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The News Centre

Archived News Headlines for April/May/June 2010

Link to main News Archives page

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28 June 2010: Church and Republic Police in Zimbabwe
The US Episcopal News Service reports that 'Hundreds of Anglican pilgrims traveling to the Bernard Mizeki Shrine for their annual commemorations on June 25 were driven away by the Zimbabwe Republic Police despite court rulings granting them access to Anglican church property.' This struggle in Zimbabwe is going to continue until that country manages to shed both its dictator Robert Mugabe and the power structure he has assembled to stay in control. We will report individual battles from time to time.

27 June 2010: Mayor of Leicester loses trousers in school event
The BBC reports that recently the new mayor of Leicester stood up to address a group of schoolchildren and his trousers fell to the ground. He clearly should have had someone praying for his belt or suspenders.


27 June 2010: Mayor of Leicester appoints secular chaplain
The new mayor of Leicester has appointed a humanist chaplain, and refused to attend the traditional cathedral service that welcomes new Lord Mayors. There is comment in This is Leicestershire, the Guardian, the BBC and the Telegraph.

27 June 2010: Church postponed for World Cup
The Bishop of Shrewsbury has postponed a confirmation service so that people can watch the England - Germany soccer match. The Diocese of Lichfield website notes that the bishop is confident that England can win without overtime, otherwise he may have to announce the result as the congregation share the peace.

26 June 2010: Complaints against bishop dropped when he resigned
The embattled Bishop of Ballarat, accused of bullying, decided to resign to give the diocese a fresh start, and The Courier (Ballarat) notes that the complaints against him were then withdrawn. The effective date of his resignation is still many months in the future, so this might not be over. The Courier reported a few days ago that the investigation of Bishop Hough's behaviour might continue even though charges were dropped.

25 June 2010: Further desperate proposals about women bishops in England
The Church Times reports that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York 'have published their intention to amend the women-bishops legislation that is being discussed at the General Synod next month, in order to help secure the continued place of traditionalists in the C of E'. Yawn. The same day, the Guardian published an opinion piece by Lindsay Southern, recently ordained in the C of E, responding to archbishops: 'you have shown your unwillingness to reflect the diversity of the church'. The Times (London) headlined 'Archbishops accused of bowing to "powers of darkness" over women bishops' and published this opinion piece about it.

25 June 2010: More fussing about 'Mitregate'
The Church Times reports various facts about women bishops and mitres and regulations that bolster the notion that the occupants of Lambeth Palace are too busy chasing their tails to look out the window. And Episcopal Café has published an email from Lambeth Palace offering an explanation of this episode.

25 June 2010: Support and challenge for the new Nigerian president
At its recent synod, the Diocese of Nnewi congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan on his new position, but challenged him to tackle a rising wave of corruption, unemployment and banditry, reports the Nigeria Champion.

24 June 2010: US Presiding Bishop visiting Australia and New Zealand
The US Episcopal News Service reports that US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has begun a 2-week visit to Australia and New Zealand.

22 June 2010: Seminary partnership announced
The US Episcopal News Service reports Virginia Theological Seminary and St George College in Jerusalem have finalized a partnership agreement committing the two organizations to providing educational opportunities for members of the seminary community. Outside North America, a seminary is referred to as a theological college.

21 June 2010: Bishop chased out of church
St Paul's church is an Igbo-speaking congregation in the mainly Yoruba Diocese of Lagos West. Tensions between the congregation and the bishop exploded when Bishop Adebiyi visited, and church members tried to bar him from entering, disconnected the light and public address system and after five hours booed him out of the church. PM News (Lagos) reports the story, and George Conger gives background in the Church of England Newspaper.

21 June 2010: Bishop explains partisan prayers to the CBC
The Bishop of Croydon (Nick Baines) was in Winnipeg for the G8 religious leaders summit, and was interviewed by the CBC about his soccer prayers. Although he did not at first write a prayer for England to win, since God is not partisan, after watching the team's aimless performance against Algeria, he was moved to compose 'God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen.'

21 June 2010: New bishop in Ghana
Ghana News Agency reports the election of the Revd Dr Jacob Kofi Ayeebo as Bishop Coadjutor of Tamale.


20 June 2010: Ballarat bishop resigns
The Courier (Ballarat, Australia) reports that controversial bishop Michael Hough has submitted his resignation.

18 June 2010: Moravian communion with Episcopal Church
The Moravian Church grew up among the followers of the Czech reformer John Hus, a century before the reformation in England, and established a presence in Pennsylvania in 1741. The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Northern Province of the Moravian Church has voted to enter into full communion with the US Episcopal Church.

