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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2003

Link to main News Archives page

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29 June 2003: End of the line for Rowan Bear
Ship of Fools reports that they are no longer taking orders for the Rowan Bear.

28 June 2003: Making position statements
Nothing new has happened this week in the dispute over the sexual orientation of bishops. Hundreds of bishops worldwide have made statements, and not a one of those statements seems to us to be out of line with the politics of the person making it. We don't consider this news, but if you do, you can read hundreds of articles about it. One thing that really stands out for us in this spin-fest is that an amazing number of people act as though they believe that the Bible was originally written in English. Items that we do consider to be news, if perhaps minor: The Age (Melbourne) reports that Sydney has stated that bishops Ingham, Robinson, and John are not welcome to preach in that diocese and has said that they may withdraw from the Anglican Communion if Jeffrey John is made Bishop of Reading. The Church Times reports that Nigeria and the West Indies have made similar statements; Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has made known his relatively laissez-faire position. Melbourne cartoonist Michael Leunig has this take on it all.

28 June 2003: Nicholls/Oakley wedding
The Delmarva Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland) reports that Angela Patricia Hannah Nicholls and Michael Jackson Oakley of Greenwich, Connecticut were married recently at St Peter in Salisbury, Maryland.

28 June 2003: Australian treasurer laments decline in church credibility
The Courier Mail and the Sydney Morning Herald report that Peter Costello, Australia's treasurer, has said that church leaders will have to do better to regain the public's trust.

28 June 2003: Vatican says celibacy rule is nonnegotiable
The Associated Press reports that the Vatican reaffirmed celibacy for priests Saturday, rejecting arguments that the Roman Catholic Church could attract more clergy by opening the priesthood to married men.

26 June 2003: People trust bishops more than president
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that in a recent survey, more Ugandans trust their bishops than their president.

23 June 2003: ABC writes letter to C of E bishops
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has written this letter to the diocesan and suffragan bishops of the Church of England. As this is reported in the news, you can follow it here. The Church Times reports that, oddly enough, people actually honoured his request.

22 June 2003: Boot sale in Richmond Hill
The Markham Economist and Sun (Ontario) reports that St John (Richmond Hill, Ontario) is holding a flea market and car boot sale on July 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at the church, 12125 Yonge St (just south of Stouffville Road). Load up your car and drive to the car boot sale, donate $5 for parking and sell your items.


22 June 2003: Nigeria threatens to secede
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Most Revd Peter Jasper Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, has said that he is not willing to sit in the same meeting room 'as a man who is marrying a man', and that the Church of Nigeria will sever ties with any part of the Anglican Communion that elects a gay bishop.

22 June 2003: Financial threat to church over gay-bishops issue
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England faction opposed to homosexuality has said it will hold back money from the church if Dr Jeffrey John is consecrated as the new Bishop of Reading.

21 June 2003: Jeffrey John, gay English bishop-designate
Here is a roundup of press coverage of the goings-on in England and elsewhere about the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. Editorials in The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Times. Another in The Guardian. Ruth Gledhill interviewed Jeffrey John, and it's the main story on the front page of The Times. Global news coverage continues; highlights include these articles in The BBC, The New York Times, and The Guardian. The Guardian reports on an organized effort by some bishops to stop the appointment. Our European correspondent says that the Jeffrey John story 'is everywhere on every news broadcast, and in all newspapers' today. Giles Fraser, writing in The Guardian, asserts that the Church of England is institutionally homophobic while the Bishop of Liverpool says that's not so. Columnist Jeffrey John has released his own statement. Andrew Brown, one of the most gifted and curmudgeonly religion writers of our age, wraps up the coverage by asking 'Does anyone really care about gay bishops?'.

21 June 2003: New Hampshire still exists
The furor in England about Jeffrey John seems to have stolen the spotlight, but there is still some news coverage of the election of V Gene Robinson as bishop in New Hampshire, USA.

21 June 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to—you guessed it—gay bishops.

21 June 2003: Nigeria vows no compromise on homosexuals
The Southern Africa Broadcasting Service reports that the Church of Nigeria, the world's largest Anglican province, will break ranks with any Anglican community that condones homosexuality.

20 June 2003: More squabbles at York Minster
The Times (London) reports that divisions over the running of debt-ridden York Minster erupted yesterday as former staff launched a character assassination of the man they blame for the crisis.

18 June 2003: Historic Australian church to be victim of progress
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that St John, Darlinghurst, will be choked to death by the high-rise buildings around it.

17 June 2003: Tawdry Audrey, Bobo, Maud, and Pearl
Telegraph columnist A N Wilson has written an amazing essay on gays in the church. Wilson is not a columnist whose opinion we share very often, but we always notice his skill in expressing those opinions.

16 June 2003: Methodists and Anglicans?
The Methodist church was formed in a breakaway from the Anglican church a couple of centuries ago. The Telegraph, the Church Times, and The Times (all of London) report on explorations of re-uniting the two, in England at least, on the event of John Wesley's 300th birthday.

