishop of Iowa named deputy for ecumenical relations
The Episcopal News Service (ECUSA) reports that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has announced the appointment of Bishop Christopher Epting of Iowa to serve as deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Episcopal Church. Never mind the photograph shown in that picture; Bishop Epting's head is not shaped like a gourd. Someone fumbled in Photoshop in the making of that web page. There's a decent picture of him on the Diocese of Iowa web page.

14 December 2000: Make your schools more Christian!
The Telegraph (London) reports that, perhaps in an effort to raise 8% to 10% (see below), the Church Schools Review Group in Britain has suggested that the Church demand more distinctively Christian content in its 4700 schools. The Church Times report on this Review Group is quite comprehensive. The BBC, reporting the same story, focuses on another finding of the report, that the Church should plan to open at least 100 new secondary schools over the next five years.

13 December 2000: Dynamiting churches to disestablish them
The Telegraph reports that authorities in the Chinese city of Wenzhou have torn down or blown up more than 200 illegal churches and temples. A further 239 small places of worship in that city, many of them linked to the underground Roman Catholic Church, have been forced to close. The Internet being what it is, you can read the original Agence France Presse story, filed in Peking, that was the source of the Telegraph's article.

12 December 2000: Free the church, or at least argue about it
Paul Oestreicher argues in The Guardian (London) that separating the Church of England from that country's government would benefit everyone. The previous day, Cardinal Thomas Winning, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, also argued for disestablishment; this was reported in The Guardian and The Telegraph. Meanwhile, columnist Andreas Whittam Smith argues in The Independent that 'It is safer to allow one well-known family, however dysfunctional, [to] provide heads of state'.

12 December 2000: Jesus who?
The Guardian reports that only 8% of British children believe that Christmas has anything to do with Jesus or religion. In light of the recent plan to increase the number of archbishops by 50%, then, if we are doing our maths correctly, this works out that in the year 2108, everyone who believes in Jesus can be an Archbishop. If not Jesus, then what? Santa? PlayStation II? Stephen Tomkins in Ship of Fools notes that Christmas is primarily about chocolate these days, but that the Church of England has emerged victorious in a campaign against Nestlé.

12 December 2000: Court says Montana bishop is guilty and subject to discipline
The Episcopal News Service reports that Bishop Charles I. "CI" Jones III of Montana, already judged guilty of immorality and conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy in an earlier ruling, has been judged subject to discipline by the Court for the Trial of a Bishop for sexual misconduct which took place in 1981-83 when he was rector of a parish in Kentucky.

10 December 2000: In defence of the Christian religion?
Columnist Hywel Williams argues in The Guardian that 'The liberal left's patronising jibes about Christianity are misguided'.

10 December 2000: Baby girl Jesus?
Baiting traditionalists with intentionally outrageous theatre seems to be a global pastime. The Telegraph reports that an 'alternative' nativity play entitled 'It's a Girl!' is to be broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day, and that traditionalists are rising to the bait. The Telegraph ran this opinion piece in addition to the news story.

10 December 2000: The end of brass rubbing?
If you grew up in Britain or have visited Britain, chances are good that you have made a brass rubbing. But today The Independent reports that this unique national pastime is likely to vanish, as one of the last national centres for brass rubbing, in Cambridge, is closing.

10 December 2000: British politics and religion
The Independent (London) reports that British politician William Hague will appear tonight on Songs of Praise laying out his spiritual manifesto, and that yesterday came news that Tony Blair is to make a pre-poll appearance on the BBC's flagship religious programme. Ahh, England!

10 December 2000: News from Sydney
Anglican Media Sydney maintains one of the world's best online Anglican news pages. We read it regularly and refer you to stories there when they seem to be of global import. Today there is no one story that warrants being highlighted, but you should drop in on Sydney's Latest News page and look around.

9 December 2000: John Spong on the death of the church
The Guardian has published an essay by the Rt Revd John Spong, retired Bishop of Newark. This man is nothing if not controversial, but he is also a good enough writer that you should read what he writes even if you think he is the Antichrist, which a goodly number of people do.

8 December 2000: Two Indian bishops die in car crash
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Most Revd Vinod A.R Peter, President of the National Council of Churches in India and Moderator of the Church of North India and the Rt Revd Gerald Andrews, Bishop of Rajasthan, died in a car crash on December 6 near Jodhpur. The Church of North India is part of the Anglican Communion, and its Moderator is its primate.

8 December 2000: Announcing the beginning of Lutheran-Episcopal full communion
The Episcopal News Service (ECUSA) reports that Episcopal and Lutheran presiding bishops will hold a joint press conference the day before the full intercommunion begins. Announcements of press conferences are rarely news items, but this feels to us somewhat like the bird with the olive leaf in its mouth (Genesis 8:11).

8 December 2000: Disestablishmentarianism
We do so love that word. The push continues in Britain to repeal the Act of Settlement. The Guardian is actively lobbying for it, reports on a move in the House of Lords to accept the repeal in principle, and muses about public opinion on disestablishment. But the Telegraph scorns the Guardian's efforts, calling it a 'cause without a rebel'. We are fairly sure that a disestablished Church of England won't be able to afford (nor will it need) a third archbishop, though.

7 December 2000: Salvation Army Colonel wins Times 'Preacher of the Year' award
The Times' Ruth Gledhill reports that Colonel Margaret Hay, an officer in the Salvation Army, yesterday became the first woman to win The Times Preacher of the Year Award. We've never met Ruth Gledhill, nor seen any picture of her save tiny little online images, but we are startled by how much the online photograph of Margaret Hay looks like various online photographs of Ruth Gledhill. We know that this seeming resemblance had nothing to do with this event. Two days later The Times ran a delightful story about one of the contestants who did not win.

7 December 2000: Famous bells to ring again
There are so many news reports these days of churches fading, diminishing, or being neglected. It was lovely to read in The Inquirer (Philadelphia) that the bells of the carillon once on the historic Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia have been restored by Verdin and reinstalled, to ring again at the Christmas Eve service on 24 December.

7 December 2000: Episcopal Power and Light
In California, the government has deregulated the production and sale of electric power so that there is more of a free market. As a result of this, Anglicans Online (whose web servers are in California) has spent considerable time and money making sure that its computer centre has adequate battery backup for the inevitable power failures. Today a parish in the Diocese of San Diego became the first member of Episcopal Power and Light to switch electric-power vendors. Their press release was carried in Yahoo News.

6 December 2000: Hurd Commission issues a consultation paper
On March 14, the Archbishop of Canterbury launched a review by Lord Hurd of his job description. Today the Hurd commission issued a press release announcing that 'As a result of our continuing work, members of the Review Team have gained a much fuller picture of the demands on the time and resources of the Office of the Archbishop. We have also had an opportunity to consider the evidence collected during the first phase of our review. Now, in line with our original planning, we are highlighting the kind of issues raised by the evidence. This is a necessary step in helping to crystallise opinion, and we will welcome further evidence before moving towards conclusions of our own in due course.' There has been considerable speculation that one of the purposes of this effort is to reconfigure the structure of authority in the Anglican Communion to give the Archbishop the authority necessary to 'solve the homosexuality problem'. The text of the Hurd paper is here, a recently-issued backgrounder on the nature and purpose of the Hurd review is here, and the official 'thank you' from the Archbishop is here.

