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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for January/February/March 2012

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30 March 2012: Selected comments on resignation of the ABC
Thinking Anglicans reports 'Much has been written about the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury.... Much of this has not been worth reading, but here are some of the better articles.'

30 March 2012: UK to start taxing church repairs
The Church Times reports on the harmful effects that the new UK Budget will have on church building maintenance. The situation has such a strong financial impact on churches in the UK that the Anglican Communion News Service broadcast a worldwide plea to 'sign the e-petition to bring back zero rate VAT'. We're not sure how much influence an e-signature from Canada or California would have on the British government.

30 March 2012: ABC warns that rejection of the Anglican Covenant leaves challenges
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that 'challenges in the Anglican Communion will not go away'. He was speaking after a majority of Church of England dioceses rejected the proposed Anglican Covenant. The always-thoughtful Church Times offered 'After the Covenant', and Thinking Anglicans gathered this collection of church press editorials. Andrew Brown wrote that the defeat of the Covenant marks the end of the Anglican Communion and guesses that there will be no more Lambeth conferences. We at Anglicans Online have been referring for years to the Nigerian Communion but, like Ghostbusters, someone is bound to grab the name 'The Real Anglican Communion'.

30 March 2012: Welsh priest's tractorian movement
The Reverend Richard Kirlew is the bishop's officer for rural life, for the diocese of Swansea and Brecon. The South Wales Evening Post notes that, to draw attention to the plight of farmers, he is planning a tour of all six cathedrals in Wales, on a tractor (a borrowed JCB Fastrac).

28 March 2012: Unexpected rewards of church cupboard cleaning
The Manawatu Standard (New Zealand) reported on the discovery of a 1616 edition of the King James bible in a cupboard at St James in Palmerston North. The parish has raised funds to restore it and will hold a dedication service in early May.

28 March 2012: New bishop for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
The Gleaner (Jamaica) reports on the election of the Rt Rev Dr Howard Kingsley Ainsworth Gregory as the 14th bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. There is a bit more information in the announcement from the diocese, on which the newspaper report obviously was based.


25 March 2012: New bishop for Southern Australian diocese
Adelaide Now announces that Bishop John Stead, assistant Bishop of Bathurst, has been elected bishop of the Diocese of Willochra in outback Southern Australia.

24 March 2012: Proposed Covenant enters death spiral from C of E diocesan voting
The BBC reports that more than half of the dioceses in the Church of England have voted to reject the proposed Anglican Covenant. This means that the Church of England, around which the Anglican Communion was formed 250 years ago, will not ratify that Covenant anytime soon. The thought of a so-called Anglican Communion of which the Church of Angle Land is not a member is thought provoking. If you haven't paid much attention to the Covenant thus far, that BBC report has a fairly good introduction and outline.

23 March 2012: More on the retirement of the Archbishop of Canterbury
The Church Times has a good summary of the situation in which and because of which the Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that he will step down at the end of 2012.


18 March 2012: Police ban gatherings of faithful Anglicans
The Standard (Harare) reports that police in Mashonaland West have imposed a ban on church activities of rivals of ex-communicated Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga

16 March 2012: ABC announces he is stepping down at end of year
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) has the announcement, the press conference, the announcement of the ABC's next position at Magdalene College, the response from the leadership of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), the statement by Magdalene College, and a compilation of tributes.

12 March 2012: First anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake
ACNS has posted a pastoral letter from the Primate of Japan, the Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, reflecting on the past year post-earthquake. 'As those who will follow God's way, we choose to make up our mind once more, at this anniversary, to support the people and communities which have gone through such difficult times in this last year.'


11 March 2012: No debate over Christ Church Cathedral.
The Press (New Zealand) has said 'A televised debate about the fate of the Christ Church Cathedral has been cancelled after the Anglican Church refused to take part.'

10 March 2012: UAE church consecration held as planned
Last week we noted that a new Anglican Church was to be consecrated in the United Arab Emirates. This week we can report that it happened as planned. The National (UAE) has some details and a picture. The church has a shiny new website that we have added to our listings for UAE. It all seems well.

8 March 2012: Winner announced in Marks of Mission song-writing contest
The Diocese of New Westminster has reported the winner in the Marks of Mission Song Contest run by the Anglican Church of Canada.

7 March 2012: New Dean of Liverpool announced
The website of Liverpool Cathedral carries a note saying that Downing Street has announced the new Dean of Liverpool. Avoiding the complex issue of just who might be doing the announcing here, the Revd Canon Dr Pete Wilcox is to be the next Dean of Liverpool. Over on their Facebook page, it says 'We announce our New Dean' while again being vague as to who 'we' is. The Liverpool Daily Post reported it in the passive voice, probably so they didn't have to identify the announcer.