18 June 2010: Canon Kearon at the Episcopal Church's Executive Council
After discontinuing the membership of five US Episcopal Church members from ecumenical dialogues, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon, was invited to address the US Executive Council (which rejected his request that the session be closed to all but council members). The Council asked clear questions about recent events, but did not feel that it received clear answers. The US Episcopal News Service also noted that Canon Kearon said that they should have expected consequences.

18 June 2010: New archbishop for Papua New Guinea
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the election of the Rt Revd Joseph Kopapa as the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.

17 June 2010: Mitregate
Since the Church of England does not yet accept women bishops, visiting female bishops are asked not to exercise episcopal functions. When the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church preached at Southwark Cathedral, she was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury not to wear a mitre. So she carried it during the service. Bishop Ann Tottenham of the Diocese of Toronto recalled preaching in the same cathedral, without any similar restrictions, concluding that it 'makes the insult to the Presiding Bishop even more gratuitous.'

16 June 2010: Residential school reconciliation events begin in Canada
The Mongreal Gazette reports that residential school survivors, former school staff, and interested members of the public gathered in Winnipeg as part of the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) national event. The Anglican Journal filed this report on that event.

16 June 2010: Bishop of Derry responds to Saville report on Bloody Sunday
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, has responded to Lord Saville's Report about the 'unjustifiable' shooting of protesters on that day.

16 June 2010: Race up the stairs at Liverpool Cathedral to raise money
Click Liverpool reports that a local curate has set up a race to the top of Liverpool Cathedral as a fundraising exercise. They'll need to race the clock, not each other, because the ancient stairs are barely wide enough even for one person.

15 June 2010: Virginia splinter groups lose court battle
The Courthouse News Service (USA) reports that 'Conservative Anglican congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church over the installation of an openly gay bishop lost their battle for church property in the Virginia Supreme Court.' The only remaining place for them to appeal that verdict is the US Supreme Court.


12 June 2010: Local church takes on pubs to bring you soccer World Cup action
The Manly Daily (Australia) reports on an alternative to watching World Cup matches in a crowded pub early on Monday morning from Durban: one can see the excitement unfold in a family-friendly atmosphere in a Freshwater church. St Mark is briefly transforming their house of worship into a sea of green and gold for the Socceroos' three group games against Germany, Ghana and Serbia.

12 June 2010: Sale of convent lands angers residents
The Telegraph (UK) reports on the plans by the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby, North Yorkshire, to dispose of 16 acres of farmland and outbuildings around St Hilda's Priory to developers.

12 June 2010: General Synod ends in Scotland
The Scottish Episcopal Church is widely rumoured to have completed its work on June 12, but, as usual, the website for the Anglican Church of Scotland is not accessible in the countries where the AO News Centre is being edited. We recall having seen the website of the Scottish Episcopal Church actually working a few times.

11 June 2010: Vicar held 'sham' marriages for illegal immigrants
The Daily Mail (UK) reports on the court case of a vicar who conducted hundreds of sham marriages between Eastern Europeans and African illegal immigrants desperate to stay in the UK.

11 June 2010: General Synod ends in Canada
The Anglican Journal (Canada) has probably written about everything that took place at the recently-ended General Synod 2010, but we confess that we've had a bit of trouble finding summaries or transcripts of what happened. If you go to the Anglican Journal's home page and click around, you'll find a lot of reports, such as the report on the resolution calling the final Covenant document 'a step in the right direction' about which the Anglican Church of Canada will make up its mind by 2013.

10 June 2010: Christmas 2010 ad campaign announced
The ACNS reports on the 2010 'Christmas Starts with Christ' advertising campaign by ChurchAds.net. This year's poster uses the slogan 'He's on His way' and features an ultrasound image of a baby in the womb. "This image—of a baby in the womb—is one that transcends cultures. There's no reason this image wouldn't deliver the same challenging message in Singapore or Kenya. So I'm inviting Anglicans right across the Communion to take this initiative and make it global."

10 June 2010: In Australia, men lead and women obey?
The Age (Melbourne) asserts 'There is a growing backlash against women being treated as equals in churches around Australia, with some women being pressured not to become priests.'

8 June 2010: Warring Anglicans removed from ecumenical committee
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, ever fierce, has removed the US Episcopal Church from committees engaged in ecumenical dialogue as punishment for their support of homosexual bishops. The Anglican Curia has not announced its next steps.

7 June 2010: Church opens in formerly 'Godless' Telford
The BBC reports on the first services of a new church in a Shropshire town once described as 'Godless' for having among the lowest-recorded church attendances in Britain.