The UK press has reacted with a flurry of articles speculating on what, if anything, this might mean. The BBC says 'Canterbury may seek black archbishop'. The Times says that 'Carey "needs a third archbishop to ease burden"'. The Telegraph says 'Church may appoint Archbishop of Midlands'. The Guardian says 'Church seeks to ease Carey's burden'. The Church Times says 'Third Primate for England proposed'.

6 December 2000: St Ethelburga will rise again, no thanks to corporate donors
On 23 April 1993 the Irish Republican Army set off a bomb in the smallest church in the City of London, St Ethelburga, killing one person and injuring 51. Today The Times and The Telegraph report that the Bishop of London has announced its rebirth; The Telegraph also reports that 'Humbug blights Ethelburga'; stingy corporate residents of The City did not contribute much to this rebuilding.

6 December 2000: Kingdom Norms
The ENS reports that conservative and traditionalist North American Anglican leaders met in Atlanta on 27-29 November to agree to a set of 'Kingdom Norms' for cooperation and relationships between the branches of those organisations. The American Anglican Council, co-sponsor of the event, issued this press release about it.

5 December 2000: Website swamped by 'chad' fanatics
The BBC reports that Americans who have tired of fingerpointing about their country's election mess are overwhelming a web site devoted to St Chad of Lichfield. We're a little unsure of their use of the word 'swamped', as the article reports 300 visits per day to their web site. The server computer for Anglicans Online is a puny little 133 MHz machine with 96 MB of RAM, and it handles 40,000 visitors per day on the various web sites that it hosts. During Lambeth and the ECUSA general convention it handled 100,000 visitors per day.

4 December 2000: Bishop of Ballarat on unity
The Age (Melbourne) has published a column by the Rt Revd David Silk, Bishop of Ballarat, 'For the love of the church, do not divide it'.

4 December 2000: Speaking of dividing it...
The Rocky Mountain News (Denver) reports that the people of St Nicholas church in Littleton, Colorado have withdrawn from ECUSA and the Diocese of Colorado. Parish sources report eventual plans to affiliate with the AMiA. The Denver Post reports that the Bishop of Colorado, Jerry Winterrowd, has removed seven priests from his diocese because of their breakaway activities. A slightly different version of the Denver Post story ran in the Associated Press 2 days later.

4 December 2000: No riots at full-scale adoption of Common Worship
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England's new service book, Common Worship, was used in 16,000 churches for the first time yesterday to celebrate the beginning of Advent.

4 December 2000: Another state in Nigeria announces conversion to Islamic law
The Panafrican News Agency reports that another Nigerian state, Kebbi, has announced plans for a full conversion to Islamic law, known as Sharia. Nigeria has more Anglicans than any other country in the world, and as its states convert to Islamic law, religious conflict increases.

4 December 2000: Reflection on the secularisation of the BBC
We have reported over the last year or so about the reduction in religious programming at the BBC, which reduction led last week to the resignation of its religion editor (see below). This week the UK press is reflecting on this both as a cause and an event, linked as it is to the growing secularisation of society. The Guardian opines about 'Losing our religion'.

4 December 2000: Congregation buries homeless man who worshipped with presidents
MSNBC reports that St John's Episcopal Church, near the White House in Washington DC, today buried a homeless man who lived in a cardboard box nearby.

3 December 2000: African Missionary arrives
We remember the era in which the phrase 'African missionary' meant a missionary who went to Africa to preach Christianity. These days it means a missionary who comes from Africa to preach in another country, usually the USA. The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) reports that a priest from Liberia now heads a mission in the Diocese of South Carolina.

3 December 2000: Church of England says cloning is morally acceptable
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Church of England has entered the controversy over embryo research by suggesting that cloning human embryos is no more unnatural than a heart transplant.

3 December 2000: BBC religion editor to leave in protest
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the head of religion and ethics at the BBC is to leave in protest at the sidelining of religious coverage by the corporation.

3 December 2000: I am still touched by the wondrous cross
Britain's A N Wilson writes a column in the Sunday Telegraph.

2 December 2000: Britain equalises age of consent
Various news agencies such as Britain's The Independent and the BBC reported today that the Labour government overrode the objections of the House of Lords and the Archbishop of Canterbury to pass a law setting the same age of consent for sex regardless of whether or not it is heterosexual. Meanwhile the Church Times reports that 'younger people in Britain are becoming increasingly permissive and uninterested in religion, according to a recent survey. It found that more than 60 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 believe that sex before marriage is 'not wrong at all' and nearly half of all 25-34-year-olds accept homosexuality.

2 December 2000: More resignations in Diocese of Minnesota
The Star Tribune (Minneapolis, US) reports that Joel Gibson, former dean of St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis, renounced his vows as a priest rather than face a long church investigation of an allegation made against him.

2 December 2000: Outgrowing Christianity?
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by William Oddie.

2 December 2000: At your service
The Times' Ruth Gledhill wrote her weekly column about a visit to the Temple Church in London.

1 December 2000: We buy it, quote it, revere it. We just don't read it.
The Religion News Service reports that most Americans don't have much of an idea what's in the Bible, even though they will tell you their faith is based on it. For example, despite the talk about how important the Ten Commandments are to the moral health of American society, six out of 10 Americans can't name half of them, much less in order. (Exodus 20:1-17)

1 December 2000: Charles Long remembered
The ACNS reports the death of the Revd Charles Henry Long, Jr, DD, a major figure in world mission, 17 November at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a struggle with lymphoma.

1 December 2000: Sectarian violence injures Archbishop Gitari
Reuters reported today that Muslim and Christian youths fought running battles in Nairobi on Friday as a church was burned down and dozens of people, including the Most Revd David Gitari, were injured. The Pan African News Agency reported the event in more detail. The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) reports that this 'burning of a city mosque and church is part of a wider scheme to spark countrywide religious clashes, top religious leaders said yesterday.' But that same paper also reported that the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims blamed the violence on the government, saying that the clashes were not religious. The BBC reported that violence continued a second day.

1 December 2000: Sydney bishop asks for church action in AIDS epidemic
The ACNS reports that the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, has called on church members not to forget the many people mourning the loss of loved ones from HIV/AIDS virus in their midst. Speaking on Worldwide AIDS day Bishop Forsyth said, 'We have progressed a long way from the negative social stigma the AIDS virus once held largely due to public education campaigns.'

1 December 2000: St Chad
The power of the internet to spread cute stories is remarkable. This week various versions of the life of St Chad have been circulating. The Episcopal News Service (ECUSA) had this to say about St Chad; the Associated Press said this. If you don't know why St Chad is topical right now, you live a blessed life.

1 December 2000: New sort of reception at the church
British churches are having more and more money problems, and the UK government requires mobile-phone companies to achieve 85% coverage of the mainland in the next 7 years. So more and more requests are coming to churches to put mobile-phone antennas (known in the USA as 'cell antennas') in church steeples. This trend was reported in the Church Times and the Financial Times as well as The Telegraph. The topic even generated a press release from the Church of England News Service. There not being nearly as many under-used churches available, in Eastern New Jersey (USA) there is a trend to disguise these antennas as trees.