15 June 2003: Women as Scottish bishops
Writing in the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), Richard Holloway muses about women bishops in Scotland.


15 June 2003: Call for Britain's Queen to lose title as head of Church
The Observer (London) reports that a major new report suggests that Britain's Queen should be stripped of her title as Supreme Governor of the Church of England so that the royal family better reflects the religious and ethnic diversity of the United Kingdom. We know of several people anxious to volunteer as her replacement.

15 June 2003: Continuing press coverage of homosexuality and the church
The global press coverage continues about the election of the Revd Canon V Gene Robinson in New Hampshire and the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John in Reading. No matter which side of this issue you are on, you should read Andrew Brown's column in the Sunday Telegraph, 'Gay priests don't harm the C of E half as much as its Pharisees'.

15 June 2003: Priest reflects on desegregation history
The Tuscaloosa News (Alabama, USA) reflects on the involvement, 45 years ago, of Episcopal clergy in the desegregation of the University of Alabama.

14 June 2003: British 'sack the gays' clause might be unlawful
The Guardian (London) reports that forthcoming British legislation allowing religious employers to sack gay and lesbian staff may be unlawful.

13 June 2003: Anglicans worship again in Iraq
The Church Times reports that St George, Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq, held its first service since the war, amid heavy security, last week.

13 June 2003: Scottish Episcopal Church authorizes women bishops
The Guardian (London) reports that the synod of the Scottish Episcopal church voted to lift the bar on women priests becoming bishops. There was some international coverage of this; not much mention at all in Scotland.

13 June 2003: Ban proposed on ritual killing in Britain
The Church Times reports that the British government is being asked to overthrow ancient Jewish and Muslim dietary laws controlling the slaughter of animals, because it causes the animals too much pain. Other news coverage of this issue is sparse outside Britain.

12 June 2003: An interview with Phillip Jensen
Sarah Ferguson interviewed the Very Revd Phillip Jensen, dean of Sydney Cathedral. The interview was broadcast on SBS Television in Australia, as part of its Insight series. The transcript quotes him saying, among other things, that he would rather die than celebrate a mass. Read an opinion about what it means to be Anglican that might be different from your opinion. Or it might not.

11 June 2003: Archbishop delivers major interfaith lecture
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today delivered his first major address on interfaith relations since becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. Sparse press coverage of this speech included this report in the Church Times, this brief mention in The Times (London), and this report from the Islamic Republic News Agency (Tehran).

11 June 2003: More hostages in Solomon Islands, mostly Anglican
The Daily Telegraph (Australia) reports that a Solomon Islands warlord on a rampage in Guadalcanal has taken more hostages, largely members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

9 June 2003: Evangelicals try to oust gay bishop
The Guardian (London) reports that a delegation of evangelicals from the diocese of Oxford is to meet the bishop, Richard Harries, tomorrow to try to force the rescinding of the appointment of the first openly gay bishop in the Church of England. And The Telegraph reports that a suffragan bishop, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, has called for the newly-appointed bishop to step down.


8 June 2003: Government and sex in Britain
The Times (London) reports that British gay and lesbian couples are to get the same legal rights as husbands and wives under government plans due to be published soon.

7 June 2003: At your service
The Times' Ruth Gledhill reports on her visit to an Anglican-like service at the Center Parcs holiday camp near Nottingham. The first paragraph of her report is priceless.

7 June 2003: Church and sex in New Hampshire
The Diocese of New Hampshire has elected the Revd Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop Coadjutor and has issued this press release. Everyone who knows him reports that he will be an excellent bishop. Many people who don't know him are outraged by his sex life. There is broad coverage in the world press, including this article in the New York Times. Regardless of your stand on this contentious issue, you should read what the world press is saying about our church.

6 June 2003: Church and sex in Canada
The Church Times summarises the week's events in Vancouver, Canada, where official church blessings of same-sex couples were held for the first time. Click here to see an index of newspaper coverage of sex issues in the Diocese of New Westminster.

6 June 2003: Church and sex in England
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury was facing a fresh storm over homosexuality last night after it emerged that the Church of England's most recently appointed bishop had been in a gay relationship for decades. That newspaper also reports statements by that bishop. The next day The Times (London) reported that the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries, expressed support for the new Bishop of Reading, Canon Jeffrey John (here is the text of the release from the Diocese of Oxford). The Telegraph reports that David Hope, Archbishop of York, has in the past expressed support for Jeffrey John. We recall last week's essay in The Independent by John Kennedy 'How can any European constitution - rooted in an ideology of freedom - cope with religions which cling to shameful traditions?'

6 June 2003: Church and sex and bombs in Atlanta
The Boston Globe reports that recently-arrested Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph was certain that he was doing God's work.