6 June 2010: Ballarat bishop takes sick leave
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Bishop of Ballarat, under investigation for misconduct and rumoured to be headed out the door, has put himself on sick leave and appointed an assisting bishop from another diocese to take charge in the interim.

6 June 2010: Canada General Synod meeting
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada is meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When it's over, we'll report highlights and provide links to details. If you want day-to-day coverage, see the always excellent Anglican Journal.

6 June 2010: TOEC General Synod next week
The Other Episcopal Church, that of Scotland, will be holding its yearly General Synod in Edinburgh from 10 to 12 June.

6 June 2010: Church of England to allow divorced bishops
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England has changed its rules about divorce to permit divorced men to become bishops.

5 June 2010: New bishops
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Kentucky has elected Terry Allen White as its eighth bishop. The Express and Star (Birmingham, England) reports that the Queen Elizabeth has approved the appointment of Geoffrey Annas as Bishop of Stafford. (Stafford is a suffragan bishopric in the Diocese of Lichfield.)

3 June 2010: US Episcopal church rejects sanctions proposed by ABC
Reuters reports that 'The top Episcopal bishop in the United States, under pressure from the Anglican Communion for allowing homosexual bishops, has said plans to discipline it in the worldwide denomination violated Anglican traditions'. Reuters had reported the previous day 'Latest Anglican peace bid meets with skepticism', noting that both of the opposing parties in this conflict have more or less ignored the archbishop's proclamation. Beliefnet reported 'Rowan Williams and Katharine Jefferts Schori: Anglican Smack-Down', which is a good place to start reading if you aren't up to date on this conflict, though be prepared for a left-wing point of view.

2 June 2010: Australia: from charity fund to victim compensation?
The Advertiser (Adelaide) reports it has seen a 2006 letter from Justice David Bleby to Archbishop Jeffrey Driver that advises how the church may legitimately access Anglicare funds to assist in payments to sexual abuse victims.

2 June 2010 Exit through the Gift Shop?
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports 'The Anglican Communion Office (ACO) has today launched its online shop where visitors can buy books, CDs and other products that support and reflect the work of the Instruments of Communion.' It appears to offer for sale 27 different products. You can buy your own copy of the Kuala Lumpur report or The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and can pay with any of 7 different online payment vehicles, at least 2 of which are available outside the UK.

2 June 2010: Rucyahana new president of Rwandan reconciliation commission
AllAfrica reprinted the report from The New Times (Kigali) on retired bishop, John Rucyahana, who was sworn in as the new president of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC). 'Bishop Rucyahana has played a significant role in redeveloping our country in matters of fostering peace, unity and reconciliation.'

2 June 2010: Coptic Pope offends Anglicans in Egypt
Al-Masry Al-Youm reports on remarks by Coptic Pope Shenouda III who, in his most recent sermon, declared that Anglicans did not adhere to Biblical teachings. Hm; 'Coptic Pope'. This business of putting adjectives in front of the word 'Pope' is slippery. Will we soon have an Anglican Pope?

31 May 2010: Retired bishop calls Nigeria's democracy a ruse
The Sun (Lagos) reports on the lecture by retired Anglican bishop Bolanle Gbonigi to the Nigerian Union of Journalists to mark Democracy Day. 'To rig [an] election is to cheat, to steal, to defraud. It is to get into political offices by sinful means.'


30 May 2010: Auckland's ninth dean announced
The New Zealand Herald reports on the appointment of the first female dean in Auckland - who also trained and worked as a lawyer. The Rev. Jo Kelly-Moore replaces the Rt Revd Ross Bay, who left off being dean when he was elected Bishop of Auckland. 'It is a privilege to be the first woman Dean of Auckland, but as an individual and probably growing up in the era that I have, I tend to find my vocation as a human being doing what I'm called to do rather than focusing on being a woman as such.'

30 May 2010: Kenyan Archbishop urges voters to make 'informed decision'
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that for the upcoming vote on a new constitution, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala said 'members of the church were free to choose the stand they wanted but urged them to maintain peace throughout the campaign and the referendum period'. This public stance is different than that of the Council of Churches in Kenya which opposes the new constitution.

27 May 2010: Leadership from the inside out
Wall Street Journal (US) blogger Gary Hamel has posted an interesting article and case study (that is Part I of II) on innovative management styles in the church. He says 'it's hard to get excited when there’s little scope for initiative, or when the categories of contribution have already been defined by others. Though inclined to faith, I struggled to find my niche in a top-down, pulpit-led model of 'church'—and still do.'