29 November 2000: There are easier ways to get women ordained
The Telegraph reports that the vicar formerly known as the Rev Peter James Stone returned to work yesterday as a woman called Carol Ann after a sex change with the blessing of the Church of England.

28 November 2000: Analysing the meaning of the Rosemont confirmations
The Los Angeles Times reported on the confirmations last Sunday in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, USA. The Episcopal News Service had this to say about the event.
The Associated Press ran this wire story, which formed the basis for most newspaper coverage of the event.

27 November 2000: Episcopal Diocese of Santiago elects its first bishop
The ACNS reports that the newly-formed Episcopal Diocese of Santiago recently elected as its bishop the Rev. Alexander A. Wandag, Sr. This diocese is part of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines.

27 November 2000: More columnists report in on Common Worship
The Independent today published a column by Andreas Whittam Smith 'Call me peevish and perverse but I salute this Biblical update' in which he reflects on the new English prayer book.

26 November 2000: New church in a very small town
The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) reports on the dedication of a new 'ministry center' for the Church of the Epiphany that seats more people than actually live in the town.

25 November 2000: AN Wilson on 'The poisoned chalice'
In the Guardian (London), columnist AN Wilson writes that 'Christianity faces extinction - and it is not science but the church itself that is to blame. As the Church of England introduces a new liturgy, the change is too little, too late.'

25 November 2000: It's the personal touch that brings the divine down to earth
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by Nigel McCullogh.

25 November 2000: Divine not human glory
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) by Edward Norman.

25 November 2000: Spinning God's vinyl
The Telegraph has published an article by Grace Wynne-Jones about the choir in a small Irish church. 'I love the singing in your church,' said an envious Catholic friend. 'I always listen to it on my way home from Mass.'

25 November 2000: Finally something to argue about besides sex
The Times (London) reports that a dispute over who wrote the tune to one of our church's favourite hymns has brought disharmony to the world of church music.

24 November 2000: Conservative Anglicans plan service challenging Episcopal leaders
CNN reports that Anglican archbishops from overseas who oppose the Episcopal Church USA's views on homosexuality are challenging the denomination's leadership by staging their own confirmation service. Coverage also in a two-part article in the New York Times, but you'll need a (free) subscription to read it. The Associated Press wrote this news report about what happened at the confirmation service.

24 November 2000: Vatican lays down exorcism law
The BBC reports that the Roman Catholic Church has issued strict new rules governing exorcism. Vatican insiders say the guidelines are aimed at controlling a popular African bishop who lives in Rome.

24 November 2000: AO report on Church of England General Synod
Last week we highlighted press coverage of the Church of England synod. This week we are pleased to offer a report by AO correspondent Peter Owen, who was a member of the house of laity of that synod.

23 November 2000: Ruth Gledhill interviews herself
Well, not exactly. This Thursday article is a reply to questions from Ruth Gledhill's readers. Ruth is the famous religion columnist at The Times. Her readers actually wrote the questions that she answers.

23 November 2000: Common Worship, or just commonplace?
Columnist Richard Morrison writes in The Times that 'Nothing excites the Church of England more than a good old ding-dong over a trendy new prayer book. And the ecclesiastical vultures are already circling menacingly over Common Worship.'

22 November 2000: Gutenberg Bible goes online
An AO correspondent wrote to us this week that one could make the argument that the invention of the printing press enabled Protestantism, because everyone in the top 1% of society could have their own personal Bible. The internet, a technological marvel every bit as significant as the printing press, now enables us to get better access to good images of the Gutenberg Bible. The BBC reports that the Gutenberg Bible is on the internet in full for the first time.

21 November 2000: Church of England disarms
The Independent reports that the Church of England has sold its £20m holding in one of Britain's biggest arms manufacturers. The move followed a change to the Church Commissioners’ ethical-investment policy. The Church Times covered it a few days later, in more depth.

21 November 2000: Bishop of Maseno West wants chang'aa legalized
The East African Standard (Nairobi, Kenya) reports that the Most Revd Joseph Wasonga, Bishop of Maseno West, wants chang’aa and busaa legalised. It would ensure that the brews are manufactured to the required hygienic standards, he said. Wasonga said the traditional brews were the only affordable alcoholic drinks for the poor. A United Nations Information Network story a few days later explains more of the background behind this issue.

20 November 2000: Understatement works, too
We're all so accustomed to seeing forceful blasts of opinion that it's really quite a delight to see a report of an understated message. So we report it even though it has nothing to do with the Anglican Church save perhaps the garments worn by the supreme governor of one of its provinces. The Telegraph (London) reports that the Queen wore pheasant feathers in her hat to church yesterday in an elegant, if unspoken, rebuff to anti-field sports activists.

19 November 2000: Things are different in the mother country
Anglicans who live outside the UK are sometimes deluded by the belief that the church and politics that they know are somehow similar to the church and politics in the UK. From time to time we colonials see a news report, like this one in The Telegraph or this one in the Guardian (two different reports of the same event) that lets us see how vastly different is the church/state situation in the UK than in its former colonies and missions.

19 November 2000: The new genius of Assisi
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'a sensational discovery has been made in a Italian church. It means that the history of Western art will have to be completely rewritten.' Anglicans Online supposes that if the history of art means celebrating and lionizing the artists themselves, then, yes, this history will now have to be rewritten to give all of the credit to a different dead person. But the art is unchanged, and for us the more monastic approach of focusing on the art and not the artist just seems appropriate. The academic world, which writes and rewrites history, lives and dies by fame and glory. The art, whoever created it, just lives.

19 November 2000: Football or the Archbishop?
The Cincinnati Post (Ohio, USA) reported, in a story we missed when it first came out, that 'Ten-year-old Alexandra Long had a choice to make on Sunday: Go to her sister's soccer game or attend a liturgy led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was a no-brainer. ''I'd rather go to (the service) than a soccer game,'' she said. ''This is so cool.''' We suspect her sister's team was not leading the league.

19 November 2000: And it's not even genetically modified
The Telegraph (London) reported, in a story we missed when it first came out, that a Roman Catholic theologian has declared that McDonald's hamburgers are anti-social, Protestant and inappropriate for Roman Catholics. He didn't even mention the fat content.

19 November 2000
The Church of England has had a General Synod this week, and there is a torrent of news from it. We have tried to keep all of the General Synod news in one place. Here. Even the Times' 'At your service' column, which visits a house of worship each week, visited the Synod this week. The Archbishop of York prayed for unity. The BBC noted the opening, and the Anglican Communion News Service released photographs of it. The presidential address, written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, was delivered by the Archbishop of York due to the ABC having lost his voice. It's rather like the Queen reading at the opening of Parliament a speech written by the PM. Major stories from the Synod:

The Times published a scorecard giving its evaluation of how the Synod went. The Church Times published a General Synod round-up. We suspect that the Church of England Newspaper had something to say, too, but their web site always crashes our computers, so we've learned not to look at it.

19 November 2000: Church condemns jailing of teenagers
The Independent (London) reports that the Church of England will attack the holding of teenagers in Britain's adult jails this week, describing them as "warehouses" of damaged children. The Telegraph reported this story a few days later.

