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The News Centre

Archived News Headlines for Oct/Nov/Dec 2008

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31 December 2008: Bishops making statements
The Bishop of Pretoria has asked his country's president to act against Robert Mugabe. The Bishop of Birmingham has proposed a means of rescuing Congo. The Bishop of Eldoret and the Bishop of Kitale, in Kenya, have blamed MPs for passing an unpopular and potentially oppressive bill. The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem made this statement about the fighting in Gaza.

31 December 2008: Women bishops in Australia want male authority
The Sydney Morning Herald, noting that merely being a bishop isn't quite enough, reports comments by two pioneering women clergy in Australia about the need to give women bishops the same authority as men.

29 December 2008: 'Women in the Episcopate' draft Measure published by the Church of England
The Church of England announced the release of the text of draft legislation for its General Synod, which would (if approved by that Synod) begin instituting women as bishops in the C of E. Thinking Anglicans seems to have the most concise overall coverage of it. The Church Times filed this report; other worthwhile coverage in the British press includes The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. Famed commentator Andrew Brown thinks it won't work.

25 December 2008: A wet Christmas
When the fire-suppression system in the steeple of St Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, USA broke, the Washington Post reports that water gushed out with all the dirt and soot that had built up since 1859 (when the third building on the site was erected - the parish originated in the 1690s). After a busy cleanup, Christmas services were held as scheduled.

25 December 2008: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas Sermon 2008
Besides his real and imagined roles in the global Anglican world, the Archbishop of Canterbury is also charged sometimes with preaching at Canterbury Cathedral.
This year, at the 3.00pm Christmas Carol service, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, preached this sermon.

24 December 2008: Remarkable normalcy
The world's news headlines have for several years now made mention of 'schism' and 'rift' and 'conflict' among Anglicans. This week our search for Anglican news around the globe revealed that, for the most part, the world's Anglicans went to church on Christmas Eve and did very normal things. This is not news, but we shall report it nonetheless. Perhaps there has been enough genuine strife and stress in the world this year that the petty intra-Anglican feuds seemed less meaningful to everyone. If you're having trouble buying food and medicine and your church is having trouble making its payroll, it seems to be harder to share anger at others' seeming heresies.

21 December 2008: +ABC staffer sacked for insulting senior bishop
The BBC reports that a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury's staff who wrote an obscenity next to the Bishop of Rochester's comments on a vicar's job inquiry has been dismissed.

20 December 2008: No Christmas cease fire in Sri Lanka
Though Catholic and Anglican bishops urged a truce over the Christmas season, the government of Sri Lanka responded that it would only accept a cease fire if the Tamil Tigers laid down their arms, reports the Catholic News Agency.

19 December 2008: Tanzania archbishop is new President of All Africa Conference of Churches
The Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi) reports that the head of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa, is the new President of the All Africa Conference of Churches.

19 December 2008: Green Feather Day at Macau Anglican College
The Macau Daily Times reports on an upbeat event at Macau Anglican College, which was 'aimed at encouraging young people to care for others, so as to establish a harmonious, sincere and caring environment'.

19 December 2008: Australian priest wins Aussie carol competition
The Diocese of Melbourne reports that Fr Dennis Webster, vicar of the parish of Oak Park and Pascoe Vale, has won the Boroondara City Inter-church Council search for an Australian Christmas Carol.

18 December 2008: Kenyan church leaders oppose new law that would gag the media
Ecumenical News International (Nairobi) reports that after Kenya's Parliament passed a bill to allow the minister of information to seize broadcasting equipment from television stations, church leaders asked the government to step back from the measure. The Rev. Peter Karanja, an Anglican who is general secretary of the National Council of Churches, suggested that such arbitrary power goes against Kenyans' desire for serious checks and balances on the executive.

17 December 2008: Brisbane lawsuit: 'he brought it on himself'
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports that in response to a personal-injury lawsuit filed on behalf of a boarding-school student who was 'sucked into an uncovered drain on The Southport School grounds' and badly injured, that the Diocese asserts ' plaintiff's injuries were caused or contributed to by his failing to take reasonable care for his own safety'. Clearly, droughts are not all bad.

15 December 2008: Canadian Amazing Grace documentary released
Last month hundreds of Canadian congregations filmed themselves singing 'Amazing Grace'. The results have been edited and compiled into one 10-minute documentary that's described as 'folksy and wobbly and full of Spirit'.

