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The News Centre

Archived News Headlines for Jan/Feb/Mar 2009

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29 March 2009: UK MP calls C of E 'overcome with political correctness'
Christian Today reports on a Conservative MP's comments during debate on the 1701 Act of Settlement.

28 March 2009: Bishop of Rochester retires early
The Times (London) reports that the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Church of England's only Asian bishop, who is just 59 and could have stayed at Rochester until his 70th birthday, has announced that he will resign. There is considerable speculation about why he is doing this. The Daily Mail's headline for its report is 'Bishop Nazir-Ali, scourge of Church liberals, steps down'. Columnist Andrew Brown had this cynical take on the announcement.

27 March 2009: Train stations of the cross
The Church Times reports that the Talyllyn Railway, in Nortwest Wales, will on Good Friday be running a train that stops at all of the Stations of the Cross. Who knew they were in Wales?

27 March 2009: Parents object as funeral wails and screams disturb school exam
The Express (Trinidad and Tobago) reports that parents complained about the 'screams of grief-stricken relatives' at a funeral interfering with an important examination in the church hall.

26 March 2009: ABC speaks on free will, climate change, and God's non-intervention
The BBC reports that in a recent lecture the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded his audience that 'God will not intervene to prevent humanity from wreaking disastrous damage to the environment.' USA Today reported this as 'God won't rescue world from stupidity, says top Anglican'.

25 March 2009: US Court rules against Colorado Springs breakaway congregation
A number of congregations in North America have made heavily-publicized exits from the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada. There has probably been more publicity about Grace and St Stephens church in Colorado Springs, Colorado than most other such parishes, possibly because its rector was simultaneously on trial for mis-use of church money. Also it was a wealthy parish with a lot of money to spend on publicity. The Fourth Judicial Court of Colorado has ruled that the property belongs to the Diocese of Colorado and not to the breakway parish, and has issued an order for the former Episcopalians to vacate the premises quickly. Details in the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Denver Post, and the US Episcopal News Service.

25 March 2009: Church and State in Zimbabwe
SW Radio Africa reports that Anglican parishioners in Harare have taken the police commissioner to the High Court, asking that he be charged with assisting Nolbert Kunonga in driving them out of their churches. Ecumenical News International released more detailed coverage of this episode a few days later.

24 March 2009: South Africa archbishop blames flooding on climate change
The Catholic Information Service for Africa reports that the Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has said that global warming is the cause of his country's local problems.

23 March 2009: Online vital records in South Africa
BizCommunity reports that a South African genealogy and ancestral website has partnered with the Anglican Church in making the marriage and baptism records of St George's Cathedral in Cape Town accessible online

22 March 2009: New bishop ordained in Northwest Texas
The Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) has published photographs and an account of the ordination of the Rt Revd James Mayer as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, in the borrowed sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. Bishop Mayer was elected in November 2008.

21 March 2009: New bishop in Long Island
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Lawrence Provenzano has been elected as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Long Island. What sets this election apart was the publication of a statement from the sitting bishop congratulating 'x' on having been elected, and expressing pleasure at the prospect of working with 'x'. This unusual gaffe was fixed quickly, but you can never get rid of anything online once it has been distributed, can you? This is why we always ploofread Anglicans Online so caerfully.

21 March 2009: Britons with a fuzzy faith
A study of religion in the European Union, reported in the Telegraph, found that only 12 per cent of Britons feel they belong to a church, compared with 52 per cent in France. Only five of the 22 countries surveyed have lower levels of church membership than Britain. But the British have the highest rate of 'fuzzy faith' - abstract belief in God and an ill-defined loyalty to Christian traditions.

20 March 2009: Women theologians denied entry to UK for Canterbury meeting
The Church Times reports that two women theologians, from Pakistan and Tanzania, were refused entry into the UK for the first consultation for Anglican women theological educators.

20 March 2009: Published review of Lambeth Conference funding
The Church of England has issued this press release on the report of the Lambeth Conference Funding Review Group. Summary: The total cost of the event was £5.2million, as against the budget of £6.1million.