7 March 2012: Climate Change in the Pacific
The Anglican Communion News Service story on Australian International Women's Day reports the CEO of Anglicord — Anglican Overseas Aid — said those supporting justice for women on International Women's Day (March 8) should be extremely concerned about the impact of climate change on the Pacific's most vulnerable women.

7 March 2012: Irish Roman Catholics argue that Anglicans stole the saint's heart
Last week we reported on the theft of the preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole from the Anglican cathedral in Dublin. This week Catholic Online argues that the Anglicans stole it from the Roman Catholics in the first place. When reading, remember that this is Ireland.

6 March 2012: Search begins for new Dean of Melbourne
The Diocese of Melbourne has announced that the Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral has begun its search for the next Dean of Melbourne to succeed Bishop Mark Burton.


4 March 2012: On the demolition of Christchurch Cathedral
The Bishop of Christchurch announced recently (reported here by 3News NZ) that it would be too expensive to repair the damaged cathedral and that therefore it would be taken down. The New Zealand Herald reports on talk of a lawsuit to prevent that. This would, of course, add the expense of defending against the lawsuit to the cost of any work on the building.

4 March 2012: New Anglican church to open in Dubai
The Gulf News (UAE) reports that a new Anglican church will be consecrated in Ras Al Khaimah (one of the emirates that form the UAE) on March 9.

3 March 2012: Saint's heart stolen in Dublin
The Irish Times reports that the preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole, the patron saint of Dublin, has been stolen from Christ Church Cathedral in that city. Thieves, who would have needed a metal cutter to prise back the metal bars that enclosed the heart, ignored more valuable objects in favour of the relic.

2 March 2012: Judge sets deadline for return of property to US Episcopal Church
The Religion News Service reports that a judge has ordered seven congregations that broke from the US Episcopal Church to return all property to the local diocese from valuable land to sacred chalices by 30 April. The US Episcopal News Service has a longer and more detailed report.

2 March 2012: First you have to know what the word 'woman' means
The Church Times discusses the impact of a recently-published book on the theological implications of 'intersex' people who have physical characteristics of both male and female. Can they be priests? Bishops?

1 March 2012: Full membership in IASCUFO restored to previously-demoted members
The Anglican Communion News Service reports without commentary that 'Two consultants of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) have been reinstated as full members at the request of the Commission's chairman.' This is all about sex and politics, of course. The report from the US Episcopal News Service has a bit more background and commentary.

29 February 2012: New archbishop in South East Asia
The Christian Post reports that the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia has installed Kuching Bishop Datuk Bolly Lapok as its fourth leader and archbishop. He is the first archbishop from Sarawak.

28 February 2012: Bishop and wife murdered in Brazil
The Associated Press reports that Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife were stabbed to death in their home in Olinda in Northeastern Brazil. Just exactly what it is that Bishop Cavalcanti was bishop of is complex and beyond the scope of this news article. This seven-year-old news report from the Christian Post probably explains enough for you to stop wondering.

28 February 2012: If it broke once, it will break again
The Christian Post reports on breakaways from the breakaway group AMiA, the Anglican Mission in the Americas.


23 February 2012: 'Voice of God' to scare church roof raiders
The Telegraph reported on the latest attempts to foil metal thieves targeting church roofs. An insurance company has donated £500,000 to pay for hi-tech alarms to be fitted in 100 churches in England, Scotland and Wales judged to be most at risk.

22 February 2012: Bishop of Harare issues open letter
AllAfrica.com picked up the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) article about an open letter issued by Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare to stress the difference between the Church of the Province of Central Africa dioceses in Zimbabwe and the churches run by excommunicated former bishop Kunonga. The item was also carried by the Episcopal News Service (ENS). Our attempts to link directly to the original report at ACNS have been foiled by some malfunctions of the ACNS website.

21 February 2012: New era of freedom and expansion for Cuban church
The Anglican Journal reported on the 103rd synod of the Episcopal Church of Cuba. The Cuban church has the status of an extra-provincial diocese since it is not part of a larger province and has no primate. Its governance includes a Metropolitan Council, which exercises oversight in matters of faith and order. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Church of Canada and co-chair of the Metropolitan Council, led a delegation to observe the gathering.


18 February 2012: Graffiti preservation at Morgan's Chapel
About four years ago, workmen doing minor repairs discovered some Civil War drawings, doodles and messages on the walls of Morgan's Chapel in Bunker Hill (West Virginia), which had served as a hospital for the troops. The Martinsburg, West Virginia Journal reports that church officials and local historians are moving forward with plans to preserve them.