15 December 2008: Archbishop of Canterbury's messages
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a Christmas message in which the recognition of God in the vulnerability of of a newborn baby leads him to ponder how children have come to be despised, exploited and even feared in our world. In an interview in the New Statesman, he suggested that it would not be the end of the world if the established church were to disappear, though at present he would oppose such a move to push religion into the private sphere (and he disclosed that one of his favourite films is The Muppet Christmas Carol). And on the BBC in this audio clip, he suggested that the fiscal stimulus to prop up a battered economy 'seems a bit like the addict returning to the drug.' As reported in The Times, which referred to the discussion as 'an unseemly war of words', British Prime Minister Gordon Brown strongly disagreed.

13 December 2008: More on Church and stamps in the UK
A month ago we noted that the Church of England expressed official pleasure at the decision of the Royal Mail to offer religious-themed Christmas stamps again this year. Today the Telegraph (London) worries aloud that these stamps are being set up to fail so that they can be scrapped forever next year.

13 December 2008: Opposition to male-only bishop growing in Chichester
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Bishop of Chichester is facing a rebellion from 'a growing group of clergy and worshippers in his diocese' who are dismayed by his intransigence on the issue of ordaining women.

13 December 2008: New bishop for Pittsburgh
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has named the Rt Revd Robert Hodges Johnson, retired Bishop of Western North Carolina, as Assisting Bishop to lead the diocese as it rebuilds after the recent rebellion.

12 December 2008: Church and state in Zimbabwe
South African bishops are increasing their pressure against the Zimbabwe regime. As President Mugabe denies that there is cholera in Zimbabwe, the BBC reports that the Bishop of Pretoria, Joe Seoka, has called on churches to pray for Mugabe's removal. The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has condemned the 'disgraceful' silence of Southern African leaders on the crisis in Zimbabwe.

12 December 2008: Canada gives Covenant an 'approval in principle'
The Anglican Journal reports that Canada's Council of General Synod has 'given approval in principle to the idea of an Anglican Covenant "without committing to any specifics of text."'.

12 December 2008: Turning Christmas lyrics into blancmange
The Telegraph (London) reports that many British churches are rewriting traditional Christmas carols to make them more politically correct. Ship of Fools is running a 'car crash carols' contest to determine which rewritten carol is the worst.

11 December 2008: New province or new church?
George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has declined to express an opinion about the newly-formed Anglican Church in North America. We suspect that the Archbishop would have responded the same way had he been asked about Seventh-day Adventists. Thinking Anglicans has analyzed the size of this new church and has posted its findings here. The Bishop of Washington wrote this letter to his diocese about the new organization.

10 December 2008: Queensland 150th birthday will ring every church bell next year
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports that the government of Queensland is 'calling on all churches of all denominations and all town halls to chime in and ring their bells on Proclamation Day'. A contact there quietly informs us that the Queensland government spelled the word 'peal' wrong in the press release, trumpeting 'Bells peel'.

7 December 2008: Let it rain in Tasmania
For a month after people gathered at St Peter's Anglican Church at Oatlands in Tasmania to pray for rain, to help the state's farmers, there was above average rainfall. And when they returned to thank God and ask for more, the skies clouded over and it started to pour. The Hobart Mercury reports that the people don't believe it was a fluke.

6 December 2008: First woman priest ordained for the Anglican Church of Ghana
The Ghana News Agency reports that the Revd Hannah Dwomoh was ordained at St Anselm's Cathedral in Sunyani. She had trained in Canada and at St Nicholas Seminary in Cape Coast.

7 December 2008: Fire at the cathedral
A Boston television station WHDH reports that the Cathedral Church of St Paul, seat of the Diocese of Massachusetts, caught fire today but was extinguished quickly. An eyewitness reported to us that the firefighters were on the roof of the cathedral, which describes itself as looking like a bank on the outside and a United Nations meeting on the inside.

5 December 2008: Death at the cathedral
The Church Times reports on events surrounding the killing by police of a man on the steps of Guildford Cathedral. He was clearly not a turbulent priest.

5 December 2008: Bishop of Fort Worth found to have renounced his orders
The US Episcopal News Service reports that 'Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said ... that she had accepted Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker's renunciation of his orders in the Episcopal Church.' The report contains a lot more detail and supporting documentation than just that sentence. The former Bishop of Fort Worth issued this statement entitled 'What renunciation?'