19 March 2009: Church politics in Melanesia
The Solomon Star (Honiara) reports that the alarm (reported here on 6 March) over the age of its newly-elected archbishop is needless, and that by the canons of that province, the electoral council has the prerogative to extend his term, which they did.
A friend who has insider knowledge of the Church of Melanesia assures us that this story was planted by disappointed supporters of losing candidates in the election.

18 March 2009: New bishop in Central Ecuador
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Luis Fernando Ruiz has been elected as bishop of El diócesis de Ecuador Central, called in English the Diocese of Central Ecuador. This election took place at the retreat of the US House of Bishops, quod vide.

18 March 2009: The US House of Bishops meet
The US Episcopal News Service reported on the six-day retreat meeting at Kanuga Conference Centre of the US House of Bishops. In a pastoral letter, they acknowledged that the church had been so preoccupied with internal affairs that it had neglected suffering at home and abroad. And they reaffirmed 'the Gospel imperative of self-sacrifice and generosity, as we scramble for self-preservation in a culture of scarcity.' These meetings are private; reporters are not admitted and minutes are not published. Besides what's in the Episcopal News Service report, we've heard from several sources that the internet access provided to the bishops was paleolithic. Well, come to think of it, we are in Lent.

18 March 2009: Australian Jews protest Anglican invitation to Iranian
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an Anglican archbishop 'is under fire from Jews for hosting a function for the former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami'. Coverage in The Age (Melbourne) was more detailed.

15 March 2009: Joint RC - Anglican medical venture continues success
The African Press Agency reports that the two Rwandan traditional Christian churches (Roman Catholic and Anglican) are in a joint medical venture to assist the poor. In its 34th year, the medical stores are the second largest in the country.

15 March 2009: Norwich's first female archdeacon installed
The Eastern Daily Press (UK) reports on the installation of the Venerable Jan McFarlane, first female archdeacon in Norwich and the twelfth nationally.

14 March 2009: Polynesian Bishop writes about human rights
The Fiji Times has published an opinion piece by Bishop Apimeleki Qiliho of the Diocese of Polynesia wherein he addresses the issues of human rights and the family.

14 March 2009: Atheists call for 'debaptism'
John Hunt wants to undo the baptism he underwent 50 years ago. The Diocese of Southwark says that it cannot amend the baptismal roll, since it is a historical record; but it is willing to insert a notice to indicate decisions such as Mr Hunt's. The BBC reports that the Archbishops' Council said that since the Church of England does not regard baptism as a sign of membership, any amendment to the record is unnecessary.

13 March 2009: New librarian at Hartlebury Castle
The Bishop of Worcester has appointed Christine Penney as librarian for the Hurd Library at Hartlebury Castle, a local paper reports. Bishop Hurd (1720-1808) bequeathed his library to the See of Worcester. Ms Penney says, 'This magnificent library is the only example of an Anglican bishop’s collection remaining on its original shelves, in the room built for it.'

13 March 2009: Proposed C of E church sale in Mayfair arouses local opposition
Religious Intelligence has a report on plans by the Church of England to sell St Mark's Church, Mayfair, which have been met with resistance by the local community. Both sides think they are in the right.

12 March 2009: Church commissioners guarantee financial support - for now...
Religious Intelligence reports financial support is guaranteed for dioceses in the Church of England at the current level until 2010.

11 March 2009: Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem visits Gaza
Previously denied entry, Bishop Suheil Dawani and Lutheran Bishop Mounib Younan were given a special pastoral exemption by Israel to allow them entry into Gaza. JTA reports on this from an Israeli perspective.

10 March 2009: Sudan in the news
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the first workshop on ecumenism of interfaith dialogue by the Episcopal Church of Sudan. In related news about Sudan, the Archbishops of Sudan and of Uganda have asked Gordon Brown to maintain diplomatic pressure on the Lord's Resistance Army, which is threatening the civilian populations of southern Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Church Times has this report. Kenya's Daily Nation reports on the increased strains on aid agencies in the area.

10 March 2009: RC and Anglican bishops condemn new violence in Northern Ireland
Catholic Culture reports that the Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops of Down and Dromore have jointly declared that the murderers of a police officer and of soldiers 'have nothing to offer the future of our society'. You can read an account of the violence from the Christian Science Monitor.