26 May 2010: Statement by Southern Africa Bishops
The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba has posted on his blog the statement by Southern Africa bishops on the imprisonment in Malawi of a homosexual couple. 'As we have previously stated, though there is a breadth of theological views among us on matters of human sexuality, we are united in opposing the criminalisation of homosexual people. We see the sentence that has been handed down to these two individuals as a gross violation of human rights and we therefore strongly condemn such sentences and behaviour towards other human beings. We emphasize the teachings of the Scriptures that all human beings are created in the image of God and therefore must be treated with respect and accorded human dignity.'

26 May 2010: Online record of 'religious dissenters'
The Guardian (UK) reports that the first tranche of the 'Non Conformist Registers' has been put online detailing the hundreds of thousands of people who refused to conform to the doctrine of the Anglican Church and who shook up the established order with alternative ideas over the past 225 years.

24 May 2010: More ructions in Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwean reports that excommunicated former bishop of the Diocese of Manicaland, Elson Madoda Jakazi, has lost his bid in the courts to cling to church property despite resigning from the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) that controls the diocese. Later in the week, the same source reported that Jakazi said he has lodged an application with the Supreme Court seeking to overturn a High Court ruling.


23 May 2010: British editorial: the church must not be complicit in gay persecution
An editorial in The Observer (London), spurred to say something by the sentencing in Malawi of two gay men to 14 years' hard labour, has condemned the Anglican hierarchy in Britain for refusing to take a stand on African barbarism towards homosexuals.

23 May 2010: Australian bishop faces nine formal charges
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that 'Embattled Anglican bishop Ross Davies will face a tribunal hearing in September over a dispute within the Murray diocese.'

22 May 2010: Canada Synod to meet in Halifax
The Anglican Church of Canada will have its next General Synod in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 3 to 11 June, 2010.

22 May 2010: Stolen diaries triggered priest's undoing
The Bishop of Newcastle-in-Oz was met by angry parishioners at the Terrigal parish when he tried to explain why he had fired and defrocked their priest. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the rector, an unmarried man, had had a relationship with a member of the congregation. When the relationship ended, she complained, and provided diaries stolen from his computer. The ecclesiastical court that tried him felt there was an absolute obligation to use the diaries 'for the common good', but many of the congregation disagreed.

21 May 2010: Comments and opinions about Los Angeles consecrations
Last week the Diocese of Los Angeles consecrated two new bishops (see last week's News Centre mention), both of whom are women and one of whom is openly a lesbian. Many people made comments and expressed opinions, but as far as we can tell all of those comments and opinions were entirely predictable,in keeping with the known position of the commenter, and are therefore not worth reporting here. Should you wish to read lots of statements, Thinking Anglicans has done its usual good job of collecting everything.

21 May 2010: Beer will help on Fathering Sunday in Britain
The Church of England is encouraging parishes to take advantage of Father's Day, and the Bishop of Worcester affirms that, although some complained last year when the Archdeacon of Worcester suggested a can of beer, he can say with some confidence that a bottle went down very well with those who received it.

19 May 2010: Farewell to Ruth Gledhill?
For 23 years Ruth Gledhill has worked for The Times, and her blog (like her print column before it) has often pointed us to interesting stories in the Anglican and wider religious world. But The Times is restructuring its website, and it is likely that the blogs will go behind a paywall. Most of the comments on her article about this move are expressions of regret from readers who probably won't pay to continue as readers. Anglicans Online considers Ruth Gledhill to be one of the best religion writers of our era, and we encourage everyone to join us in doing whatever it takes to be able to keep reading her work. If we have to pay, we'll pay.

18 May 2010: Women bishops in the Church of England
The House of Bishops of the Church of England issued this statement about 'Women in the episcopate'. The Church Times reported it thus.

18 May 2010: Anglican shuffling in North America
The Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMIA) announced that its relationship with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will be changing. Many pundits are writing about what this means. We'll just wait to see what it means; we're not big on predictions.

16 May 2010: Is Henry VIII in Hell?
Andrew Brown has written an evocative essay about Rowan Williams' recent sermon commemorating the Carthusian Martyrs. Other people have written about that sermon too, but their essays don't say anything that Dr Williams didn't. Not that any two people ever seem to agree on just what it is that he said.


16 May 2010: Solidarity march in Angola
The Angola Press reports on a solidarity march with people living with HIV/AIDS in conjunction with International Candles Day. The march was organised by the Anglican Church in Angola and members of many denominations joined the event.

16 May 2010: Gledhill: Plea to put aside differences
Ruth Gledhill writes in the Times (UK) on the need to look beyond the infighting over homosexuality. 'If the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives can do it in Britain, surely the liberals and conservatives in the Christian world can form some sort of coalition to bring new leadership to the Anglican morass.'