6 June 2003: Church near sex in England
The Church Times reports on a dispute between worshippers at Southwark Cathedral and the nearby Club Wicked. Like Anglicans Online, Club Wicked raises money by selling trinkets. Ours are very tame, however: dry T-shirts and silly hats and coffee mugs and such.

4 June 2003: The Aussie Bible
The Telegraph (London) reports on the publication of a new Aussie Bible. Many other newspapers covered this; our favourites include the New Zealand Herald and the Glasgow Daily Record. The Sydney Morning Herald had actually reported on this two weeks ago, but we were so busy covering the news that really matters, namely about sex, that we failed to notice. Christopher Howse this week devoted his column in The Telegraph to a reflection on past special-audience Bibles and their effectiveness. Given the Australian love of life, we're sure there must be some reference to sex in here, but we don't have a copy yet, so we can't say for sure.

2 June 2003: Making money in God's house
The BBC reports on efforts in England to make money with secular activities in church buildings during the week.

2 June 2003: Archbishop of York may block Minster entrance fees
The Guardian reports that the Archbishop of York is considering invoking medieval powers unused for centuries to counter cost-cutting measures proposed for York Minster which include imposing admission charges and closing part of its historic library. The Telegraph reports also, in somewhat more colour.

1 June 2003: Churches can sack employees for being gay
The Times reports that the British government will grant all religious organisations an exemption from the new employment rules that prohibit discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. This exemption was specifically requested by the Church of England's Archbishops' Council. If this story sounds familiar, it is because the other British newspapers reported this story two weeks ago.


1 June 2003: Today is Communications Sunday
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Sunday, 1 June, 2003 is recognized as Communications Sunday. We hope that you observed this by visiting your favourite Anglican communications site. Oh, um, right. Well, do see the cycle of prayer for the week that is listed on that news release.

31 May 2003: Church of Nigeria establishes Centre for the Study of Islam
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Kaduna province of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has established a centre for the study of Islam. The long-time reader of our News Centre will have noticed how much the need to co-exist with Islam affects Christians in Nigeria.

31 May 2003: Synod in Adelaide
Synods happen all of the time all over the world, despite the best efforts of modern medicine. The Diocese of Adelaide has just finished one, but has graciously filed the Proceedings of their synod for us to read. Regular readers of the News Centre will know that these have been tumultuous times for Anglicans in Adelaide. Whenever we get a news story about a diocese, we spend some time reading their website, and we must confess that we really like the photograph on this page of the Diocese of Adelaide's website. We've also heard, from a secret source, that one of the staff of Adelaide's Media Office was wearing an Anglicans Online t-shirt during the synod.

30 May 2003: Diocese of Egypt reports on recent earthquake
The Diocese of Egypt reports on the recent trip to Algeria by Bishop Mouneer Anis. There was a dreadful earthquake in Algiers last month, and Bishop Anis got some photographs.

30 May 2003: Lambeth 2008 said to be held in Cape Town
The Church Times reports that Lambeth 2008 will be held nowhere near Lambeth Palace, but rather in Cape Town, South Africa. The pastoral letter issued by the assembled primates hints at this, but is not definite.

30 May 2003: Primates agree to differ over pastoral care of homosexuals
The Church Times reports that, although they do not all agree with the idea, the Anglican Primates will allow church support in private for homosexual relationships. That newspaper also offers this editorial on the primates' action. The actual pastoral letter issued by the assembled primates is available from the Anglican Communion News Service.

29 May 2003: Research concludes Jesus was gay
The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) reports that a recent PhD dissertation concludes that Jesus was homosexual. We have formed some opinions about his research, but we're going to keep them to ourselves. We suspect that you have opinions too, whether or not you have read the article. We note that its author has published works on astrology, and (according to the newspaper) uses astrological evidence to support his conclusion. We have not succeeded in finding an online copy of the dissertation itself, and are not willing to use a crystal pyramid to help us search.

28 May 2003: Sydney continues with lay presidency
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Diocese of Sydney has drawn up plans to permit lay people to preside over a eucharist. ABC News Online (Australia) reports that some Anglican bishops say it is possible the church in Australia could split over these moves. The Age (Melbourne) also comments. The Diocese of Sydney has released this statement, which asserts that the news stories are incorrect. If you are getting worked up about events that could 'split the church', consider this report on an effort to canonize Ivan the Terrible and Rasputin in the Russian Orthodox church.

28 May 2003: More sex charges in Adelaide
The Advertiser (Adelaide) reports that the parents of a pupil allegedly sexually assaulted by a former school chaplain have called for an independent inquiry into pedophilia within the Anglican Church of Australia. The Herald Sun (Adelaide) reports that the Archbishop of Adelaide apologized to boys sexually abused by a church worker, saying the diocese was ashamed at its lack of compassion for the victims.