6 March 2009: New archbishop in Melanesia
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Anglican Church of Melanesia has elected the Rt Rev David Vunagi as its next Archbishop. The Solomon Star (Honiara) published this report, and then the next day revealed that the newly-elected archbishop is only one year shy of mandatory retirement age. Meanwhile, the Church has appointed retired bishop and all-around good guy Terry Brown to work on organising its archives. (Ed: Please note an update to this story filed on 19 March).

6 March 2009: Imagine there is no heaven...
The Church Times reports that Liverpool Cathedral will ring out John Lennon's song 'Imagine' on its massive bells, as part of a music festival in May 2009.

6 March 2009: Don't worry, be happy
The Church Times reports that the commissioners of the Church of England have sent letters to every diocese telling them not to worry about money. Well, it's not quite that simple, but almost.

5 March 2009: Ottawa diocese appoints committee to consider same-sex blessings
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that the Bishop of Ottawa, John Chapman, has appointed a doctrine and worship committee to determine whether same-sex unions can be blessed there on a limited basis. The article also describes a related venture by the Bishop of Niagara, who had gone to talk to the Archbishop of Canterbury about doing this, and published his notes from that meeting.

1 March 2009: Church politics in Uganda
The New Vision (Uganda) reports that the primate, Archbishop Luke Orombi, has ordered Bishop of Namirembe Samuel Balagadde Ssekadde to abdicate as bishop on Sunday.

1 March 2009: Church and state in the United Arab Emirates
The Emirates News Agency reports that the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, has expressed his gratitude to the United Arab Emirates for providing all facilities to the followers of his church to practice their faith in the country with full freedom.

28 February 2009: Vatican cancels joint Anglican/RC service in Australia
The Herald (Newcastle, Australia) reports that the Vatican has put a stop to a joint Pentecostal service planned by the Newcastle and Maitland [Roman] Catholic and Anglican bishops.

27 February 2009: A competitor for kosher salt
A television station in Indiana, USA reports that a retired barber in Maryland is launching a 'Blessed Christians Salt'. It is sea salt that has been blessed by an Episcopal priest, and it is intended to compete with kosher salt.

27 February 2009: Church of England fund loses 1.2 thousand million pounds
Bloomberg News (New York) reports that the Church of England’s investment fund lost about 1.2 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) last year as stock markets tumbled and property values slumped amid the global financial crisis. (For decades, the word 'billion' meant something different in the UK than it did in the US, though officially it has the same meaning now).

27 February 2009: Bishop lays cornerstone for new church in Jordan
Religious Intelligence (London) reports that the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem (who is the Bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem) laid the cornerstone for a new Episcopal church in Irbid, Jordan.

27 February 2009: Clearly she should have been an Anglicans Online reader
The Church Times, reporting on the huge fuss surrounding Gail Trimble, extraordinary quiz-show contestant, noted that she was stopped by a question about the nature of the Advent Season in the church.

23 February 2009: Sign language choir performs at Liverpool Cathedral (London) reports that 'Liverpool’s historic Anglican Cathedral hosted the re-launch of a young people’s choir which uses a mixture of sign language and vocals in its innovative performances.'

23 February 2009: ABC to attend Anglican meeting in Jamaica
The Jamaica Observer reports that Dr Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, will be among those in attendance at a meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Kingston in early May.

23 February 2009: Anglican delegation moved by visit to Burundi
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada expressed the support of Canadian Anglicans for the people of Burundi as they continue the difficult task of rebuilding their nation still plagued by more than a decade of ethnic-based civil war. The next day, the Anglican Journal published further commentary surrounding that visit.

22 February 2009: Nigerian bishop on challenges of preaching to Niger-Delta region
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Bishop of Warri, in an interview, described the difficulty of preaching to militants in the Niger Delta.

20 February 2009: Church of England General Synod wrapup
Thinking Anglicans has the most complete coverage of the Church of England General Synod which wrapped up last week.

20 February 2009: Excommunicated former bishop in Zimbabwe continues to act like a bishop
The Church Times reports that the former Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, led the prayers at the swearing-in of Zimbabwe's new Prime Minister.