5 December 2008: US Presiding Bishop says emigrants 'are no longer Episcopalians'
The Los Angeles Times reports on a statement made by US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that church members who have joined a newly-formed conservative denomination are no longer Episcopalians.

5 December 2008: New church or new province?
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports on the draft constitution released for a new Anglican-related group (denomination, church, or province) and muses about just what this entity might be. We note that in recent news coverage, the Los Angeles Times called it a 'new denomination' and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation called it a 'new church'. The US Episcopal News Service published this brief comment by 'a spokesperson for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams'.

2 December 2008: Wine deemed a security risk in Bethlehem
Middle East Online (London) and the Church Times report that Israeli soldiers at the Hebron checkpoint are refusing to allow Cremisan wine to enter Israel, saying that it is a security risk.
Ah, the blood of Christ. The Salesians have been producing this wine for 125 years to support their work among the poor of Bethlehem. The Independent Catholic News noted that they produce white wine for Roman Catholic altar use and red wine for Anglican use.

2 December 2008: Burma refugees reinvigorate Tennessee church
USA Today reports that a group of refugees from Burma (whose ruling junta insists that it be called Myanmar, which name we doubt refugees would care for) is breathing new life into an Episcopal church in Smyrna, Tennessee, USA.

2 December 2008: Women ordained in Madagascar
The Diocese of Antsiranana reports that it has just ordained three women as the first-ever to be ordained in Madagascar. The report has lots of lovely photographs.

1 December 2008: On the closure of Brisbane College of Theology
The Jesuit publication Eureka Street (Australia) muses on the circumstances leading to (and consequences of) the closure of the Brisbane College of Theology.

30 November 2008: Relax, that smoke is from a thurible
The New York Times
reports on the reopening and rededication of the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in New York, which was badly damaged seven years ago. Yes, it really was that long ago; the cathedral fire was 18 December 2001.

30 November 2008: God and mammon in Botswana
The Sunday Standard (Gaborone) reports on an ambitious partnership between Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana and Episcopal Relief and Development to help the Nets for Life project combat malaria by distributing millions of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

29 November 2008: auctioning off the bishop's bequest
The sale of books from Bishop Phillpotts Library in Truro at a fraction of their value prompts Christopher Howse to muse in the Telegraph about the fate of the libraries of other religious communities. 'Our times are like those of John Aubrey's grandfather, after the dissolution of the monasteries, when "manuscripts flew about like butterflies", only to be used to wrap gloves and line pies.'

29 November 2008: Two new Welsh bishops consecrated in joint service
The BBC reports that the Very Reverend Wyn Evans, who led a ten million pound restoration of St David's Cathedral has been consecrated Bishop of St Davids; and Archdeacon Andrew John consecrated Bishop of Bangor, in a joint consecration at Llandaff Cathedral.

29 November 2008: Church and state in Zambia
The Lusaka Times reports that President Rupiah Banda of Zambia has pledged his support for the refurbishment of the cathedral in Lusaka, saying that the church has a role to play in ensuring a continuing peace in the country. The cathedral was indeed the site in 1991 where a pivotal meeting led to a redrafting of the constitution which paved the way for elections.

28 November 2008: About that plan for a new North American province
The Church Times reports on the current state of Common Cause Partnership's push to create a new province in North America.
The primary unanswered question is 'province of what?'

28 November 2008: Church and state in the UK
The Church Times reports on the clash between the UK government's Christmas message ('Please spend!') and the Church of England's Christmas message ('Please be patient.').

27 November 2008: Orombi criticizes Alur over witchcraft
Archbishop Orombi has told the Alur people to stop witchcraft to fight poverty, reports the New Vision (Uganda).

23 November 2008: Church of Ireland discovers bank stock is not as good as gold
The Irish Independent reports that the Church of Ireland's shares in the Bank of Ireland, recently worth 42 million euros, has fallen in value to 2.7 million euros. Church leaders are praying (figuratively) that recovery will be swift.

23 November 2008: Church and state in Jamaica
The Jamaica Gleaner (Kingston) reports that 14 bishops of the Anglican Church in the Province of the West Indies, at a recent meeting have their opposition to the death penalty and their call for further involvement of the church in eliminating it.