16 February 2012: Ashes to go
The Episcopal News Service tells that clergy and lay people from many Episcopal parishes will be going out on Ash Wednesday, to train stations, bus stops, coffee shops and street corners to mark the forehead of interested passers-by with the sign of the cross, and invite them to seek forgiveness and renewal.

15 February 2012: Not one for P.D. James
The United Press International reported 'Anglican priest found dead in vicarage'. Despite the literary headline, this is not an exotic mystery to be chronicled by Ms James but a real and savage murder of a priest in his own home. According to The Telegraph (London) a vagrant is the prime suspect, rather than the sorts of villain one finds in mystery books.

15 February 2012: Queen of England attends multi-faith reception at Lambeth Palace
At first blush this looks like a simple social event hardly worth reporting outside the former fox-hunt crowd, but it's got lots of hidden meaning. Archbishop Rowan Williams hosted a multi-faith reception the Queen and her husband at Lambeth Palace. Also present were Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian representatives. The Church Times tells us what she said, and numerous British media told us what she meant, including The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC, the Mail, and the Press Association.

13 February 2012: African Anglicans meet in Burundi
Thinking Anglicans reports on the recent meeting in Burundi of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, CAPA.

13 February 2012: Two US dioceses meet to discuss possible merger
The US Episcopal News Service reports that representatives from the Episcopal Dioceses of Quincy and Chicago recently met at St. Paul's Cathedral in Peoria to explore the possibility of reunification of the two dioceses. The two dioceses were formed in 1877 by the division of a larger diocese.


12 February 2012: The Arctic loses a friend
Nunatsiaq Online announces the death of John Sperry, 87, long-time Bishop of the Arctic. After a wartime career in the Royal Navy, Sperry immigrated to Canada in 1950 to serve parishes in the far north. He was, he recalled over a decade ago, pastor, translator, pharmacist and dentist. He had to learn the language, before he was involved in translating the Bible into Innuinaqtun for the people of the western Arctic, and writing scores of hymns that are still sung today. He continued to work with health and volunteer organizations after his retirement, and was named to the Order of Canada in 2002.

12 February 2012: A new archbishop of South East Asia
Borneo Post reports that the bishop of Kuching, Bolly Lapok, will be installed as the fourth archbishop of South East Asia. He his the first Sarawakian to hold the post. The province has deaneries in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Nepal.

12 February 2012: A new bishop for North West Australia
The Diocese of North West Australia has announced the appointment of the Revd Gary Nelson as its next bishop.

11 February 2012: Princes Street rector next bishop of Edinburgh
Edinburgh Guide notes that Dr John Armes has been elected as the new bishop of Edinburgh. Dr Armes is rector of St John the Evangelist Church and dean of the diocese. St John is on one of Edinburgh's busiest corners, and has used its location as a home for Terrace Organisations and provocative murals that reflect its peace and justice mission.

7 February 2012: And now for something much, much lighter...
The Port Phillip Leader reports on the latest in unusual church signage with accompanying photo.

6 February 2012: Ecumenical relationship formalized
Christian Today (London) reports on the formal establishment of the Church of England - Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum (AOORF) which has existed in an informal capacity for some years. The forum has published a document clarifying its aims and objectives. The Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell is co-chair along with the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Angaelos.


5 February 2012: English bishop says Church of England failing gay Christian couples
Riazat Butt, writing in The Guardian (London), reports that the Bishop of Salisbury has said that 'The Church of England is failing gay Christian couples and must rethink the traditional, biblical portrayal of homosexuality as "idolatrous, promiscuous and exploitative".'

5 February 2012: 11th CAPA Council opens in Burundi
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the opening of the 11th meeting of the Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa in Bujumbura, Burundi.

5 February 2012: ABC meets with Chief Rabbis
The Jerusalem Post reports on Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams meeting with the Chief Rabbis of Israel during his week-long personal pilgrimage to Israel and the West Bank. Williams emphasized 'the importance of constructive dialogue and co-existence between all religions'.

4 February 2012: English conservatives ready last-ditch attempt to block General Synod's move to equality
The Independent (London) describes the readying of a dissident action at the Church of England General Synod to block or change the legislation that will permit women bishops. We so look forward to an era when Anglican news is not dominated by issues of gender, sex, and power.

3 February 2012: Two new area bishops for Southwark Diocese
The Diocese of Southwark has announced (on flickr) that the Revd Jonathan Clark has been appointed Bishop of Croydon, and the Venerable Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Southwark. Fr Clark is rector of St Mary, Stoke Newington, Chair of Affirming Catholicism, has a blog, and supports Tottenham Hotspur. Dr Ipgrave is canon missioner at Southwark Cathedral, and last year received an OBE for his services to inter-faith relations in London.