20 February 2009: An interview with John Shelby Spong
The Houston Chronicle has published a short interview with retired bishop John Shelby Spong. As with most interviews with Bishop Spong, it's not really possible to summarize what he said, but you can read it. However it is that you view Bishop Spong, this interview will likely not change your mind.

20 February 2009: Niwano Peace Prize awarded to priest in Uganda
The Niwano Peace Foundation announced that it will award the 26th Niwano Peace Prize to the Revd Canon Gideon Baguma Byamugisha, an Anglican priest of Uganda, in recognition of his work to uphold the dignity and human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Even if you can't read Japanese, you will enjoy seeing the portrait of Fr Byamugisha on the Niwano Peace Foundation's website. Ecumenical News International issued this press release about the award.

20 February 2009: Church and State in Sri Lanka
The Union of Catholic Asian News reports that Anglican and Roman Catholic Sri Lankan bishops have urged both the government and Tamil rebel troops to look out for the welfare of civilians.

19 February 2009: Australian church, burned to rubble, already planning to rebuild
The Age (Melbourne) reports on the mood and plans of the members of St Peter's Memorial Church in Kinglake, Victoria (Diocese of Melbourne).

18 February 2009: Church and State in the Free State
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has collectively expressed outrage at the recent government action in the Free State to withdraw anti-retroviral medication from patients in the middle of their treatment.

17 February 2009: Church and State in Kenya
Ecumenical News International reports that Kenyan church leaders are angry with political corruption in Kenya after parliament refused to investigate those responsible for post-election violence that killed 1500 people there and drove another 300,000 from their homes.

17 February 2009: Reclaiming the land in a ravaged ecosystem
The New Indian Express (Chennai) reports on the runaway success of land reclamation projects begun by the Anglican Church in Tanzania and now spread to Kenya, Uganda, and India.

16 February 2009: Anglican X-rays in Ghana
Home Page Ghana reports that two Anglican churches (one in Scotland and one in Ghana) jointly donated essential X-ray equipment to a Ghanaian hospital.

16 February 2009: Largest-ever personal injury claim in Queensland court against Diocese of Brisbane
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports that the Anglican Church of Australia 'is trying to limit a multimillion-dollar claim by a severely disabled teenager, saying he won't live half as long as expected'.

16 February 2009: Live TV Hook Up Launches Sydney Anglican Campaign
The Leader (St George & Sutherland Shire, New South Wales) reported on plans for the launch of the Diocese of Sydney's 'Connect 09' programme. Christian Today Australia reported that the diocese's television hookup was a 'stunning technological achievement' broadcast over the internet and the Australian Christian Channel.

15 February 2009: Divine inspiration for odourless loos
The Times (South Africa) praises the Archloo, patterned after St Margaret's church in Nongoma, for bringing inexpensive and healthy toilets to KwaZulu-Natal. Peter Glover did not patent his design, to allow its free use; Dr Glover's father, a civil engineer and priest, had built the church that served as the Archloo's model.

13 February 2009: Church of England General Synod
The Church of England General Synod, like most legislative bodies, is sometimes in the range between boring and stifling. At the current meeting, there have been two notable votes.
A Synod vote requested the House of Bishops to formulate and implement a policy restricting clergy from joining organizations opposed to racial equality, such as the British National Party (Church Times, The Guardian, the BBC). The Church of England is now one step closer to having women bishops (Church Times, BBC, US Episcopal News Service). As usual, you can find full coverage of General Synod at Thinking Anglicans.

10 February 2009: Australian churches stay the course
The Age (Melbourne) reports that despite unbelievable losses in the destructive bushfires, the churches and clergy of Victoria are trying to stay focused on pastoral care. The Church Times notes that all of Australia is still in shock at the devastation in Vic. You have probably seen mention in international news that arson was involved, but the Associated Press notes how dificult it is typically to secure a conviction in an arson case.

9 February 2009: Bushfires in Victoria
The deadliest bushfire disaster in Australian history has claimed 200 lives (some of whom had sought refuge in the Catholic and Anglican Churches of Marysville) and destroyed hundreds of homes. St Peter, Kinglake was razed to the ground. Churches of all denominations have responded with prayers and practical support for the victims.