28 May 2003: Rite of blessing authorized in New Westminster
The Anglican News Service (Canada) reports that six parishes within the Diocese of New Westminster have been authorized to perform a rite of blessing of committed same sex unions. The next day Canada's primate issued this statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury issued this statement, and the Anglican Church of Nigeria issued a statement announcing that it was no longer in communion with the Diocese of New Westminster. When such blessings were performed the next day, hundreds of newspapers worldwide carried the story. Canada's Anglican Journal offered this report on it all.

27 May 2003: Australian church leaders see silver lining
The Age (Melbourne) reports that Anglican church leaders in Australia were optimistic about the way the issue [sex abuse and the Hollingworth resignation] was driven from within the church, and the way it highlighted the issue of sexual abuse.

27 May 2003: Australian archbishop faces synod revolt
The Australian reports that pressure is mounting for an inquiry into the handling of sex abuse complaints in the Adelaide diocese of the Anglican Church, and a push is expected at next weekend's diocesan synod meeting.

25 May 2003: Lucy Winkett appointed Canon at London's St Paul
The British Government reports that the Revd Lucy Winkett appointed to a Residentiary Canonry of St Paul's Cathedral. People with long memories or good search engines may be startled by this news. In a simultaneous but less surprising note, it also reports on a similar appointment for the Revd Martin Clive Warner.

25 May 2003: York Minster library to close for lack of funds
The Independent (London) reports that one of Britain's largest cathedral libraries, located at York Minster, is to close because of financial problems. The Church Times reports that this announcement has caused a row to erupt.

25 May 2003: Affirming Anglican Catholicism
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports on the completion of a recent conference on Catholic Evangelism held at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, PQ.

25 May 2003: Canadian primate to step down
The Anglican News Service (Canada) reports that Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada since 1986, has announced that he will resign effective 1 February 2004.


25 May 2003: St George, Baghdad, struggles to survive
The Arab Times (Kuwait) reports that Baghdad's ransacked, penniless Anglican church struggles on to each Mass. Earlier this week, the Church Times (London) had published this article about St George.

25 May 2003: Sydney cathedral parish members angry with new dean
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that cathedral parish members are very unhappy with the removal of traditional symbols from their cathedral.

25 May 2003: Peter Hollingworth resigns
Google News reports that hundreds of newspapers around the world have carried the story that Australia's Governor-General, a former Anglican archbishop, has resigned his post after months of controversy over his handling of child sex abuse complaints. The Age (Melbourne) and the BBC (London) have good articles, but if you want to see the entire list, click here. Here is Dr Hollingworth's statement of resignation. A reader in Australia sent us this interesting comment: 'The fact that this is a witch-hunt is exemplified by the shocking photo attached to this article. As one who has a collection of online images that act to bias the reader of the accompanying article, I find this one over the top. It is obviously a composite.' The Australian reports that Archbishop Phillip Aspinall has called a summit of Brisbane diocese clergy to discuss fallout from the church's controversial report into the handling of sexual abuse cases.

25 May 2003: Church attendance rising
The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan, USA) reports that families are returning to church after years of decline. This is a very upbeat article.

24 May 2003: Legal wrangle in Britain over church and homosexuality
There is a fairly complex situation brewing in Britain over whether or not the church, as an employer, can legally sack an employee because that employee is homosexual. Unless you are following the issue carefully, we recommend that you start with this summary by Anglicans Online correspondent Simon Sarmiento. We were prompted to mention it because of this story in today's Independent.

24 May 2003: Church and sex in Australia
The Age (Melbourne) reports that Australia's Catholic and Anglican churches have received more than 1640 complaints of sexual abuse, according to the first national figures compiled on the extent of the crisis confronting religious leaders.

24 May 2003: Ecumenism conference report
The Church Times reports on a recent day-long conference at St Albans entitled 'May They All be One. . . But How?' The conference included this speech by Cardinal Walter Kasper, and prompted this brilliant editorial in the Church Times.

23 May 2003: Adelaide church rejects sex inquiry
The Advertiser (Adelaide) reports that the Anglican Church of Australia has rejected calls by two Adelaide priests for an independent investigation into a pedophile network which allegedly operated in South Australia and Tasmania for nearly 40 years. The request for the inquiry was reported here, on ABC News Online. But ABC News Online reports that 'the Archbishop of Adelaide says he is open to an inquiry into child sexual abuse'.

23 May 2003: Tasmania offers reparations for sexual abuse
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Tasmania's Anglican Church today launched a compensation scheme for victims of sexual abuse committed by past church leaders.


17 May 2003: ABC says 'we should foster heroes'
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury said, in a recent speech, that a Christian celebration of bravery “is not an admiring gaze at acts of frenzy”, but the recognition of “something that is created in us by decision and good habit”.

17 May 2003: Australian clergy face police checks
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Watson, has asked all clergy and certain categories of church workers in the archdiocese to promptly submit to police character checks to confirm their suitability for church work.