23 November 2008: Archbishop to retire in Melanesia
The Solomon Times (Honiara) reports that the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Sir Ellison Pogo, will retire early next month.

23 November 2008: Dissenting with grace
The Buffalo News (Buffalo, New York) reports that parish members who wish to leave the Episcopal Church have bought their own church building rather than trying to take the one they have been using.

22 November 2008: New bishop for Northwest Texas
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the election of the Revd J Scott Mayer as Bishop of Northwest Texas. To help you figure out where that is, we can't just tell you that the see city is Lubbock or show you the official map of the diocese, because you don't know where any of those places are, either. This map has enough context for non-Texans to comprehend, but we suspect that unless you own a lariat you couldn't name any city at all (except Lubbock, which we just told you) in that region. OK, how about Abilene, Amarillo, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, or Sweetwater? It's really a very lovely part of the world; if you'd like to see it, make your way to Abilene and drive to Perryton by way of San Angelo and Odessa. Take plenty of film; you'll use it. Or you can enjoy these pictures, taken 4 decades ago by renowned photojournalist Bill Clough.

22 November 2008: Sydney school head worn out by meddling clergy
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the head of St Andrew's Cathedral School in Sydney, who established the Gawura campus for Aboriginal students, has indicated that his move from Sydney to a job in Canberra is in part due the fatigue he experienced struggling with some key members of the Diocese of Sydney.

21 November 2008: Bishop of Harare says that Zimbabwe crisis is a moral crisis
The Church Times reports on a recent address by Dr Sebastian Bakare, the recognized Bishop of Harare, in which he told a conference in Sweden that the core of Zimbabwe's worsening crisis is moral and not political.
And he faults the Anglican church for not doing enough to prevent it.

21 November 2008: Church and state in Congo
The Church Times reports that Dr Fidèle Dirokpa, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Province of Congo, has called for today to be observed as a day of prayer for peace. It is in the nature of primates calling for things to get to make such calls only once or twice a year, and usually there is a greater need to worry about hunger or sickness or poverty. Peace in Congo is even more frail just now.

20 November 2008: Churches and state in Sri Lanka
The World Council of Churches reports that the topic of the 'forgotten war' in Sri Lanka was discussed at the recent United Nations Advocacy Week.

19 November 2008: USA National Cathedral announces financial cuts and staff downsizing
The US Episcopal News Service reported that Washington National Cathedral will cut about 1/3 of its staff, drastically scale back its College of Preachers, and make major cuts to its current budget.

18 November 2008: Church and state in the United Kingdom
The Church of England has expressed its delight that the (still secular) government of the UK has issued Christian-themed postage stamps for Christmas 2008. These are, alas, just re-issues of last year's Christian-themed stamps, but they remain beautiful and appropriate.

17 November 2008: Plans or dreams to form new Anglican province in North America
We do not normally report plans as news, nor leaks of news about plans. But this one has generated some intelligent discussion. Thinking Anglicans has rounded up most of the coverage of the various plans and leaks of plans to form such a province; go read it there. And here are part 2 and part 3 of TA's compendium.

16 November 2008: Fifty years of the trickle-up effect
The Sydney Morning Herald highlights Tranby Aboriginal College, founded fifty years ago by Fr Alf Clint, whose vision for indigenous Australians to participate fully in their society was once considered reactionary, but who now might be considered a man of the times.

16 November 2008: The fourth shoe falls: members of Fort Worth diocese vote to leave Episcopal church
The Star-Telegram (Fort Worth) reports that clergy and lay delegates formerly of the Diocese of Forth Worth have voted to leave and form a new diocese. The usual groups made the expected public statements. Media coverage included the New York Times and the Dallas Morning News. The press-release machines must have been very busy this week, because there was a great deal of secular media coverage that Fort Worth intended to do this. The US Episcopal News Service filed this long, detailed, and accurate report.

16 November 2008: Mumbai's first Anglican church celebrates 155 years
The Indian Express reports on the release of a history of the 'little church on the hill,' St Stephen, which was the first Anglican church in Mumbai.