9 February 2009: Memorial to black anti-slavery activist
Olaudah Equiano was captured when he was ten years old, and became the slave of a naval captain. In 1759 he was baptized in St Margaret's church, Westminster. He was able to buy his freedom and became involved in the abolitionist movement. Archbishop Sentamu unveiled a plaque in his memory in the church in which he was baptized.

6 February 2009: US Ecclesiastical Court imposes final sentence of deposition
The US Episcopal News Service reports that an ecclesiastical trial court has issued its final judgment and sentence that Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison should be deposed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church.

6 February 2009: Primates meeting ends, communiqué issued, no stripes changed
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports on the wrap-up and ending of the recent meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, of Anglican primates. Their helpful report includes links to the actual communiqué and to various comments and responses. During the meeting, the primates issued this statement expressing horror at the state of life in Zimbabwe. After the meeting, former Pittsburgh bishop and candidate for primate Robert Duncan issued this statement, in which he notes that the situation in Pittsburgh is not as immediately severe as that in Zimbabwe or Sudan or Gaza.

5 February 2009: Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, denied entry to Gaza, reaffirms commitment to peace
Bishop Suheil Dawani and Lutheran Bishop Mounib Younan were denied entry into the Gaza Strip at the Israeli EREZ security Crossing Point. The two bishops were part of a five member delegation of the Jerusalem Heads of Church making a Pastoral Visit to the Al Ahli Hospital, an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and to members of their communities in the Gaza Strip. You can read Bishop Dawani's statement here and read an account from the Christian Post here.

5 February 2009: Anglican nun in Canada celebrates 105th birthday
Episcopal Life Online reports that noted gerontologist, Sister Constance, a member of the Sisterhood of St John the Divine since 1932, celebrated her 105th birthday in Toronto with special recognition as the oldest American in Canada. Sister Constance focused on education for the first half of her ministry before developing an interest and expertise in gerontology.

4 February 2009: Archbishop in Ghana pleads for paving as road to education
GhanaWeb reports that Bishop of Koforidua, Francis Benjamin Quashie, has appealed to the government to tar the Oyibi-Adomrobe road (but thankfully not to feather it). The dusty nature of the unpaved road has led to teachers abandoning living quarters near the school which in turn has had a negative impact on the teaching and learning at the school. The bishop also announced plans for a new Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) centre for the Larteh Anglican Schools.

4 February 2009: New USA joint degree program announced
Seventh Space reports on new joint degree program – partnership between Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (Evanston, Illinois, USA) and Church Divinity School of the Pacific (in San Francisco, California, USA) to provide a joint Doctor of Ministry degree in congregational development.

1 February 2009: A Prime Ministerial helping hand
There have been several deaths in Australia related to the extreme heat of the past week. So when a parishioner collapsed during a service at St John Canberra, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was one of those who helped carry him out, to rest and be rehydrated, reports The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales).

28 January 2009: Dealing with Northern Ireland's past
The former Primate of the Church of Ireland, Robin Eames, co-chaired (with a former Roman Catholic priest) a committee on dealing with Northern Ireland's violent past. Its newly released report suggests that the debate on defining victims and a hierarchy of victims is self-defeating. But its proposal to pay 12,000 pounds to the families of victims - even if the victims were themselves terrorists - has provoked strong reaction, as reported in the Belfast Telegraph. Lord Eames responded to his critics in this statement.

31 January 2009: New Bishop of Canberra-Goulburn consecrated
Stuart Robinson was consecrated in St Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn He has indicated his willingness to ordain women priests, something that was not done in the diocese of Sydney where he spent most of his career, reports the Forbes Advocate. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation notes that this was the first time in more than 100 years that a bishop for this diocese was consecrated in its cathedral, and the Sydney Morning Herald has a report with a nice photograph of Bishop Robinson.

30 January 2009: Primates to meet in Egypt
The Church Times reports that 'The primates of the Anglican Communion will meet in Egypt from 1 to 5 February, behind closed doors. They will use a format largely modelled on the Lambeth Conference.' You and I are not invited, nor (regardless of what the Church Times article might suggest) are John Mills, Sylvia Sims, Anthony Quayle, or Harry Andrews. The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the reception for the Anglican Primates held by the Coptic Pope.