17 May 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a cathedral in Spain.

16 May 2003: The Hollingworth affair in Australia
Each of Australia's two major newspaper chains has produced a summary page of articles about the controversy swirling around that country's Governor-General, former Anglican archbishop Peter Hollingworth. Fairfax Group and News Corporation own most of the newspapers in Australia. This saves us the trouble of scouring Australia for news of the G-G. One article that caught our attention was this profile of Hollingworth's wife.

16 May 2003: More on the Solomon Islands hostages
Agence France Presse reports on the status of the Melanesian Brothers held hostage in the Solomon Islands. So does the Church Times. And Canada's Anglican Journal has published an interview with Archbishop Ellison Pogo about this situation.

16 May 2003: Church Times bags the big bucks for bishopric
Having grown up in North America, we don't know the British slang term corresponding to 'bucks' in the USA, but, in any event, the Church Times proudly reports that, for the first time ever, the search for a new bishop has involved paid advertising. In the CT, of course. We probably would seem ruffled if we pointed out that our own advertisements are free, and that we have about 10 times as many readers as the Church Times. Even the BBC reported on this newsworthy event.

14 May 2003: New light on Lindisfarne gospels
The Guardian reports on the intriguing likelihood that two of the greatest masterpieces of the medieval world, the Lindisfarne Gospels and Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, were written not only at the same time but by monks sitting next to each other. In another article, that newspaper suggests that the Lindisfarne gospels be sent home from London.

14 May 2003: ABC attends Primates meeting in Brazil
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is attending the meeting of Anglican primates in Brazil this week. It would appear that the primary topic at this year's meeting is the same as last year, namely sex.

13 May 2003: Irish primate speaks out
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the Church of Ireland primate Archbishop Eames has criticized the 'human greed and self-advancement of modern society' in his address to the Church of Ireland annual General Synod in Dublin.

13 May 2003: English organisation 'Reform' withdraws backing from Conference
The organisation called 'Reform' has withdrawn its commendation of the National Evangelical Anglican Congress because it invited the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend. Ah, dialogue. Oh, look. So has the Church Society. We need another pair of tweezers. The Guardian (London) offers this commentary.

11 May 2003: Bishop Hockin comments on his role as Episcopal Visitor
The website for the Diocese of Fredericton carries an explanation by Bishop William Hockin of his role as Episcopal Visitor for parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster unwilling to accept oversight from their diocesan bishop, Michael Ingham.


11 May 2003: British employers can fire staff for being gay
The Independent (London) reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair was accused of caving in to evangelical Christians 'after it emerged that new government legislation will allow faith schools, churches, hospices and other religious employers to sack lesbian and gay staff.'

11 May 2003: Anglican brothers held hostage in Guadalcanal
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that six Brothers from the Melanesian Brotherhood are being held hostage in Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands.

11 May 2003: News from St George Baghdad
We have heard by email from the Rt Revd Clive Handford, Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf (whose diocese includes Baghdad) that, although Iraq's only Anglican church was indeed looted, it is not destroyed, and its caretaker and his family are safe and recovered from an earlier assault during which most of his family's belongings were looted.

9 May 2003: American marriage customs seep to the Old Country
The Observer (London) reports that the American custom of formal premarital counselling is becoming part of the repertory of English vicars.

9 May 2003: Church site may be new Runway 3 at Heathrow
The Church Times reports that a thousand-year-old church is blocking plans for a new runway at Heathrow.

8 May 2003: Church saved by lottery money
The BBC reports that a historic church in Ireland has been saved from ruin by Lottery Fund grant.

7 May 2003: Australian bishops urge Governor-General to quit
The BBC reports that three Australian bishops have called for the resignation of Peter Hollingworth, Governor-General of Australia and former Anglican Archbishop.

6 May 2003: Tornado destroys Tennessee church
The Tennessean reports that a tornado destroyed the building where St Luke's Church gathers in Jackson, Tennessee, USA. There are some photographs of St Luke's after the tornado on this website; start with the last photo in the fourth row.

6 May 2003: Outside bishop appointed in Vancouver
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Bishop of New Westminster has appointed a visiting conservative bishop for those in his parish who oppose the blessing of same-sex unions. Despite what the CBC says in that news report, the name of the new visiting bishop is William Hockin, not 'William Hawkin'.

5 May 2003: ABC received piles of hate mail
Ekklesia (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, received piles of venomous mail following his appointment last year, much of which was sparked by conservative Evangelical pressure groups.

5 May 2003: Women to be chalice-bearers in Ghana
The African Church Information Service reports that fourteen female chalice assistants have been inducted in the Diocese of Accra, marking a turning point for the Anglican Church in Ghana.

5 May 2003: Anglican told not to talk about God
The Telegraph reports that Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, has been told not to talk about God in public. The Church Times reports on opposition to this idea.