15 May 2010: First female bishops in Los Angeles installed
The Los Angeles Times reports on the installation of the two new suffragans for the Diocese of Los Angeles: the Rt Revds Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Douglas Glasspool. What was seen with unabated joy by the LA Times was reported rather differently in the Times (UK).

13 May 2010: Italy to have first ordination of a woman priest
The Times (London) reports that Maria Longhitano will be ordained as an Old Catholic priest in All Saints Anglican Church, 'a stone's throw from the Vatican'. The BBC notes that she is married, and comments further on the discomfort that her ordination is causing the Vatican.

13 May 2010: Winston Halapua becomes archbishop
At the New Zealand General Synod, Winston Halapua was elected to be the next bishop of Polynesia, and thus one of the three archbishops of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The Episcopal News Service notes that he had been chosen an assistant bishop of Polynesia in 2005, in an effort to strengthen the diocese's outreach in the far-flung islands of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.

13 May 2010: Diocese appeals against Kunonga court ruling
The Zimbabwe Indepent reports the latest in the ongoing saga of the Diocese of Harare. After last week's court decision favouring the excommunicated Nolbert Kunonga and his followers, the Diocese of Harare has filed an application to the Supreme Court asking for the reinstatement of the appeal against High Court Judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo’s ruling and wanting to ensure that the matter is determined on its merits. Reports of harassment by Kunonga and the police continue. The Independent Catholic News has published a statement of support for the diocese by a Jesuit priest working in Zimbabwe: 'The Anglicans are still being politically abused by the party that continues to rule in contradiction to the General Political Agreement which promised to restore the rule of law.'

10 May 2010: New Zealand considers the Covenant
Anglican Taonga reports the comments of Dr Tony Fitchett at the recently-ended New Zealand General Synod, that Section 4 of the proposed Covenant is 'punitive, controlling and completely un-Anglican.' Although, according to the Living Church, Bishop Victoria Matthews championed the Covenant, the synod voted to continue discussing it for the next two years.


9 May 2010: Why Cardinal Newman is no saint
John Henry Newman preached that miracles do not make men better, and was so opposed to the idea of his own beatification that he ordered that he be buried in a rich compost so that his corpse would decompose quickly. But when Pope Benedict visits Britain in September, he will decree this former Anglican cleric to be blessed - the final stage to sainthood. John Cornwell writes in The Times (UK) that the miracle which justifies the beatification has not met the Vatican's own strict standards.

9 May 2010: Church in Australia argues for fewer children
The Sydney Morning Herald carried an AAP story which reported the General Synod issued a warning that current rates of population growth are unsustainable and potentially out of step with church doctrine - including the eighth commandment 'thou shall not steal'.

8 May 2010: Bubba to bishop
Morris King Thomspon Jr was known as Bubba when he was a US Marine. He spent years as a Presbyterian and Southern Baptist before finding his spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. Now he has been consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana. The Advocate (Baton Rouge) profiles him here.

8 May 2010: Sydney claims scripture classes are 'decimated'
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the latest salvos by the Diocese of Sydney against the current trial in ten schools of a new ethics curriculum. The curriculum was developed by the independent St James Ethics Centre, so named for its origins in the (Anglican) parish of St James in Sydney.

8 May 2010: Priest's take on the millenial generation (he's one of them)
The Cohasset Mariner (MA, US) has an interview with the Revd Adam Thomas, assistant priest at St Stephen, Cohasset. 'I do feel I'm called to develop ways of communicating and proclaiming the Gospel to the younger generation, and to be an ambassador for Millennials to the older generations of churchgoers.'

7 May 2010: The necessity, challenge and benefits of mutual co-existence
The Daily Observer (Monrovia) has been running a series of articles by the Revd James B Sellee on this topic. The fourth and final article, identifying and explaining some of the key advantages of mutual co-existence, is found here. The previous three installments are found here (3rd), here (2nd), and here (1st).

6 May 2010: Monastery plans compared to shipwreck
The Mirfield Reporter (UK) reports on the eco-monastery planned by the Community of the Resurrection. The plans include a glass roof and solar panels as well as structural modernisation of the church, which is in a state of disrepair. The Victorian Society does not approve, calling the proposals 'very wrong'. The society's advisor said the new structure 'looks more like an ocean liner set on a collision course with the church'. The other side of the coin is that only one person showed up for a public meeting to discuss the plans last March.

6 May 2010: Bishop says homosexuality against African norms
The Times (Ndola, Zambia) reports the stance of the Rt Revd Robert Mumbi, Diocese of Luapula, in one of a series of articles the paper ran last week on this topic. All the stories are rather uniform in the opinions expressed.