19 November 2000: Australian archbishop signs 'Recognised Churches' legislation
Anglican Media Sydney reports that Sydney Archbishop Harry Goodhew has assented to the Recognised Churches Ordinance, which will free up the planting of new churches across parish boundaries.

19 November 2000: News from around the Communion
The Anglican Communion News Service has published a flurry of short announcements. Archbishop Terence Finlay has been elected Metropolitan of Ontario. New Bishop of Temotu announced. ECUSA Presiding Bishop's Christmas Message. Declaration of the joint meeting of Muslim Imams and Bishops and Clergy of the different denominations of the churches in Egypt. A tribute to the Revd Canon John L Peterson. Peace comes to the Solomon Islands.

19 November 2000: T-shirts with painted-on clerical collars?
Almost certainly you have seen t-shirts with mock clerical collars. The Sunday Telegraph reports today that some clergy would be able to conduct formal church services wearing what they like - including jeans and T-shirts - under proposals to update the Church's centuries-old dress code. We figure that as long as they wear gaiters, the rest is up to them.

18 November 2000: Parish police station
The Telegraph (London) reports that an English parish church is taking on a dual role as a place of worship and new village police station.

18 November 2000: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about British Jews.

16 November 2000: Episcopal communication
Some time ago ECUSA announced that it had a new director of communication. We have not seen any communication from him yet, but today a press release suggested that at this year's meeting of Episcopal Communicators, a proof will be offered that he exists.

16 November 2000: Australia talks about women bishops
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Australia's General Synod Standing Committee has released draft legislation for women bishops. You can find the draft on the Anglican Church of Australia web site.

16 November 2000: Obituary of the Very Revd Ronald Beddoes
The Times (London) published an obituary of Ronald Beddoes, who 'will be remembered in Derbyshire as the provost who turned Derby’s All Saints’ Church into a cathedral worthy of its diocese.'

15 November 2000: Unmarried women must flee their homes
The Post Express (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that free and single girls in Minna, the Niger State capital, earlier given a week's ultimatum by the state's Sharia Implementation Board to get married or quit the state, have invaded military and police barracks for refuge as the board commences a house-to-house search for them. Sharia is Islamic law, which is being adopted by those parts of Nigeria that are predominantly Muslim.

15 November 2000: Editorial on Sharia and Nigerian Politics
The Post Express (Lagos, Nigeria) published an editorial on 'Religion, ethnicity, and the politics of constitutionalism in Africa'.

15 November 2000: Optimism in architecture
The Telegraph (London) reports on the ambitious project to complete the central tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, 'a glorious late-Gothic homage to England's Christian heritage and a building that takes as its starting point the unusual assumption that it will be standing 1,000 years from now.'

15 November 2000: Presidential politics
This article has nothing to do with the Anglican Communion, but we found it in our weekly search for news stories in Africa, and we are so weary of news about USA presidential politics that we felt compelled to tell you that the East African (Nairobi, Kenya) reports on a presidential slugfest in Kenya. Oh, and the Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana) mentions difficulties anticipated with the upcoming presidential election in Ghana.

14 November 2000: Who wants to be a vicar?
The BBC reports that English vicars are seeking a 50% pay increase for the first time in the Church of England's 400-year history.

12 November 2000: Massive Uganda prayer against Ebola
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that 'Over 300 churches throughout the country will converge at Nakivubo Stadium today to pray for the nation to overcome the Ebola and other epidemics.' We note their use of the word 'church' to mean people and not a building.

12 November 2000: Correction fluid
One of the advantages of the Internet is that it allows errors in news stories to be corrected rapidly, without even waiting for the next day's printing. So we are pleased to see in the Sunday Times today, online, a correction to a story that they ran and that we noted on 2 July 2000.

12 November 2000: Institutional racism
The Independent (London) reports that a soon-to-be-released report will say that the Church of England is institutionally racist, stuck in its ways, and its ethnic minority members are 'alienated, lonely and excluded'.

11 November 2000: Remembrance Day
All around the world the 11th of November is Remembrance Day. There are a lot of dead Anglicans who unselfishly served their countries, so we are in the mood to consider this Anglican news. Paul Vallely writes in the Independent. Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph. The CBC summarises the mood in Canada.

11 November 2000: Queen preparing to celebrate the millennium
It has suddenly become clear to us why it is a fine thing that most of the world celebrated the Millennium a year early. The Telegraph (London) reports that the Queen has underlined the religious significance of the Millennium by inviting the Archbishop of Canterbury to preach at Sandringham in a special Christmas Eve service. Last year's parties were primarily secular. This year we will focus on the true Millennium, the 2000th anniversary of the birth of our Saviour. We like that.

11 November 2000: Prince Charles cited in prayer book revolt
The Guardian (London) reports that Church of England traditionalists have been accused of dirty tricks in trying to drag the Prince of Wales into a row about the introduction of a new prayer book and liturgy next week. The Times reports this same situation (combat over the new Common Worship) from another angle, 'Carey takes up the "What would Jesus do?" approach to life'. The Telegraph pretty much focuses its coverage on Prince Charles' opinion, saying '"Easy-read" service book is insult to past, says Prince'.

11 November 2000: We are wrong to think that we know the whole truth
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

11 November 2000: What do we remember?
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) by Edward Norman.

10 November 2000: Hi-tech church mouse
The Telegraph reports on a new 'Church Mouse' product, which plugs into the console of an electronically-controlled organ and plays preprogrammed hymns.

9 November 2000: Flogging journalists
We prefer to think of the word 'flogging' in the journalism business as referring to endless harping on the same subject. But the Panafrican News Agency reported today that, under the Sharia legal code about to go into effect in the northern Nigerian state of Kano, that journalists found guilty of publishing 'offensive' stories are to be flogged. Maybe we at Anglicans Online should unlist our home addresses, but we think that this whole Sharia bit is barbaric and is rather a disgrace to the modern world.

9 November 2000: Discount church repairs?
The Guardian reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury last night welcomed the chancellor's announcement that he will seek permission from the European Commission to cut VAT bills on church repairs from 17.5% to 5%, which would save Britain's religious groups at least £20m. The Telegraph just said 'VAT may be cut to 5pc for church repairs'. Your News Centre editor, who lives in California, must confess that this entire concept is fairly alien to him. But British church expert Simon Jenkins (no relation) seems to find it alien, too.

9 November 2000: Memorial service for Lord Runcie
The Times (London) reports on a service of thanksgiving for the life and work of Lord Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1980-91, held yesterday in Westminster Abbey. The Telegraph also reported the event, though in less depth. The Anglican Communion News Service carried the text of the Bishop of London's address. Note that this was a memorial service; the actual burial was last July.

9 November 2000: Beginning this year's 'That's Blasphemous!' season
Every year at about this time there is news of the conflict between the commercial Christmas and the religious Christmas. This just in, about Nestlé's 'Stuff Xmas!' campaign. We thought that TestaMints, from a couple of years ago, were really funny.

8 November 2000: Letter clarifying English clergy situation
The Times has published a letter to the editor that, if factual, succinctly defines the situation in England as having 'the lowest number of active, committed, full-time vicars since the Reformation.' Anglicans Online is not able to believe that there is any intrinsic badness to nonstipendiary church work, as, after all, that is exactly what Anglicans Online is. We hope you continue to find us valuable even though we are neither paid nor full-time.