2 February 2012: Do you turn the other cheek in the boxing ring?
The Houston Chronicle (USA) has an article about the Revd Patrick Miller of St Mark's church, who started boxing as a lenten discipline a few years ago. It relieves his stress, and he muses here about how it relates to his Christian faith.

1 February 2012: 120 Church of England clergy sign letter opposing ban on civil partnership ceremonies
The BBC reports that, in the first sign of significant resistance within the Church to its refusal to permit civil partnership ceremonies in Anglican churches, a letter signed by 120 clergy is calling for the Church of England to reverse its ban on civil partnership ceremonies being held in churches.


28 January 2012: Archbishop of York warns British PM: no gay marriage
The Telegraph (London) reports that an angry Archbishop of York has warned David Cameron that he will be acting 'like a dictator' if he allows same-sex couples to wed.

28 January 2012: It's always been about power; the money came later
We have no idea how to summarize or abstract this article in The Tennessean about tumult among those who have left the US Episcopal Church to form their own organizations. Rather than struggle further with that task, we'll just suggest that you read it. The article is not long.

26 January 2012: Singapore cathedral marks sesquicentennial
The Straits Times (Singapore) reports on the service to mark the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Andrew's Cathedral. There is a good synopsis of the timeline of Anglicans in Singapore as a sidebar in the article.

24 January 2012: Anglican network starts campaign for birth registrations
Ecumenical News International (Geneva) reports on the initiative by the International Anglican Family Network to ensure all births are registered. 'More than just a legal formality, birth registration opens the door to education and healthcare...Without it, people may not be able to obtain a passport, own a house or land, or marry.'

23 January 2011: Going out with a bang
Dean Robert MacCarthy (71) of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, has been notoriously outspoken (to mark Christian Unity week, he wrote in the Irish Catholic that the Church of Ireland is scraping the barrel for clergy). In his valedictory sermon at the cathedral, he acknowledged the tensions between himself and the cathedral chapter, criticised the lack of ecumenism of the Roman Catholic church, and claimed the Church of Ireland showed signs of splitting into a sort of Catholic sect in the south and a body indistinguishable for other Protestant sects in the north. The Irish Times reports the sermon, and gives an editorial opinion about the challenges for his successor. The Independent (Dublin) has this account of the parting shot of the dean who was, it notes, often a minority of one.

23 January 2012: Obituary: Gerre Hancock
The University of Texas at Austin reports on the death of Gerre Hancock, one of the United States' 'most highly acclaimed ... organists and choral directors'. St Thomas (New York), where Dr Hancock served as Organist and Master of Choristers from 1971 to 2004, will be offering a live audio webcast of the solemn requiem service for Dr Hancock on 4 February. The St Thomas announcement of Dr Hancock's passing and details for the service can be found on the St Thomas website here. The audio of the service will be available on-demand for a number of months following.

23 January 2012: English bishops spar over blame for parliamentary defeat of welfare measure
George Carey, retired Archbishop of Canterbury, has told the Daily Mail (London) that his fellow bishops were wrong to oppose a government-sponsored welfare reform bill. Tim Stevens has told The Telegraph (London) that Lord Carey was wrong to support it.


21 January 2012: The last sermon of Mr Fix-it
The New York Times highlights the ministry of Bill Tully at St Bartholomew Episcopal Church in New York city. When he arrived, parishioners were suing the church over a planned development, and the congregation had shrunk from 800 to 150 - it is now 3,000. He wanted to create a new reality and not fight old battles. People told him, 'We need to fix this building', and he said, 'No, let's fix the congregation first.'

20 January 2012: ABC and ABY suggest 'open-ended engagement' with North American breakaways
The US Episcopal News Service reports that Archbishops Rowan Williams of Canterbury and John Sentamu of York have suggested that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion ought to be in "an open-ended engagement" with the Anglican Church in North America. Thinking Anglicans has this analysis of it; the comments following that analysis are worth reading.

20 January 2012: Crossing the bar
Holy Trinity, Hull (which is the largest parish church in England) will hold monthly informal services in a pub for people who might feel more comfortable there than in church. No alcohol will be served, but it will flow in the nave of Holy Trinity when it hosts a real-ale festival, according to an article in the Church Times. This is Hull notes that the festival had traditionally been held at Hull City Hall, but that the organizers felt that the cooler church would be beneficial for storing and serving the range of ales and ciders on offer.