5 May 2003: Patron saint of England?
The BBC and The Telegraph report on a kerfuffle in England: sometimes you slay the dragon, sometimes the dragon slays you.


3 May 2003: Not a dean, but a CEO?
The BBC reports that Truro Cathedral, which is more than £60,000 in the red, is advertising for a CEO 'to turn the thing around'.

3 May 2003: Maori Anglican church plans to issue cash cards
The Daily News (New Zealand) reports that the Pihopatanga o Aotearoa will take charge of the rollout in New Zealand of a cash-card system.

3 May 2003: New bishop in New Jersey
Newsday (New York), the Philiadelphia Inquirer, and the Star-Ledger (Newark) report on the election of George Councell as Bishop of New Jersey. It is rare for the election of an Episcopal bishop to make major newspapers.

2 May 2003: Equality law must bind church, say gay Christians
The Guardian (London) reports that gay Christians are to lobby the government this weekend against attempts by the Church of England to obtain exemption from planned anti-discrimination employment regulations.

2 May 2003: Episcopal purple
The Church Times reports (and shows) that the suffragan Bishop of Willesden (part of the Diocese of London), the Rt Revd Peter Broadbent, has dyed his hair purple for the purposes of 'subversion'. If you have ever glanced at Anglicans Online's staff photo page, you may have noticed that your News Centre editor also has white hair, and he wishes the best of luck to Bishop Broadbent when he tries to remove the colour by any means but a razor.

1 May 2003: Church of England 'must join wedding market'
The Guardian (London) reports that a new academic report tells the church that it will have to get used to participating in a more competitive "market" for weddings, and that the clergy must give equal support to "adult relationships" outside marriage.

1 May 2003: Obituaries
The New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsday, and the New York Post have published obituaries of the Right Reverend Paul Moore, Jr, retired Bishop of New York. It says that he 'for more than a decade was the dominant liberal Christian voice in the city, speaking out against corporate greed, racism, military spending and for more assistance to the nation's poor'. The Telegraph has published an obituary of the Right Reverend Frank Weston, former Suffragan Bishop of Knaresborough.

1 May 2003: Conflict continues in New Westminster
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that most dissident parishes in New Westminster have voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting an offer from Bishop Terrence Buckle of the Yukon to be their bishop until General Synod in 2004, but the diocese calls both the bishop’s offer and the parishes’ votes 'null and void'.

1 May 2003: Church and sex in Australia
Once again, Australia's Governor-General is under attack for inadequately prosecuting sexual misconduct by church employees under his supervision. The BBC and the Sydney Morning Herald report. Today's reader poll in the SMH asks whether or not the Governor-General should resign, and the results are overwhelmingly that he should. The Age (Melbourne) reports that Australia's Prime Minister has said that he will not sack Dr Hollingworth for this, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports that an expert says public opinion will ultimately prevail. But two days later, the Sydney Morning Herald reports 'New cases turn up heat on G-G' and also 'G-G urged to resign for sake of office'. The Canberra Times reported 'G-G faces new calls to resign'. The Australian published this piece about the events that seem to be at the core of the Hollingworth issue and this piece about possible new charges. The Sunday Mail (Brisbane) not surprisingly reports that Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane, says the church needs to improve its screening of would-be priests.

1 May 2003: ABC on BBC
The Guardian reports that Rowan Williams will become the first archbishop of Canterbury to take part in a television series discussing moral issues.

1 May 2003: New uses for old church buildings
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the conversion of no-longer-used churches into useful deconsecrated structures.

1 May 2003: Canadian bishops to retire
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that the Most Revd Thomas O. Morgan, Archbishop of Rupert's Land, has announced he will retire 31 Dec 2003. Also the Rt Revd Barry Jenks, Bishop of British Columbia, will retire on 2 July 2003.

30 April 2003: Sydney bishop digs in deeper
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'Peter Jensen has secured his leadership of Sydney's Anglicans for the next decade after diocesan powerbrokers voted to lift the archbishop's retirement age from 65 to 70.' If our memory serves us correctly, the means by which Dr Jensen came to power in Sydney was the forced retirement of his predecessor, Harry Goodhew, at age 65. A Brisbane church newsletter, still online from several years ago, comments that 'It is widely thought that if there had been a way to extend the tenure of the Archbishop of Sydney beyond his compulsory retirement date of March next year, Goodhew would have become Primate.' A columnist in the Sydney Morning Herald notes that 'the decision is controversial for the way it was made, regardless of its merits'. Anglican Media Sydney, the press office of the Sydney diocese, offered this explanation. A few days later, the Sydney Morning Herald published this opinion column by an Anglican priest in Australia.

29 April 2003: Bishop calls for dialogue with Islam
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, has said that the West has a fast-closing window of opportunity to build relations with the Islamic world.

29 April 2003: Church and state in Barbados
The Daily Nation (Barbados) reports that the Rt Revd Dr John Holder, Bishop of Barbados, has insisted that the country's politicians run a clean election campaign this time.