16 November 2008: Council of General Synod in Canada approves deficit budget
The Anglican Journal reports that the Council of General Synod, the governing body between General Synods for the Anglican Church of Canada, has voted on the 2009 budget with some dissent. A bone of contention appears to be the fact there was less detail provided and a sense of being excluded from the decision-making during the budget's creation. Major factors for the deficit as presented by the Management Team are listed.

15 November 2008: Anglican Church of Canada now officially in Facebook
The Gazette (Montréal) reports that the Anglican Church of Canada has launched an official page on Facebook.

14 November 2008: California monastery destroyed by fire
The US Episcopal News Service reports the destruction of the Mount Calvary Retreat House in Santa Barbara, California, a monastery of the Episcopal Order of the Holy Cross. The Los Angeles Times has extensive coverage of the regional fire, which destroyed more than 150 buildings. Pictures 9 through 12 of the Los Angeles Times photo coverage of the fire show the damage to the monastery. These pictures from the monastery's own website show what it looked like before the fire. So sad.

12 November 2008: Rowan's Rule
Ruth Gledhill discovers the complex character of the Archbishop of Canterbury in a new biography, not authorised by Lambeth, but written with Dr Williams' co-operation. The Times has an extract from Rowan's Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop, by Rupert Shortt. The Daily Mail tracked down the woman to whom Rowan was once engaged (with her husband, she now runs the Lutheran church in Ireand), and found her more attractive than the person described in the biography. There are also reports in The Independent and The Telegraph.

11 November 2008: Brisbane cathedral complete after 102 years of construction
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'Construction of Brisbane's St John's Anglican Cathedral has been completed, 102 years after it was started.' The report in the Courier Mail (Brisbane) includes a photograph, and the report in The Age (Melbourne) includes a better photograph. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation filed this report.

9 November 2008: Complexity in Botswana
The Sunday Standard (Gaborone) has published a Letter to the Editor from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Botswana, who say they wish to 'set the record straight'.
Another newspaper (Mmegi Online (also of Gaborone) had earlier noted that the 'sour relationship between the Anglican Diocese of Botswana, Bishop Trevor Mwamba, and some congregations around the country has reached acrimonious dimensions'. As nearly as we can tell by reading the various reports out of Botswana, that country's civil court has denied the bishop the right to withdraw his licence from his clergy. The Sunday Standard suggests that several priests will be jailed, and Religious Intelligence reports that the priests who brought the issue to civil court had allied themselves with the disgraced former bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga.

8 November 2008: A report on Canada's Amazing Grace Project
The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) reports on the status of Canada's Amazing Grace Project, in which many people propose to make a video recording of themselves singing Amazing Grace and send those recordings to a central compiler who will produce a composite for distribution.
Last month Canada's Anglican News Service reported that the Amazing Grace Project has found support in South Africa.

7 November 2008: Making ubuntu a reality
As South Africa approaches a general election next year, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is commending the civility of ubuntu (an African approach that affirms others, which was used at the recent Lambeth Conference) and urging political leaders to avoid the vocabulary of violence.

7 November 2008: Humanitarian disaster in the DRC
The Associated Press reports that nearby African leaders have called for a cease-fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rebels and pro-government militias have been accused of war crimes. In the Church Times, the bishops of Boga and of Bukavu describe the effect of the continuing violence on the local population. The Guardian (London) reports that the United Nations has declared the killing of civilians in this conflict to be a war crime.

7 November 2008: Out with the pews, in with the people
The Journal News (White Plains, New York) reports on a church experimenting with drawing more people in by removing some pews. Newsday (Long Island) also mentioned this oddity.

7 November 2008: Diocese of Quincy votes to move to South America
The US Episcopal News Service reports that delegates to the annual synod of the Diocese of Quincy, in Illinois USA, voted to leave the Episcopal Church and later voted to join the Province of the Southern Cone. In a longer and more detailed report, the ENS noted that the US Presiding Bishop 'laments the Quincy departures'.

6 November 2008: Barack Obama and Gene Robinson
The Times (London) reports on some meetings last year between Barack Obama (presumably you've heard of him) and Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire.

3 November 2008: US Prayer Book Society urges Sydney out of GAFCON
The Prayer Book Society of the USA has published an essay by Peter Toon, its President Emeritus, in which he notes that recent actions by the Diocese of Sydney place it diametrically opposite the stated goals and position of GAFCON.