8 November 2000: Forensic linguistics
A woman that we know, a faithful member of an Episcopal congregation in the USA, is by profession a 'Forensic linguist'. Such people attempt to help the police solve crimes by analyzing language that is somehow associated with a crime. While no crime has been committed here, and no one will be punished or jailed if the mystery is solved, we find ourselves engaging in the sorts of activities that we imagine she might, when looking at the 'Clarification from Lambeth Palace' issued allegedly by the ABC on 8 November 2000. Our web browser tells us that this web page was 'Last Modified: Friday, November 10, 2000 7:17:26 PM GMT'. Its page title is 'STATEMENT FROM THE LAMBETH PALACE', which is a very un-English use of the English language, quite unlikely to have been written by anyone educated on English soil. Henry Kissinger is reputed to have said that 'Academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low.' Isn't this a deliciously low-stakes issue, that hardly matters at all, yet is fun to speculate about?

7 November 2000: US bishop says church treats women badly
The Guardian (London) reports that John Spong, one of the most controversial bishops in the Anglican community has accused the Church of England of treating women like second class citizens. Perhaps he would have enjoyed attending the Ruach Ministries Holy Convocation that Ruth Gledhill wrote about in her weekly 'At your service' column.

7 November 2000: Nigerian women appeal for husbands
The BBC reports that financial hardship and early and forced marriages are leading to a large number of divorced women in northern Nigeria. This is an Anglican story only indirectly; Nigeria has more Anglicans than any other country, and is struggling both with the imposition of Islamic law ('sharia') and with overcoming centuries of treating women as second-class citizens. In parts of Nigeria there are many more debates about whether women should be allowed to live than about whether they should be allowed to be ordained. Under Islamic law a man is entitled to up to four wives under certain conditions.

5 November 2000: British army warns against adultery
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the British army has for the first time explicitly warned its soldiers that adultery is a disciplinary offence. The move is an attempt to improve moral standards in the armed forces.

5 November 2000: Church of England wants religion in weddings
The Telegraph (London) reports on proposed new rules for weddings in Britain that are intended to increase the number of people who have church weddings. And The Observer reports that a government-sponsored guide to the perfect marriage will be given to every couple planning a wedding.

5 November 2000: Didn't they imprison Al Capone for tax evasion?
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'The ban on Roman Catholics ascending the English throne is certain to be overturned because it does not comply with the new Human Rights Act, according to leading lawyers.'

5 November 2000: Whites urged to give up church appointments for blacks
The Telegraph (London) reports that a Suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Southwark has called on white parishioners to give up their positions on church bodies to members of ethnic minority communities.

4 November 2000: Canon refuses to name baby after gladiator
The Times (London) reports on an issue of naming a baby. The story begins 'Had Venetia Simpson gone to church as regularly as she went to the cinema, the vicar might have been more willing to christen her fourth child Maximus Lucius.' The Times later ran an editorial on this, noting that it's really about cruelty to children and not about paganism.

4 November 2000: Time to remember where we all belong
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop Suffragan of Basingstoke.

4 November 2000: Accepting mercy
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) by Edward Norman.

3 November 2000: Armed conflict in Nigeria affecting the church
Nigeria has more Anglicans who actually attend church than any other country in the world, so we consider any news from Nigeria that is even slightly Anglican in nature to be worth reporting. It will help us who do not live in Nigeria learn more about that country. Today the Vanguard Daily (Lagos) reported that the Bishop of Ife, the Rt Revd Gabriel Oloniyo, described the most recent Ife/Modakeke conflict as devastating, saying that more than 16 churches in the Diocese of Ife were "seriously affected".

2 November 2000: New Primus for Scotland
The Scottish Episcopal Church has announced the election of the Rt Revd Bruce Cameron as its new Primus. He replaces Richard Holloway, who retired yesterday.

2 November 2000: The grim side of non-Christian rituals
One of the many reasons why it's good that so many Nigerians are becoming Anglican is that that country has a real problem with ritual killings related to the practice of magic. This is not Harry Potter stuff. The P.M. News (Lagos) reports 'There seems to be no let up in the orgy of ritual killings in Lagos State as a middle-aged man, Mr. Ekpe Udoh was yesterday arrested with a fresh human head, dripping blood at the Kuramo Beach, Victoria Island.'

2 November 2000: Floods make archbishop feel like Noah
The Times (London) reports that the Most Revd Dr David Hope, Archbishop of York, was feeling a kinship with Noah and his ark as the floodwaters rose around York Minster. The Independent, in reporting the story, focused more on flood damage than on the Archbishop's feelings. In the Sunday Times a few days later there is an article with an aerial photograph of the Archbishop's new moat.

2 November 2000: Casting out racism
The Times reports on and then comments on the future attendance by +York and +Canterbury at a course on "racism awareness". The Telegraph also reports on it and then comments on it.

1 November 2000: The bishop who dares
The Times (London) has an interview with Richard Holloway by Valerie Grove. The Church Times reports on his retirement.

1 November 2000: The case of the vanishing vicars
It is reported both in The Telegraph and The Times that nearly 600 vicars' jobs are to disappear in the next four years, leaving the Church of England with the lowest number of clergy since records began. Will some be redeployed in ATM repair?

1 November 2000: Atheists and pumpkins
A columnist in The Times (London) comments on the juxtaposition of Hallowe'en with last week's complaint by the Archbishop of Canterbury that Britain is a nation of atheists.

1 November 2000: Clergy told to stay awake
The Times reports that members of the General Synod should beware of falling asleep in debates in case they are captured yawning or dozing off by newspaper photographers.

31 October 2000: Three new bishops in India
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that three bishops were consecrated on the same day for the first time in the 30 year history of the Church of North India (CNI). The consecration was carried out by a host of bishops, led by the Most Revd Vinod Peter, Moderator of CNI.

31 October 2000: Flushed with pride
The Telegraph (London) reports that a village church has commemorated Thomas Crapper, the Victorian plumber synonymous with the flush lavatory, in a new £40,000 stained glass window. Do read the sidebar story on Mr Crapper from Plumbing World, but we do not recommend their pens as a holiday gift item. 'These pens are an excellent choice when writing "Dear John" letters [or] working on your income taxes'.

31 October 2000: New bishop for Chichester
The Rt Revd John Hind, currently Bishop in Europe, will be the next Bishop of Chichester. Both old and new bishop are firm enemies of the ordination of women, so this appointment keeps Chichester as it was. Story in The Times and the Church Times.

31 October 2000: Row over discount prayer book
The Times (London) reports that the Church of England has been engulfed in a liturgical prayer war after officials banned a discount version of the new prayer book, Common Worship.

29 October 2000: Bishop Holloway steps down
The BBC reports that 'the outspoken head of the Scottish Episcopal Church will preach for the last time' today. We wouldn't be surprised, in truth, if he were to preach again, but the next time he does it he won't be as the Bishop of Edinburgh. In fact, we note that he's scheduled to preach for All Souls Day at All Saints Church in Margaret St, London. They list him as 'formerly Bishop of Edinburgh'.

29 October 2000: Anglican bishop says Queen should not head church
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the Most Revd Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, criticised the status of the Church of England as the established church. 'The notion of the monarch as supreme governor has outlived its usefulness,' he said. The same newspaper also reported that for the first time in its 81-year history, the remembrance service at the Cenotaph is to include representatives of the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist religions. The Church Times carried the story the following week.