28 April 2003: New Archbishop of Wales
The previous Archbishop of Wales left to become Archbishop of Canterbury. The BBC reports that Dr Barry Morgan, Bishop of Llandaf, was voted the new Archbishop of Wales by an electoral college. The BBC also produced this profile of the new archbishop. The Church Times commented favourably on this choice.


28 April 2003: Church in Zambia says 'no condoms'
The Times of Zambia reports that the Anglican Church in Zambia has maintained that it will continue to spearhead the fight against HIV/AIDS through abstinence and not the use of condoms. Meanwhile the Sunday Times (Johannesburg) reports that the Anglican Church's Archbishop Ndungane on Wednesday announced a 222 million rand AIDS programme which the Anglican Church is undertaking in South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and St Helena - the countries that fall within the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA). We expect South Africa's programme to be more successful.

27 April 2003: South African church returned to its congregation
NEWS24 (South Africa) reports that St Stephen's Anglican church at Noorde-Paarl, 'which was taken from its coloured congregation under the Group Areas Act' was returned on Sunday. The South African Press Association has released a longer and more detailed article about this landmark event.

26 April 2003: Church and State in Italy
The Telegraph reports that an Italian bishop (Roman Catholic) is taking the mayor of a Left-wing Tuscan village to court over the future of a unique fresco.

26 April 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of the ossuary inscribed with 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus'.

26 April 2003: Don't show that video
The Church of England has prepared a video for all of its clergy to show their congregations. The Church Times reports that, upon seeing it, the Bishop of Hereford has instructed his clergy not to show that video. We laughed aloud when we read the quotes from the bishop in the Church Times article.

26 April 2003: Iraqi Christians fear future
The Church Times reports that 'As Iraq's estimated 700,000 Christians celebrated Easter with services across the country, many expressed concern about their future religious freedom.'

23 April 2003: Australia bans five priests on sex counts
The Courier-Mail (Queensland) reports that the Diocese of Brisbane has stripped five Queensland priests of their licences to preach after investigating them for sexual misconduct. The Age (Melbourne) speculates that the then-Archbishop Peter Hollingworth failed to act in a sex charge against a retired bishop in part because he did not want to reduce the bishop's capacity to earn money. And the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Bp Hollingworth told that bishop to 'keep a low profile' to avoid damaging the church's reputation.

23 April 2003: Admission fee to York Minster
The BBC and York Minster report that visitors to York Minster are to be charged for admission for the first time. The Guardian and the Yorkshire Evening Press comment on this event.


(Our Worth Noting section this week is bursting with items that are not strictly news, but are very much worth reading)

20 April 2003: Easter sermons mostly about Iraq
Various media report that the situation in Iraq dominated Easter sermons in the UK this year. Reports include the BBC, The Independent, and The Associated Press. The Age (Melbourne) reports that 'church leaders vent fury at war'.

20 April 2003: ABC apologises to Freemasons
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has apologised to Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity.

19 April 2003: War chaplaincy
The Church Times has published a brief conversation with an Anglican chaplain working in Iraq.

19 April 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to the new Papal encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

18 April 2003: ABC washes feet in Canterbury Cathedral
Hundreds of newspapers worldwide carried the story, with photographs, of the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, washing feet in the cathedral. Coverage includes the BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Washington Times.

16 April 2003: English clergy said lacking in knowledge of theology
The Telegraph (London) reports that clergy training is facing a radical overhaul amid evidence that curates have a poor grasp of theology and biblical literacy.

16 April 2003: Jargon buster from British government
The British Prime Minister's office, informally known as '10 Downing Street', is in the habit of appointing bishops and archbishops and the like. The press office has issued a 'jargon buster' report to help people understand what on earth they are talking about. We think this one is a keeper and we will likely add it to our permanent collection, but for now it is news because it is new.


13 April 2003: ABC to wash feet on Maundy Thursday
The BBC and The Independent report that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has announced plans to wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday. We understand that this will be the first time an Archbishop of Canterbury has washed feet at the Cathedral in his capacity as Archbishop since 1558.

13 April 2003: ABC releases Pastoral Letter
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has released the Archbishop of Canterbury's pastoral letter to the Christians of the Middle East.

13 April 2003: Preaching to Jerusalem
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has published a transcript of the sermon given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr, Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday.

13 April 2003: As far as we know St George is still there
We have carefully scanned news reports and satellite photographs for evidence that the Anglican Church of St George in Baghdad is still there and not damaged. We have no evidence that it has been damaged, but, given its proximity to the Ministry of Information, we continue to worry. We will let you know when we have any new facts.

12 April 2003: Preaching to the choir
The Guardian (London) reports that the Church of England has produced a 'glossy 25-minute video production entitled "Restoring Hope in our Church", starring Rowan Williams', which is being mailed to every vicar in that country. It seems to us that they should instead mail it to tavern keepers and perhaps football clubs.