20 January 2012: St Alban's church breathes again
The city website of Johannesburg reports that the toxic pigeon droppings have been removed from the turret of St Alban's church, allowing restoration of the leaking roof. The mission church was founded in 1898 to serve the coloured community. When that community was forcibly removed in the 1960s, the diocesan offices were located there (till 1987), to help assure the viability of the church.

19 January 2012: A miracle of rice and beans - and ambulances
Toronto Star columnist Joe Fioritto reports again on the efforts of Padre Hernan Astudilo and his Latino congregation of San Lorenzo, who over the past decade have bought and delivered 22 used ambulances and 48 school buses to Latin America. In his spare time, he has started working with the migrant workers of Niagara-on-the-Lake, picking peaches and grapes, and bringing back fruit for the food bank at San Lorenzo.

18 January 2012: London protesters lose St Paul's eviction battle
The Telegraph (London) reports that the protesters camping outside St Paul's cathedral today lost their court battle to continue with their three month campaign.

17 January 2012: Zimbabwe thugs back on the job after holiday break
Newsday (Harare) reports that 'Security forces have once again reportedly barred a meeting by Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Anglican Church, that had been scheduled to take place ... just outside Harare.'


15 January 2012: New bishop installed in Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the installation of the Rt Revd Claude Berkely as the twelfth bishop and fourth Trinidadian to hold the bishopric. The Guardian (Port-of-Spain) reported on the new bishop's sermon and vision statement in which he challenged Anglicans to come work for the church and the 'new wine vineyard. Newsday (Port-of-Spain) intriguingly begins its article on the event as follows: 'It was a choice of castor oil or church. The [Rt Revd] Claude Berkely chose the church and was enthroned as the Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday.' We wish they had elaborated on the circumstances behind this opener.

14 January 2011: Upcoming Church of England Synod is about women bishops
Thinking Anglicans, in its exhaustive reports on the upcoming Church of England General Synod, notes that the agenda is pretty much entirely devoted to women bishops legislation. The Church Times, describing what it calls a 'weathervane debate', predicts that the meeting will really be about how much provision is made for opponents of women bishops.

14 January 2011: No new violence against Zimbabwe Anglicans this week
This week, perhaps for the first time since August, there have been no new reports of atrocities perpetrated against Anglicans by the Zimbabwean government, of which NewsDay (Harare) asserts that former bishop Kunonga is now officially a member.

13 January 2011: Trial court rules for Diocese of Virginia in remanded ownership case
The Fairfax Times (Virginia) reports on the ruling in County Circuit Court that disputed Virginia chuch properties and property belong to the Diocese of Virginia and not to the breakaway congregation. This case has already been to the Virginia Supreme Court, which remanded it back to Circuit Court. The American legal process by which cases move from trial court to the court of appeals and back again is sufficiently complex that we won't try to explain it here. If you are interested in the legal details, you surely know where to look to find them. Here is the announcement from the Diocese of Virginia, which contains a link to a searchable PDF of the full 113-page text of the ruling.


8 January 2012: Violence against Christians in Nigeria worsens
News about attacks on Christians by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria has been circulated worldwide, so we don't need to tell you here. Many of the affected Christians are members of the Church of Nigeria which is, at least for the nonce, Anglican. Agence France Presse (Paris) quotes the president of Nigeria as saying that this recent sectarian unrest is even worse than Nigeria's civil war half a century ago and points out that the terrorist group has allies in the Nigerian government and security agencies.

8 January 2012: Orombi announces retirement and calls for election
The New Vision (Kampala) reports Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi has called for the election of the next Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. The election will be in June with the enthronement of the new Archbishop in December 2012, well before the mandatory end of Orombi's ten-year term in January 2014.

7 January 2012: New bishop for Alabama
The Birmingham News (Alabama, US) reports on the installation of the Rt Revd Kee Sloan as Bishop of the Diocese of Alabama.

6 January 2012: Pope launches US Ordinariate; former Rio Grande bishop to be leader
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the official launch of the long-planned 'ordinariate' to lure US Episcopalians into the Roman Catholic Church. Its new leader, the former Bishop of the Rio Grande Jeffrey Steenson, issued this press release announcing the launch. The Church Times (London) had this to say about the US Ordinariate. Canada's Catholic Register notes that it is unlikely that there will be a Canadian ordinariate.

3 January 2012: Zimbabwe police stop Anglican clergy retreat
The Associated Press reports that Zimbabwean national police ended an 80-person clergy retreat, claiming that the meeting did not have police permission. The usual protests and complaints fell on the usual deaf ears. On 8 January, the Zimbabwe Mail reports Kunonga openly declared support for Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the upcoming elections and urged Zimbabweans to reject MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his party, saying they are an embodiment of evil.

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