29 October 2000: Texas traditionalists?
The Associated Press reports that the Potter's House, a new church in Dallas (not Anglican), is probably the world's largest example of the mixture of technology and religion. 'About 200 seats in the sanctuary have data terminals so worshippers can download sermon notes and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations on laptop computers. Altar attendants use handheld computers to input new member data and prayer needs. The service is translated into six languages and broadcast to audience members wearing wireless headphones. Huge video screens flank the stage, which features a lighting and sound system rivaling that of major concert venues.' This is not a tradition yet, of course. Maybe someday.

28 October 2000: Archbishop notices that British are atheist
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Most Revd Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, declared last night that Britain had become an atheist society in which people looked to medicine to provide them with eternal life rather than religion. The Telegraph offered this editorial opinion on the Archbishop's speech. The Times noted that in the same speech, Dr Carey urged Christians to pray to God that they might escape “sudden death” in a train accident. Presumably there are no medicines to cure train wrecks.

28 October 2000: Possible schism threatens Baptists
The Associated Press reports that America's largest Protestant denomination might be unraveling over issues not unlike those we Anglicans are discussing.

28 October 2000: Still harvesting in Flanders field
The Times (London) reports that Belgium is still finding war dead from World War I. This has nothing to do with the Anglican church, of course, save that so many of these long-lost dead were Anglican to the end, and that one of the duties of every church and its members is to remind the world of the horrors of war.

28 October 2000: Recipe for disaster in a world consumed by greed
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by June Osborne, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.

28 October 2000: The eternal friend
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) is, as usual, by Edward Norman.

28 October 2000: Traditionalism in UK Parliament
The Telegraph (London) is bemused by a fuss about wigs and breeches in Parliament, noting that the Church of England went through this a hundred and fifty years ago.

28 October 2000: At your service
This week Ruth Gledhill of The Times, in her weekly 'At your service' column, visits St Paul's Wightman Road, in London.

27 October 2000: Harumph about English church attendance
A letter-writer to The Times points out that the church attendance numbers that so dismayed the Archbishop are just Anglican numbers, and that England also has RC, Methodist, United Reformed, and other non-Anglicans attending church.

27 October 2000: Famous hymn-writer is dead
The Church Times (London) reports that the Revd Fred Pratt Green died in his sleep on Sunday, at the age of 97. He wrote more than 300 hymns on a wide range of subjects, including confirmation, the Holy Spirit, and a number of saints. Twelve of his hymns appear in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard, including “For the fruits of his creation” and “God is here; we are his people”. The Times (a daily newspaper) reported the story a few days earlier.

27 October 2000: English battle lines drawn
In 1993 the Church of England passed an 'Act of Synod' which established 'flying bishops' for those parishes that did not want women as priests. There is now a possibility of that Act being rescinded, and the organisations lobbying on both sides of the issue are preparing their campaigns. The Church Times reports on Forward in Faith, which is opposed to the ordination of women. The Telegraph reports on GRAS, which is opposed to the Act of Synod.

27 October 2000: African traditionalists?
Every week we sift through international newspapers looking for stories with an Anglican point of view. Outside Great Britain, such stories are rare. We see a lot of news that is at the edge of being relevant, and a lot more that is not relevant at all. Whether or not to include a story is a judgment call; we suppose that if you are a continuing reader of our News Centre that you must not disagree entirely with the judgment we exercise. This week we came across a story that, at face value, has no Anglican content whatsoever. But it is about the conflict, in Kenya, between Kenyan society and Mungiki, a group that states that its purpose is to return to traditional African values. Given that so much of the current conflict in the Anglican world is over whether certain traditions are good or bad, we find it interesting to look at another conflict, unrelated to our church, between contemporary and traditional social values. The Nation (Nairobi) reflects on Mungiki and reports on the event that brought this group into the news (demanding that women not wear trousers in public). The Nation reports later that this violent event was not necessarily the work of Mungiki, but today published an editorial condemning the group and its actions.

27 October 2000: Not Anglican news
The British press is popping with stories, mostly in the Religion section, about a priest with a criminal record who has been caught stealing money from his church in Suffolk. We don't consider this to be Anglican news but local crime news. If you'd like to read about it, go to any British newspaper site and search for the words 'vicar' and 'criminal'. We stopped counting at a dozen articles.

26 October 2000: A Queen's chaplain dies
The Times (London) reports on the death of Canon Paul Miller, a Chaplain to the Queen.

25 October 2000: English Synod to focus on attendance
The Times (London) reports that the newly-elected General Synod of the Church of England will focus on stemming church decline.

25 October 2000: Prince Charles, Roman Catholics, and monarchs
The British press this week is all abuzz because someone named Paddy Ashdown has quoted Prince Charles as having said 'I really can't think why we can't have Catholics on the throne' in 1995. There are published articles about the quote itself (Times), fuss about the act of having published it (Telegraph, Telegraph editorial), discussion of what it means (Church Times, Telegraph, Times), related stories (Times, Guardian), author's claim of regret (Telegraph), insider comments that are incomprehensible to those not steeped in British politics (Times) and reflection on the overall issue (Guardian, Times letter).

25 October 2000: New tales of the New Canterbury
The Independent (London) published an amusing piece about the state of Canterbury on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Chaucer's death.

25 October 2000: Childhood's end
The Times reports that young people are attracted by spirituality but they do not see this as having anything to do with the Church of England, says a damning report. The study on youngsters’ participation in the Church says that they desert from the age of 12 because they regard it as irrelevant and uncaring, with power “dripped down from above”.

24 October 2000: Sydney traditionalists
The Sydney Morning Herald published today an article by Dr Kim Hawtrey, a member of the Sydney Synod, entitled 'Why Sydney's evangelicals are the true conservatives'.

23 October 2000: New diocese in Tanzania
The African Church Information Service reports that the Anglican Province of Tanzania has created a new Diocese of Tanga from a portion of what was previously part of the Diocese of Zanzibar. The Rt Revd Phillip Dunstan Baji is to be Bishop of Tanga.

23 October 2000: St Peters loses dome competition
The Independent (London) published the results of a (conceptual) competition among public-building domes in England, in which the Millennium Dome trounced St Peter's. Warning: contains mild but humourous blasphemy.

22 October 2000: Catch me if you can
The Guardian Magazine today published a story by Jon Ronson, a Jewish reporter, about his experience with the Alpha course at Holy Trinity Brompton. This is a very long two-part article, so don't start it until you can allot enough time to finish it. In our opinion the writer has been very fair to his subject, trying neither to praise Alpha nor to attack it.

22 October 2000: Ancient mariner offers lessons in modern morality
This week's Credo column in The Times (London) is by Stephen Plant, Europe Secretary of the Methodist Church.

22 October 2000: Life after death
The Telegraph (London) reports that the first scientific study of "near-death" experiences has found new evidence to suggest that consciousness or the "soul" can continue to exist after the brain has ceased to function. And if it exists, it can be saved: that newspaper also reports that 'Russian priests save souls on the train to Archangel'.