30 January 2009: Disaffected Anglicans consider becoming Roman Catholics
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Traditional Anglican Communion is in talks with the Vatican about a merger.

27 January 2009: New Bishop of Bermuda consecrated
The Gleaner (Jamaica) reports that Patrick White has been consecrated as the island's second Bermuda-born Anglican bishop, following the retirement last year of Ewen Ratteray.

27 January 2009: The most Godless town in Britain
Because of its low church attendance, reports the Shropshire Star, the town of Telford was branded as the most Godless town in Britain. The diocese appointed Mark Berry as a missionary to change things, and the BBC has produced a feature on the effects of his work. [You can listen, but only for a couple of days, here.]

27 January 2009: News about buildings
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that St Paul's Cathedral in the Diocese of Bendingo is having structural problems and that it presents a current safety hazard. The New York Times reports that the nuns of the Community of the Holy Spirit are building an environmentally advanced ('green') convent. And the Otago Daily Times (New Zealand) reports that historic All Saints Anglican Church in Dunedin has launched an ambitious project to restore its once-stunning church building.

27 January 2009: Dying bishop repents and reconciles
Religious Intelligence reports that 'Church leaders in New Guinea report that a schism led by retired Anglican Archbishop George Ambo has been healed and that the former archbishop reconciled with the church before he died last year.'

25 January 2009: Church and media in Britain
Ekklesia (London) reports that the archbishops of Canterbury and York have both expressed outrage at the BBC's decision not to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee video that calls for donations to assist those devastated by war in Gaza.

23 January 2009: The Vicar of Baghdad
Canon Andrew White drives to church in an armour-plated car. He and his team have been involved in 142 kidnapping negotiations. His congregation has doubled to 2,000, most of whom are not Anglicans, but other Christians driven from their neighbourhoods by the violence. His work in encouraging reconciliation is backed by Shia and Sunni clergy and by the Iraqi government. The Times describes his work 'in the world's most dangerous parish'.

23 January 2009: Busy week expected for Church of England General Synod
The Church times notes that the agenda for the February meeting of the Church of England General Synod includes 'an unprecedented eight motions from the grass roots of the Church: five from the dioceses (two of which are jointly from two dioceses), and three from private members'.
Thinking Anglicans lists the papers available for General Synod.

23 January 2009: Bank freezes assets of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
The Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh) reports that 'Financial services firm Morgan Stanley has frozen the accounts of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh because it is unsure who should be allowed to access them.'

19 January 2009: Fixed date for Easter?
Even though the Church of England's General Synod is not being held in Whitby, a motion to fix Easter to a particular calendar date has been submitted. The Daily Mail and The Telegraph have the details. Sources close to the General Synod tell us that this motion does not have enough support even to be debated.

17 January 2009: Australian archbishop urges changes to child abuse laws
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian report that the Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, has been lobbying the Queensland government to change the child sex abuse laws to better protect the victims.
Meanwhile, the church is fighting ongoing compensation claims, by acknowledged victims, using the same statute of limitations provisions it says it wants dropped.

17 January 2009: Louisiana bishop re-invents himself after hurricane Katrina
The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) reports on the new life that Bishop Charles Jenkins has found for himself after hurricane Katrina. (Remember Katrina? Everything that it destroyed is still gone.)

16 January 2009: The cost of flooding in Fiji
Severe floods have devastated parts of Fiji's main islands, and the Anglican Communion News Service describes the damage to churches and church schools.

16 January 2009: Please tell us his name isn't Madoff
Bloomberg News (USA) reports that the Church of England plans to appoint an investment director.

15 January 2009: News from Gaza's Anglican hospital
The Anglican Communion News Service has provided an 'Update from the Diocese of Jerusalem on the Al Ahli Arab Hospital'. The next day the Church Times published this less-upbeat report.

15 January 2009: Police continue to harass Anglicans in Harare
The Zimbabwe Times reports that police continue to bar Anglicans from their cathedral, despite a High Court ruling giving them access, and disrupt other Anglican services.