6 May 2010: Tangus the Wonder Dog - RIP
The Calgary Herald reports on the death of Tangus, a Shiloh Shepherd, whose pastoral presence helped thousands throughout his career as a therapy dog. We hope the Calgary Herald will publish a report on the memorial service held on 8 May at the church of St Stephen.

6 May 2010: And while we are talking about dogs...
The Boston Herald (US) was one of many news sources that picked up the story of the upcoming monthly worship service for dogs and their owners, the Perfect Paws Ministry, at Calvary in Danvers, Massachusetts. We picked the Herald's report for its title: 'Tongues will wag at these sermons'. One can also watch a local news video report here.

5 May 2010: Nigerian diocese bans Ogboni regalia
Egba Diocese has declared its opposition to the wearing of Ogboni regalia to its churches and the taking of traditional chieftancy titles by its members. The Punch (Lagos) reports that those who ignore the prohibition will not be allowed to receive holy communion.

5 May 2010: Bishop condemns killings by cattle farmers
The Champion (Lagos) reports on the Rt Revd Chidi Collins Oparaojiaku, Bishop of Ohaji/Egbema, who condemned the incursion of cattle farmers onto private lands, destroying crops and harming people. The bishop also made pithy statements on the state of the teaching profession.

5 May 2010: Mugabe's Judges grant ZANU-PF Bishop control over Harare diocese
The Zimbabwe Daily reports 'the partisan Supreme Court has declared ZANU-PF apologist Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his board of trustees legitimate and granted them control of all properties belonging to the Diocese of Harare'. The Rt Revd Chad Gandiya's letter in response was posted at Nehanda Radio.

3 May 2010: Ballarat - from the bishop's point of view
Last week, we reported on the troubles in the Diocese of Ballarat concerning the bishop, the Rt Revd Michael Hough. This week The Ballarat Courier carried a report about his supporters, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Ballarat) published an interview with the bishop.


1 May 2010: Westminster Abbey to honour Florence Nightingale
The Times (UK) reports that the Nurses Chapel in Westminster Abbey, which is already dedicated to the memory of more than 3,000 nurses from Britain and the Commonwealth who died in the Second World War, will be renamed the Nightingale Chapel after Florence Nightingale with a simple prayer of dedication on May 12, the anniversary of the nurse’s birth.

1 May 2010: Church of England bishops in secret Vatican summit
The Telegraph reports on the meeting (unadvertised) between a few bishops of the Church of England and representatives of the RC Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The article states they are set to resign their orders in opposition to the introduction of women bishops and to lead an exodus of 'traditionalist' clergy across the Tiber. The Press Association (UK) issued this wire story not long after the publication of today's Telegraph.

1 May 2010: Sale of parish land by former bishop disputed in Namirembe
The Sunday Vision (Uganda) reports that unnamed developers are planning to demolish the parish of St John, Lubowa near Kampala. Parishioners have reacted to the move with a spirited fight and petitioned State House to stop the developers. They accused the retired Bishop Balagadde Sekadde of selling the 6.5 acres without their consent before he retired.

30 April 2010: Petition against Bishop of Ballarat
The Courier (Ballarat) reports on a petition by laity who want their bishop, the Rt Revd Michael Hough, to 'put us out of our misery' and resign. The petition will be presented at the next Anglican synod in Portland in June.

30 April 2010: Bishop rejoins Episcopal Church (US)
ENS reports that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued an order for Restoration of Ordained Ministry for retired Bishop of Albany, Daniel W Herzog, who left the US Episcopal Church in March 2007 to join the Roman Catholic Church.

30 April 2010: Church and state in the UK
There is an interesting election this week in the UK, about which this Wikipedia article is probably your best starting point. The Church Times has published this article by the two English archbishops in which they set out the questions that they believe ought to guide the voting.

29 April 2010: Church and state in the UK, redivivus
The BBC reports that the High Court has rejected an appeal by a Christian sex therapist of his sacking in 2008 for refusing to deal with gay couples. The former Archbishop of Canterbury had earlier called for the case to be heard only by judges hand-picked for their religious views and has lashed out at the Court's actions. The High Court judgment itself is short (less than 9 pages), well written, comprehensible, and well worth your time to read. British columnist Andrew Brown had this to say about the judgment and its aftermath.

29 April 2010: Church and (police) state in Zimbabwe
The US Episcopal News Service reports that Bishop of Harare Chad Gandiya issued a letter April 28 saying the police repression of Anglicans in and around Zimbabwe's national capitol city has intensified. Earlier news reports have all noted that police actions against Anglicans were at the request of deposed former bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a close friend of Zimbabwe's dictator.