22 October 2000: The fight for Christ Church
The Mobile Register (Alabama USA) reports that 'Passion, money and religion collide when congregation votes to split with Episcopal Church'. Also remember the squabble over All Saints Church in Pawley's Island, South Carolina as reported, for example, in the Coastal Observer or by the Episcopal News Service.

22 October 2000: British elections
Joan Smith, columnist in the Independent (London) urges her readers to 'Ignore the siren voices of these meddling clerics'.

22 October 2000: Russian monuments
The Independent reports that an old Soviet monument is falling apart while a new cathedral is built next door.

22 October 2000: We're safe, thank you
Anglicans Online is pleased to report that none of its staff or contributors were onboard the train that crashed Tuesday, killing and injuring many people. This crash occurred very close to the home of one AO correspondent.

21 October 2000: Not ourselves alone
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) is, as usual, by Edward Norman.

21 October 2000: Sacred mysteries
In The Telegraph (London), Christopher Howse writes about the Prime Minister, the Dalai Lama, the Koran, Ireland. We had originally decided not to run this story from Nigeria about frustration with preaching in Nigeria's largest mosque, because of its lack of Anglican-specific content, but in the context of Howse's story it seems oddly relevant.

21 October 2000: Evensong at Keble College
In this week's 'At your service' column in The Times, Ruth Gledhill visits Keble College.

20 October 2000: Cardinal says Pope is likely to quit next year
The Independent (London) reports that Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop of Malines and Brussels, has predicted that Pope John Paul II will step down next year. The Times also reported the story two days later.

19 October 2000: Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out against surgeons
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, last night criticised surgeons who “lack humility” and said the public would no longer tolerate their high-handedness or arrogance. Your news centre editor, no stranger to surgery, has no opinion about the humility of those who would put a knife to him, but is quite anxious for them to be of paramount skill. He is reminded of the episode of Frank Lloyd Wright appearing in court at age 89. The judge asked him his profession; he replied that he was the world's greatest living architect. His wife later chided him for being so immodest, to which he replied "You forget, Olgivanna, I was under oath." (Ref1, ref2).

19 October 2000: Dalai Lama promotes peace in Ulster
The Chinese seem to want no part of him, but the Irish listened. The Times reports that the Dalai Lama today took a message of religious harmony and tolerance to West Belfast, one of Northern Ireland's most bitterly divided areas. This story is relevant to an Anglican publication like ours because, when you read about 'protestants' in Ireland, that's us. The Guardian wasn't so sure that people listened.

19 October 2000: New territories, old teachings
The Anglican Journal has published an article by Peter Chattaway that summarises a Future of Anglican Ministry conference in Vancouver last May. He reports that the keynote speaker called seminaries (theological colleges) 'wastelands of mediocrity'.

18 October 2000: Atlanta congregation blocked from same-sex blessings
The Episcopal News Service reports that a prominent Atlanta parish has been denied permission by the diocesan Standing Committee to offer blessings for same-sex couples.

18 October 2000: Archbishop Tutu readmitted to hospital
The Panafrican News Agency reports that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, retired Archbishop of Cape Town, was readmitted to hospital Wednesday for further examination following his cancer surgery last year.

18 October 2000: Facing up to the Anglican identity crisis
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on issues of unity in the Diocese of Sydney, and examines the larger church in the process. And the Australian Broadcasting Company published a transcript of a radio programme that began with the sentence 'Australia's largest and most influential Anglican diocese has acted to quell the liberal leanings beginning to pervade its theology.'

16 October 2000: Press coverage of the Queen's visit to the Pope
The Times said 'the Queen might not pray with the Pope tomorrow, but Amen to her visit' and 'Queen thanks Vatican for help in Ulster' and 'the Queen works to sooth religious unease'. The Times also published this collection of 15 photographs of the event. The Guardian noted 'noble sentiments and mumbled greetings'. The Telegraph said that 'Theme of unity shows sovereign took no offence' and 'Canalettos and kind words in the Vatican'. The Telegraph also commented on what the Queen wore and noted the difficulty that her clothes had in arriving in Rome. The Pope's wardrobe gives him fewer options. The Telegraph ran a leader titled 'Two monarchs and a puritan'. The Queen's official web site gives the text of her written address to the Pope.

15 October 2000: Update on the Millennium Bridge
You may recall that the opening of London's new Millennium Bridge was marred by a general public feeling that the bridge was about to collapse into the river; as a result the bridge was closed to the public 2 days later. News of its opening and failure was spread all over the world, but almost no one noticed the publication of the preliminary report on how and why it failed. With some effort, they will get the bridge open in time for the start of the new Millennium in January next year.

15 October 2000: Diocese of Cariboo votes to disband
The Anglican News Service (Toronto) has been closely following the synod of the Diocese of Cariboo, reporting first with a backgrounder on what might be the final synod of the Diocese of Cariboo, then a report a day later on what the bishop and chancellor had to say. The sad sequence of articles ends with today's report that 'Barring a miracle, the Anglican Diocese of Cariboo will pass into history sometime in the next 12 months.' Also the National Post (Toronto) reports that the Diocese of Cariboo voted to wind up operations and declare bankruptcy within 12 months, after being forced into financial ruin by sexual abuse lawsuits.

15 October 2000: Why the Anglican church monopoly should be broken
The Sunday Times (London) published today an opinion piece by John Humphrys asserting that it is time to break the 'monopoly' status held by the Church of England in its country. The essay is a bit breezy, but it does eventually make its point. It refers to the belowmentioned meeting between the Queen and the Pope, so read that first if you are not already familiar with the issues.

15 October 2000: When the Queen meets the Pope
Queen Elizabeth will soon have a meeting with Pope John Paul II. This seemingly-simple meeting brings vast complexity, as it turns out. The Telegraph published an essay by Christopher Howse about the Queen meeting the Pope, and this report that 'men training for the Catholic priesthood in Rome will be unable to meet the Queen at the Vatican next week because their teachers will not allow them to wear the appropriate clothes.' The Guardian reports that 'After 500 years, the barriers remain.' And the Church Times writes about the new report from the Commission into the Future of Multi-ethnic Britain.

15 October 2000: General Synod Election results in the Church of England
Dr Peter Owen, successful lay candidate for the General Synod from Liverpool, has assembled a web page listing as much information as he has been able to find about who has won the Synod Election. Congratulations to all of the winners, and especially to Dr Owen for providing this helpful information.

15 October 2000: Bishops pressed to sell lavish palaces
The Telegraph (London) reports that a number of the Church of England's bishops' palaces are likely to be sold off under radical proposals to crack down on episcopal expenses.

15 October 2000: Church Times web site helps recruit immigrant clergy
The Telegraph (London) reports that the new Church Times web site, with its section on clerical vacancies, is helping find overseas clergy interested in filling positions in Britain.

15 October 2000: And be careful not to sit in those pews; they are very old
We have carried frequently, here in the News Centre, articles about declining attendance at churches in England. From this article in The Telegraph we are made to wonder if perhaps one of the reasons for declining attendance is that the churches are turning into museums.

14 October 2000: Reflection on Sharia in two Nigerian states
The Post Express (Lagos, Niberia) has published an article analysing the relationship between two states in the northern part of that country, one of which is adopting sharia (Islamic law) and the other is not.