15 January 2009: Getting ready for the 2009 Primates' Meeting
The Anglican Communion News Service released this 'media advisory' on the upcoming Primates' Meeting to be held 1-5 February in Alexandria, Egypt. It offers a few logistical details of the meeting, but breaks no new ground. This backgrounder explains Primates' Meetings in more detail.

14 January 20909: New bishop in Butare
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Revd Nathan Kamusiime Gasatura was consecrated Bishop of Butare in Rwanda. The New Times (Kigali) provided background information about Bishop Gasatura and his plans. During the installation, Rwanda's Prime Minister commended the Anglican Church for its role in Rwanda's development.

11 January 2009: Fourteen new bishops in Nigeria
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that 'At least fourteen new bishops were yesterday in Ughelli, Delta State, consecrated by the Church of Nigeria.' We won't even attempt to speculate about the 'at least fourteen' language.

9 January 2009: Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza struggling
The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, has described the strains on the Al Ahli Hospital, run by the Diocese of Jerusalem (one of eleven hospitals in the Gaza Strip). In response to Dawani's appeal for help, the Church of Ireland Bishops' Appeal has donated 25,000 euros to the hospital, and the Bishop of New Westminster (Canada) has asked his people to support the hospital. Contact the Diocese of Jerusalem directly if you would like to donate. The Church Times reports on widespread fears among church leaders for the future of the Holy Land.

9 January 2009: Priests' wives must approve wedding gowns
The Bishop of Ogbaru (Nigeria) requires pregnancy and HIV tests for weddings in his diocese. And to prevent brides and bridesmaids 'wearing half naked gowns to church', the gowns must be approved by the priests' wives, reports the Nigeria Tribune.

8 January 2008: The wrong box
The vicar in Wirral, Merseyside, suspected something was wrong when he noticed the crucifix on the coffin. Closer inspection showed the wrong name on the coffin plate. But the funeral director's representative insisted that the deceased was known by two names, and that this was the right man. He was wrong.

6 January 2009: California Supreme Court rules against breakaway groups
The Los Angeles Times reports that the California Supreme Court decided unanimously that the property of St James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach is owned by the national church, not the congregation.
This congregation had declared itself to be no longer part of the Episcopal Church; this court ruling means that they must return the church building to the church from which they broke away. Decisions of the California Supreme Court are binding on all other California state courts, so this will affect other similar lawsuits. The US Episcopal Church called it a "landmark ruling" and issued this statement. The breakaway group issued this press release. The US Episcopal News Service filed this report. Meanwhile, the Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh) reports that the Diocese of Pittsburgh has petitioned a Pennsylvania court for control of church assets taken by former diocesan officials.

6 January 2009: Police claim funds misuse by Colorado breakaway group
The Gazette (Colorado Springs) reports that city police filed an affidavit in support of a search warrant against former Episcopal Grace and St Stephens church for misuse of church funds to pay college tuition for its rector's children.

6 January 2009: Prayers for the redundant and for those remaining in the workplace
The Church of England has published prayers for those who have been made redundant, and for those who feel guilt about keeping their jobs. They must have struck a chord, since they are quoted in articles in the Telegraph and the Guardian.

5 January 2009: New bishop in Wales
A senior advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon Gregory Cameron, has been elected Bishop of St Asaph.

3 January 2009: Pipe organ concert in Bangalore
India Today reports on a pipe organ concert at St Andrew in Bangalore, which has one of only two working pipe organs in that vast city.
The organ will be played by Richard Marlow, former director of music at Trinity College, Cambridge.

3 January 2009: Ballarat priests insist their bishop must go
The Age (Melbourne) reports that Anglican clergy in Ballarat are trying to depose their bishop, accusing him of bullying and harassment. Maybe they'll send him to Milwaukee.

3 January 2009: Profile of an unretired priest in Barbados
The Nation (Barbados) profiled the Rector of St Andrew's Parish Church, Fr Edward Gatherer, 86, who successfully fought the attempt of his bishop to retire him when he reached the age of 65, in a case that was finally settled by the Privy Council.

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