27 April 2010: Bishop of Durham to return to academia
The Diocese of Durham has announced the retirement of the Rt Revd N T Wright. Dr Wright will take up a new appointment as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

25 April 2010: Save our Anglo-Saxon stone
The Guardian (UK) reported on the planned auction of a carved Anglo-Saxon limestone artifact. When Nick Evered bought St Pega's Hermitage (once a medieval chapel) in Peakirk, Northamtonshire, it came with said piece of carved Anglo-Saxon limestone in his sitting room. The stone was not protected, and he put it up for auction, to the dismay of conservationists. It was part of a free-standing cross that once stood to commemorate St Pega, England's first known female hermit. A note on the auction site tells that the lot has been withdrawn.


24 April 2010: New bishop for the Diocese of the Rio Grande
Michael Louis Vono, the rector of St Paul's Within the Walls in Rome, has been elected to succeed Jeffrey Steenson, who left to join the Roman Catholic Church. The Episcopal News Service tells about Dr Vono here.

23 April 2010: Communion for voters only
UPI reports that Canon Walter Okeyo told members of Migori Parish in Kenya that they will need to show voting cards in order to receive communion.

23 April 2010: Global South bishops meeting
The Church Times reports on the five-day meeting of leaders from 20 Anglican provinces of the Global South, which just ended in Singapore. The Anglican Communion News Service filed this report on the meeting. You can read the group's closing statement here, though we didn't see in it anything that they haven't already said.

22 April 2010: Ashes, ashes everywhere
The Church Times has a summary report on unavoidably extended travel of cathedral choirs on tour, the bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney, and impacts on the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) and others.

21 April 2010: New bishop for Bunbury
The Bunbury Mail reports that the Rt Revd Alan Ewing was chosen to be the next Bishop of Bunbury. It is unclear from that report just whether he was elected or appointed to that office. Since Bunbury is not a populous place, and is very far away from those places that are not nearby (which is to say, most places) there is a good chance you've not heard of it. We thereby inform you that Bunbury is 200 km south of Perth, which itself is at least 2000 km from most cities that are not Perth.

20 April 2010: Newspaper report on a magazine article about the Church of England
USA Today published a report on the brilliant New Yorker article by Jane Kramer, to which you can find a link in our Worth Noting section.

20 April 2010: Canadian church calls for corporate sponsors
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) suggests that the Anglican Church of Canada is making General Synod available for a mess of pottage. The church is looking for a sponsor to underwrite the cost of webcasting its proceedings.

19 April 2010: Vanuatu: another volcano in the news
Radio New Zealand reports on the preparations to evacuate residents of Gaua after increased volcanic activity in the Torba province. Most would be relocated to Leon Bay on land owned by the Diocese of Vanuatu.

19 April 2010: Despite the scandals, Churches continue to protect the weak and comfort the miserable
The Yorkshire Post has a piece by Peter Edwards that reminds the reader the work of the Church continues: 'As well as preaching the Gospel and generating lurid newspaper stories, they also find time to protect the weak, comfort the miserable, stand up for the vilified and reform those who've gone off the rails.'

19 April 2010: Pew report on Islam and Christianity in Africa
The Pew Forum has recently published a survey and report on the growth of Christianity and Islam at the expense of traditional African religions in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is well worth your attention.


18 April 2010: Former Archbishop opines on draft constitution
The Nation (Nairobi) reports on retired Archbishop David Gitari's remarks on Kenya's draft constitution. The draft includes controversial elements about ecclesiastical courts and abortion. The leadership of the National Council of Churches in Kenya has been urging the public to vote against the constitution. Dr. Gitari stated that the question of kadhi courts in the constitution should not cause a conflict between Christians and Muslims. Capital News in Nairobi has also published an article with some quotes from Dr. Gitari's remarks.

17 April 2010: New Bishops installed in Connecticut, Auckland
The Hartford (US) Courant reports on the installation of the 15th Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian Douglas. On the other side of the globe, TV New Zealand reports on the installation of the Rt Revd Ross Bay as the 11th Bishop of Auckland.

16 April 2010: First Bishop of Tarime elected
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of Dr Mwita Akiri as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Tarime (Tanzania). Dr Akiri, who has been a visiting professor at Wycliffe College in Toronto, is currently the General Secretary of the Anglican Church in Tanzania.

16 April 2010: Bishop's home invasion robbery in Congo
The Church Times reports that a group of gunmen invaded the home of the Bishop of Bukavu announcing that they were hired to kill him, but that he was able to bribe them into not killing him.

13 April 2010: Jensen lobbies against ethics curriculum
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the Archbishop of Sydney's attempts to subvert the trial of a social ethics curriculum in schools. Jensen is quoted: 'Be warned: if the government allows this course to continue after the trial, it will jeopardise religious education in public schools.'