2 November 2008: Archbishop of Melanesia awarded Vanuatu Badge of Honor
The Solomon Star (Solomon Islands) reports that Most Rev Sir Ellison Pogo, Archbishop of Melanesia, was awarded the Republic of Vanuatu’s highest award; the Badge of Honour.

1 November 2008: New bishop for Canberra and Goulburn
The Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn has announced the election of the Revd Stuart Robinson as its next bishop.
Newspaper reports include the Goulburn Post and the Canberra Times.

31 October 2008: Zimbabwe bishop wins Human Rights prize
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that 'Bishop Bakare from Zimbabwe was named winner of a Swedish human rights prize for "having given voice to the fight against oppression."' The US Episcopal News Service had somewhat more to say about it.

31 October 2008: A Canadian moratorium with wiggle room
The Anglican Journal reports that the Canadian House of Bishops has issued a statement that affirmed 'a continued commitment to the greatest extent possible' for a moratorium on blessing same-sex unions. But Ottawa and Montreal have already moved to allow blessings, according to The Globe and Mail (Toronto) and this statement from the bishop of Niagara shows that he is clearly upset with the statement of the House of Bishops.

31 October 2008: Bishops' responses to Draft Covenant analyzed
The Church Times reports on and analyzes the responses to the Anglican Covenant by the bishops who attended the Lambeth Conference (which were made public last week). The Church Times also published this editorial about it.

29 October 2008: Wrapup of investigation of London same-sex blessing in May
The Diocese of London has concluded its investigation into the blessing service conducted in the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great in May this year (see this article in the Church Times or this report by the BBC to refresh your memory of the incident) and has issued this statement. The Church Times reports that the priest who presided over that service has issued a statement of apology.

29 October 2008: London evicts congregation
Ruth Gledhill's blog tells of the Diocese of London's intention to sell St Mark's Mayfair for a centre for well being, with a spa. The BBC reports that earlier this year, the Welsh-speaking congregation of St Benet Paul's Wharf, a Wren church in the City of London, closed its doors because of its dwindling congregation  

28 October 2008: RC Church in Poland publishes instructions for leaving the church
Zenit reports that the Roman Catholic Church in Poland 'has issued a 22 point guide explaining how Catholics who want to leave the Church may do so'.

28 October 2008: English bishop blames God's wrath for credit crunch
The Telegraph (UK) reports that the Bishop of Lewes (a suffragan see of the Diocese of Chichester) has written that he believes God brought on the credit crisis because we are too materialistic.

27 October 2008: Adelaide to sell part of archbishop's residence to pay abuse reparations
According to The Australian, the sale of part of Bishop's Court will make money available to compensate up to 100 victims of sex abuse by church staff. There had been a perception that the diocese had failed to respond adequately to complaints. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation notes that it will take several months to accomplish this, and that more approvals are needed.
A local correspondent tells us that the part to be sold is the tennis court at the side of the block. If you zoom in very tightly on this map provided by the ABC, and switch to 'satellite' view, you'll see something remarkable just next to Medindie Road.

26 October 2008: Ghost hunters seek spirits in New York church
The Daily News (New York) reports that St Andrew in Staten Island, New York has permitted the Eastern Paranormal Investigation Center to probe 'strange goings-on' in that parish.

25 October 2008: New bishop for Huron
The Diocese of Huron announced the election of the Rt Revd Robert Bennett as Bishop of Huron. No date for enthronement has been announced. The London Free Press reported in more detail and includes a photograph. We note that Bishop Bennett has been the Acting Bishop of Huron for several months.

24 October 2008: Ring bells for the environment in Massachusetts
The Eagle Tribune (Andover, Massachusetts) reports that the assistant Bishop of Massachusetts has asked the 196 churches in that diocese to ring their church bells 350 times before Advent. The diocese explains that it is to call public attention to the problem of climate warming.

24 October 2008: New bishop for Sheffield
The Church Times reports that the British Prime Minister's office ('10 Downing Street') has announced the appointment of the Revd Dr Steven Croft as Bishop of Sheffield. The diocesan website has more information and more news.

24 October 2008: Sydney votes to allow lay presidency
The Church Times reports that the Diocese of Sydney has moved forward on its long-standing push to allow lay persons to preside at holy communion. The situation is somewhat more complex than the headline might imply, and you should read the actual article. The Diocese itself published this report entitled 'Sydney restates Lord's Supper position'. A friend pointed out to us that that restatement is not unlike Section 30 of the Baptist London Confession of 1689.