14 October 2000: New bishop for Nevada
We received a press release that the Diocese of Nevada has elected the Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori as its new bishop. One of her first challenges may be to find the diocesan web site, where we had gone hoping to find an online copy of this press release to which we could link.

14 October 2000: Christ is at home in town and country alike
The weekly Credo column in The Times (London) is this week by the Most Revd Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

14 October 2000: Religious loyalty
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) is, as usual, by Edward Norman.

14 October 2000: Dance praise
The 'At your service' column in The Times (London) reviews the filming at King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, of a BBC programme 'Dance Praise'. It is easy to see that the author, Ruth Gledhill, loves to dance.

13 October 2000: Seeking spirituality in 'cyberspace'
The Star (Kansas City) reports that Americans are increasingly looking for convenience in their worship practices, and that the internet meets this need well.

13 October 2000: Church leaders ask for peace in the Middle East
Can you imagine being a church leader and not asking for peace in the Middle East? One of the core job requirements of modern religious leaders is deploring violence in the Middle East. The Bishop in Jerusalem has made some specific requests along these lines.

13 October 2000: Fault finding in Minnesota
We reported recently on the sudden resignation of most of the staff of the Diocese of Minnesota. Some letters giving insight into this complex situation have been posted on the web site of one of the parish churches, since the diocesan web site is still broken.

12 October 2000: Reporting from the Sydney synod
The Diocese of Sydney is in the middle of its annual synod. We reported earlier on some speeches about the future of the diocese. The synod has a well-maintained web site which will tell you everything you want to know. Among articles that caught our attention: 'Seven Thousand sign for traditional doctrines' which describes the complex set of petitions submitted to the synod. The texts of the petitions by John Cornish and by Andrew Mitchell are linked at the end of that article.

11 October 2000: Stop fighting over women
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the Rt Revd Gershom Ilukor, retired Bishop of Soroti, has urged men to stop fighting over women and stick to one wife.

11 October 2000: Palestinian postage stamps
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Palestinian Postal Authority has issued a set of gold-encrusted Christmas stamps. We aren't sure of the protocol for using these because we're not entirely sure where Palestine is, but they're pretty.

11 October 2000: Queen's historic prayer with Pope ruled out
The Guardian (London) reports that 'a proposal that the Queen should join in symbolic prayer with the Pope during her state visit to the Vatican next week has been dropped after concerns that it would upset factions in the Church of England.'

10 October 2000: Teenagers just too busy to go to church
The Telegraph (London) reports that Youth for Christ commissioned an inter-denominational survey of 65 churches to study why teenagers don't go to church, and that the conclusion is that they feel they are too busy.

10 October 2000: Release devil worship report, MPs urge Govt
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the government of Kenya has been asked to compel the probe committee on devil worship to declare their findings.

10 October 2000: Church organist harassed successor
The Telegraph (London) reports that a former church organist and choirmaster has been accused of subjecting his replacement to a five-year campaign of harassment because he blamed her for his sacking.

10 October 2000: Commentary on our commute
The Telegraph (London) reports on the road connecting the homes of two people involved in Anglicans Online. This article has no content relevant to our readers, but we do enjoy the drive mentioned here.

9 October 2000: Reflections on the future of the Diocese of Sydney
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Archbishop Goodhew of Sydney has reported in his farewell address that he leaves a 'robust' and 'growing' Church. Anglican Media Sydney reports that, at another event the same evening, the Rev John Cornish, rector of St Alban’s, Epping, told a meeting of Anglicans Together that the Diocese of Sydney ran the risk of defining ‘ourselves down to the narrowest point of view, we run the risk of becoming a sect’. And Southern Cross has published 'Survival Strategy' by Jeremy Halcrow, in which he discusses what he says are issues that could affect the very survival of that diocese. Note that the URL scheme used by Southern Cross is rather jumbled, so at some point in the future that link will stop working. Click here to find the top level of Southern Cross and poke around their archives. At our press time the story is not yet in the archives.

8 October 2000: But what if the winning number is 666?
The Sunday Times (London) reports that when the Archbishop of Canterbury makes his annual spiritual address to Great Britain, the BBC will show a live lottery drawing instead of the speech.

7 October 2000: Ottawa takes new look at residential school lawsuits
Canada's National Post reports that the government of Canada has changed its approach to dealing with the lawsuits that are endangering the future of the Anglican Church of Canada. This could be a significant development in this episode.

7 October 2000: First Muslim state school in Britain
The Guardian (London) reports that the first Muslim state secondary school will open soon in Britain.

7 October 2000: At your service, at St Albans
The Times (London) intermittently publishes reports of visits to various church services, primarily in Britain. This week's column reports a visit to the Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban, which, in addition to being a magical place, has at times been the home church of quite a number of major players in the small world of Anglican journalism.

7 October 2000: Sacred mysteries
In a column in The Telegraph (London), Christopher Howse muses about blasphemy, Jesus, Shiva, and the offending of believers of various kinds.

7 October 2000: No need to rush down the road to unity
The weekly Credo column in The Times (London) is this week by the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Wakefield.

7 October 2000: The everlasting call
This week's meditation column in The Telegraph (London) by Edward Norman.

6 October 2000: Grahamstown bishop elected dean of province
The East Cape News (Grahamstown, South Africa) reports that the Most Revd David Russell, Bishop of Grahamstown, has been elected Dean of the Province of Southern Africa.

4 October 2000: Diocese of Jerusalem statement on violence in Jerusalem
The Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop of Jerusalem, has issued a short statement on the recent violence in Jerusalem.

4 October 2000: Scottish Episcopal Church ordains a policeman
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'A policeman who has become a priest plans to maintain law and order while spreading the word of God to a tiny island community.'

4 October 2000: Alabama parish breaks from church
The Associated Press reports that the oldest Episcopal congregation in Alabama has voted to break away from the church to protest its recognition of gay and other relationships outside of marriage. Here is the response from the Bishop of the Central Gulf Coast.

3 October 2000: People like pews
The Times (London) reports on the issue of removing pews from English churches. Meanwhile, the same newspaper reports on an appeal to restore a Gothic-style church in London. We presume that such restoration would involve putting back the pews if they had been removed.

1 October 2000: Westminster's turbulent dean ready to quit
The Sunday Times reported that the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr, is considering early retirement because of ill health. Two weeks later they reported a correction that he has said he is not planning to reture.

1 October 2000: Report of the meeting of Nigerian standing committee
The Church of Nigeria does not have a web site, but they sent us a press release by email. So that you can read it, we have put it on our web site. It is a report of the recent meeting of the Standing Committee of that church.

1 October 2000: Renovated online newspapers
Two of the newspapers that we read regularly have launched ambitious new online editions. The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria) and the Church Times (London, England). Earlier online editions of both of these newspapers were quite dreadful, but at least they existed. We are pleased with the progress. Besides the Church Times column by David Harris (ex editor of Canada's national church newspaper) there is no story in either newspaper this week to which we feel compelled to draw your attention, but you should give them a look-see.

1 October 2000: A nefarious plot to promote women bishops?
The Sunday Telegraph (London) reports that Ruth Rendell, crime novelist, has become involved in a murky ecclesiastical plot: she is the latest literary figure to have been recruited by Church of England activists campaigning against the artifice of flying bishops.

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