13 April 2010: First Aboriginal Deacon in Grafton
The Daily Examiner (New South Wales) reports on the ordination of the first Aboriginal person in the 146-year history of the Diocese of Grafton: the Revd Lenore Parker. Parker has also had her prayer, linking dreamtime concepts with the Christian Eucharist, included in the Prayer Book for Australia.

11 April 2010: Vicar nails world record
Ken Owen, a 72-year-old Welsh vicar, broke his own record by lying between two beds of nails for more than ten seconds while a pair of heavy men stood on top of him. The Bradford Telegraph and Argus has a photograph of the event, which was part of a tournament to raise money for charity.


11 April 2010: Dog admitted to Guild of Vergers
Carole Sharpe loved being a verger, but at the age of 58 lost her sight. As she learned new activities, she became a 'freelance verger' at the church of St Bartholomew the Great in West Smithfield. Crista Cloutier reports in the Guardian that her seeing eye dog, Fran, has been admitted to the Church of England Guild of Vergers.

10 April 2010: New bishop for Alaska
The US Episcopal News Service has reported the election of Mark Lattime as the eighth bishop of Alaska, pending necessary consents.

9 April 2010: Church and state in the UK
The Church Times reports on a campaign by various UK bishops to get Christians more involved in the upcoming General Election in that country.

9 April 2010: It's all about power
The Church Times has reported the letter written by the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi to the Archbishop of Canterbury, complaining that he and his fellow primates are losing power to the Standing Committee. He implies that he has resigned from that Committee.

9 April 2010: St George in Baghdad bombed again
The only Anglican church in Iraq, St George, has been attacked, bombed, and vandalised so many times that it's hardly even news any more. The stalwart of its congregation take a risk every time they worship there. The Church Times notes that it has again suffered bomb damage.

8 April 2010: Church on state in Zambia
The Post (Zambia) reports on a recent interview with William Mchombo, the Bishop of Eastern Zambia, in which he challenged that country's government to end their corrupt ways and their abuse of power. Fat chance, we suspect. Actually, 'slim chance' means exactly the same thing, doesn't it?

6 April 2010: Nolbert Kunonga still up to his nasty tricks
SW Radio Africa reports on the melée of Easter worship in Zimbabwe, where ousted and excommunicated former bishop Nolbert Kunonga has the police at his beck and call. The Zim Diaspora later reported the incident in somewhat more detail.

5 April 2010: ABC and Irish RC church: Little cause for regrets?
The Guardian has published an editorial on the recent row between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. Says the Guardian 'Archbishop has said out loud something that is completely straightforward and thereby provoked an enormous row'.


4 April 2010: Sydney archbishop says secular society is a fast track to loneliness
The Sydney Morning Herald reports 'The Church's war of words with non-believers has continued with Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen saying a secular society is a fast-track to loneliness.' The comment is extracted from Archbishop Peter Jensen's Easter address.

3 April 2010: Rowan Williams criticises Irish Catholic Church
The Archbishop of Canterbury made some candid comments in an interview to be aired on BBC Radio on the Monday after Easter, suggesting that the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost 'all credibility' over the way it had dealt with paedophile priests. Many Irish Anglicans, however, felt the church was finally trying to deal with the problem, and regretted Canterbury's remarks. Before the program was broadcast, Dr Williams told the BBC that he was sorry for adding to the difficulties being faced by the Irish bishops. Ruth Gledhill's article in The Times also quotes his remarks on those who might be tempted by the Anglican Ordinariate: 'They will take advantage of it because they believe they ought to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome. I can only say fine, God bless them. I don’t at the moment.' The next day The Australian reported that Dr Williams has backed down, and has expressed 'deep sorrow and regret' for saying the Irish Catholic Church was losing all credibility over the pedophile priests scandal.

3 April 2010: Barry Morgan criticises reality TV
WalesOnline reports on an assertion by the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, who has declared that reality television programmes which prize humiliation and arrogance are having a destructive effect on society.

3 April 2010: Majestic new cathedral organ in Llandaff
WalesOnline exuberates over the new 4870-pipe organ made by Nicholsons of Malvern, installed in the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Dyfrig, Teilo and Euddogwy. They haven't finished paying for it and would be delighted by any contribution.

2 April 2010: Interview with Zimbabwe's co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa
Nehanda Radio (Zimbabwe) has published the transcript of an interview with Zimbabwe's co-Home Affairs Minister, Giles Mutsekwa, about the police bias in support of excommunicated former bishop Nolbert Kunonga. Two months earlier, this radio station reported a letter written by former bishop Kunonga to Zambian dictator Robert Mugabe, claiming that Mr Mutsekwa was harassing him.


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