22 October 2008: Disestablishment discussion in the UK
Thinking Anglicans reports on the discussion in the United Kingdom over the possible disestablishment of the Church of England, and provided this update a couple of days later.

22 October 2008: Yes and no to same-sex blessings in Canada
The assembly of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (formerly the diocese of Cariboo) has asked its bishop to allow clergy to bless civilly-married gay couples where at least one party is baptized, while the bishop of Ontario has ruled, on the advice of his chancellor, that a similar motion was out of order. The Anglican Journal reports on this and related events.

22 October 2008: Demise of 'Religion Report' in Australia pleases Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald has gathered comments and responses to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ending of its 'Religion Report' radio program (we reported this last week). It states that the Diocese of Sydney was 'grateful for the program's demise'.

22 October 2008: Covenant Design Group publishes 'Lambeth Commentary'
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that 'The Covenant Design Group publish[ed] today the Lambeth Commentary, which sets out the responses of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference in their discussions of the St Andrew's Draft for an Anglican Covenant.' If this seems to you to be more than a little arcane, you might be right.

21 October 2008: US Episcopal Church advised not to consider Anglican Covenant
The US Episcopal News Service reports that 'If a proposed Anglican covenant is released in mid-May for adoption by the Anglican Communion's provinces, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will "strongly discourage" any effort to bring that request to the 76th General Convention in July.'

21 October 2008: Two new bishops in Rwanda
The New Times (Kigali) tells of the election of Bishop Augustine Ahimana to the newly created Diocese of Kivu, and of Nathan Gasatura in the Diocese of Butare. Pastor Gasatura had been the president of the National Commission for the fight against Aids.

20 October 2008: US Episcopal Church creates 'Anglican Communion Relations' post
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Rt Revd Herbert Donovan, Jr has been named as deputy to the Presiding Bishop for Anglican Communion Relations. We don't know how many provinces have deputies for communion relations, but we'd venture a guess that it's not many.

18 October 2008: Religious radio program cancelled in Australia
Religious Intelligence reports that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has ended its weekly 'Religion Report' radio broadcast. Responses vary.

18 October 2008: New bishop in Lesotho
The African Press Agency reports that the Bishop of the Anglican Church of Lesotho, Mallane Adam Taaso, was consecrated by the Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba.

17 October 2008: Joint Christian-Muslim conference in UK issues non-violence communiqué
The Church Times and the US Episcopal News Service both reported on the 3-day meeting at Lambeth Palace entitled 'A Common Word and Future of Christian-Muslim engagement' and noted that those in attendance produced this communiqué condemning violence.

17 October 2008: Australia re-elects its primate
The Australian reports that the Anglican Church of Australia has re-elected Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall as its leader for a further six years. The official press release is here (PDF format).

17 October 2008: Inquiry established into Lambeth Conference finances
The Church of Ireland Gazette reports that the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners have set up an independent review committee to examine the financial management of the recent Lambeth Conference.

17 October 2008: Obituary: Mother Sarah Neufville
The Daily Observer (Monrovia) published this obituary of Sarah Hneanyene Elliott Neufville, who was 95.

17 October 2008: Church and state in Zimbabwe
The Ecumenical News Service reports that the Bishop of Harare blames State corruption and political patronage for a collapse in social services in the country, where at least 20 people have died of cholera in recent weeks.

16 October 2008: Church and state in Botswana
Mmegi Online (Gaborone) reports that a Botswana high court judge has ordered that suspended Anglican priests there be reinstated. We reported their petition on 22 September (see below).

16 October 2008: Ethnic violence in Nigerian church
The Nigerian Tribune (Ibadan) reports the goings-on in Benin City, Nigeria (unrelated to the country Benin) surrounding the takeover of an Anglican church by an Igbo group.

16 October 2008: Obituary: Bishop Bill Flagg
The Telegraph (London) published this obituary of the Rt Revd Bill Flagg, missionary statesman and former Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Council of South America.

16 October 2008: Obituary: Hugh McCullum
The Anglican Journal published this obituary of Hugh McCullum, a former editor of the Canadian Churchman.

14 October 2008: Obituary: Richard Wood
The Namibian (Windhoek) published this obituary of Bishop Richard Wood, one-time thorn in the side of apartheid regimes in South Africa.