12 April 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to, well, um, we can't really figure it out. He mentions Tony Blair, Annabel Miller, John Henry Newman, the Pope, Teresa of Avila, aging hippies, and Iain Duncan Smith. And he mentions the ABC. This worldwide news shortage is really affecting everyone, isn't it?

11 April 2003: AIDS in Bethlehem
The Express-Times (eastern Pennsylvania) reports that the Rt Revd Meshack Mabuza, Bishop of Swaziland, joined the Rt Revd Paul Marshall, Bishop of Bethlehem, for that diocese's annual Chrism Mass. Bishop Mabuza talked about Africa's AIDS epidemic.

10 April 2003: Bishop speaks out in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Rt Revd Mwai Abiero, Bishop of Maseno South, has urged all political and religious leaders in Kenya to have HIV testing. He said it was the height of hypocrisy for leaders to ask other people to take the test while they refuse to do the same.

8 April 2003: ABC says that religions must listen to each other
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that the war in Iraq has highlighted the urgent need for different nations and faiths to listen to each other. The ABC's website lists the text of his speech and also his official press release describing what he said.

8 April 2003: Hero of the Faith
The Scotsman (Glasgow) reports that an Episcopalian cleric who dedicated his life to helping the street children and prostitutes of Victorian Aberdeen is to be made 'the equivalent of a saint', exactly a century after his death.

7 April 2003: Rector writes short fiction, which raises money for Episcopal Church
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a member of the Episcopal Church of St Paul in Milwaukee, USA has found a letter from Edgar Allan Poe to his church's former rector, rejecting a fiction submission to the magazine employing Poe. By our calculations, if that rector had been paid $10 for his work, and the $10 were put into a bank paying 5% interest, it would now be worth $24563, which is approximately what the letter is expected to bring at auction.


6 April 2003: One church in Australia wants control only over the light
The Queensland News reports that a small church which has been dwarfed by the new Suncorp Stadium is quietly lobbying to maintain control of the church's outdoor lighting and security arrangements.

5 April 2003: Napalm Sunday?
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that a US Episcopal church bishop has condemned the appearance in stores of Easter baskets containing snipers, machine guns and toy ammunition instead of chocolate bunnies.

5 April 2003: Sermons for sale
The Telegraph (London) makes a big deal out of a new commercial service 'Last Minute Sermon', which sells pre-written sermons to lazy vicars. Our own Preaching Resources section lists dozens of such sites, which are free, and Google can find thousands of them.

4 April 2003: Major Australian feature article about Sydney's Jensen brothers
Anglican Media Sydney, the public-relations arm of the Diocese of Sydney, reports that 'Good Weekend', the weekend magazine of the Sydney Morning Herald, published a cover story about Peter and Phillip Jensen of the Diocese of Sydney. The cover photograph shows a hand thumping a Bible.

4 April 2003: Bishop election in New Hampshire
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'An Anglican clergyman who left his wife for a male lover emerged yesterday as the favourite to become the worldwide Church's first openly homosexual bishop.' The US press has not made much fuss about this issue.

4 April 2003: ABC to Qatar
The Telegraph (London) and the BBC report that the Archbishop of Canterbury is flying to the Gulf next week for a summit of Christian and Muslim leaders.

4 April 2003: Church and sex in Southern Africa
The Natal Witness (South Africa) reports that the Anglican Church in southern Africa has released what it calls a "preliminary report" on same-sex marriages.

4 April 2003: Church and sex in the USA
The Church Times reports on the delivery of a document entitled 'The gift of sexuality: a theological perspective' to US bishops by the Theology Committee of the US Episcopal Church. The entire document is online here as a PDF file, and the Episcopal News Service had this to say about it. A theologian that we know had this comment on the document: 'It isn't a theological report, insofar as it didn't attempt to do any theology. Rather it is, I think, a fairly accurate summary of where the various groups stand on the subject of human sexuality.'

4 April 2003: Church and maps in Britain
The Church Times reports that Britain's Ordnance Survey is considering changing the symbols for places of worship which are used in their Explorer and OS Landranger maps. Three symbols appear at present: a square with a cross, representing a place of worship with a tower; a circle with a cross, representing a spire, minaret or dome; and a plain cross representing a place of worship that has none of these.

4 April 2003: Liturgical changes from SARS in Canada
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that Toronto churches have made changes to liturgy to minimize the chances of SARS contagion.

1 April 2003: Obituaries
The Guardian (London) has published an obituary of the Very Revd Robert Holtby, former Dean of Chichester, church historian and educationist. The New York Times has published an obituary of the Rt Revd Walter Dennis, former Bishop of New York.

1 April 2003: Suburban legend
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on the rumour of a recent conversation between the US's Colin Powell and the Archbishop of Canterbury.


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