14 October 2008: US priest inhibited because she converted to Islam
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the inhibition of the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding for publicly professing her adherence to the Muslim faith. Most newspaper coverage simply reprinted the ENS piece, but the Seattle Times had this to say.

13 October 2008: New bishop in Idaho
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the consecration of the Rt Revd Brian Thom as Bishop of Idaho.

11 October 2008: A debt of gratitude to the Vicar of Dibley
The director of communications for the Diocese of Norwich, the Revd Jan McFarlane, told the Norwich Evening News
that Dawn French's portrayal of the Vicar of Dibley gave a boost to female priests - and that her experience of ministry has been even more bizarre.

10 October 2008: Bishop of Boga safely in Bunia ...
The US Episcopal News Service reports that Bishop Henri Isingoma and a group of Anglicans from the Diocese of Boga have arrived safely in Bunia after a recent (but not unexpected) upsurge in rebel activity forced them to travel for two days through the bush in eastern Congo.

10 October 2008: Picking up the pieces in Pittsburgh
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the work of reorganizing and reconstituting the Diocese of Pittsburgh has begun.

10 October 2008: Indian Christians remain traumatized by violence
The Church Times reports that the anti-Christian violence continuing in Orissa state in India continues to grow and hurt.

10 October 2008: Blessing the herd in New South Wales
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn was to conduct the annual blessing of the dairy herd at Bega. The service is to recognize the vital importance of farming to the area.

10 October 2008: UN expert urges churches to evangelize 'greener living'
The Church Times reports that a UN official told the European Christian Environmental Network that churches can lead changes in lifestyle and behaviour patterns to help mitigate climate change.

10 October 2008: Bishop calls Church of England General Synod 'sinful'
The Telegraph (UK) reports that the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham (a suffragan See of the Diocese of London), condemned the General Synod for 'going against the Bible and tradition' by voting to introduce women bishops without making provision for opponents to the historic reform.

9 October 2008: New Bishop of Bangor elected
The Church in Wales reports that the Archdeacon of Cardigan, the Ven Andrew John, is the Bishop Elect of the Diocese of Bangor.

9 October 2008: Online prayer activity up sharply
Anglican Communion News Service reports that people looking for support during the financial tumult have boosted traffic to a Church of England website section focusing on debt advice by over 70 per cent, and increased overall visitor numbers to the Church’s online prayer page by more than 25 per cent.

5 October 2008: Stephen Andrews bishop-elect of Algoma
The Anglican Journal reports that the Revd Stephen Andrews, President of Thorneloe University has been elected bishop of Algoma.

5 October 2008: Protest in Sydney over non-ordination of women
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that 'Images of female priests were projected on to the walls of St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral in Sydney last night, after advocates of women's ordination were banned from meeting in the cathedral's square.'

4 October 2008: Episcopal repentance for slavery
The US Episcopal Church held its Day of Repentance for the church's involvement in slavery. One of those present, Bishop Eugene Sutton, is a descendant of slaves; the first bishop of his diocese (Maryland) had been a slave-owner when serving as the rector of St James' Parish in Anne Arundel County.

4 October 2008: Bishop of Pennsylvania deposed
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the sentence of deposition issued at the end of the ecclesiastical trial of Charles E Bennison, former Bishop of Pennsylvania.

3 October 2008: Church of England priest claims harassment
Thinking Anglicans reports on the case of an English priest bringing a claim against the Church of England.

2 October 2008: Australia's first 'goth Mass'
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a 'goth Mass' was held at St Luke in Enmore, whose president said 'It's about re-creating a gothic atmosphere without compromising the basic Christian form of the service....'
A black Mass it was not. Worship music was composed by Metallica rather than Ralph Vaughan Williams.

1 October 2008: Bishop David Beetge dies
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the death from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma of David Beetge, Bishop of the Highveld, where AIDS, poverty and an influx of refugees from Zimbabwe and Mozambique are a daily reality. At the recent Lambeth Conference, he spoke passionately about the need for bishops to address poverty.

1 October 2008: General Synod in Nigeria
The Church of Nigeria has held its annual synod. Andrew Brown, Mark Harris, and The Punch (Nigeria) have all written commentary on the Presidential address and the Message to the Nation.

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