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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for April/May/June 2013

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28 June 2013: Diocese of Minnesota ordains first Hmong priest in the Communion
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the ordination of Toua Vang by the Rt Revd Brian Prior (Minnesota, US). One of seventeen being ordained on 27 June, Vang is the first Hmong to be ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Prior wrote about the occasion on his blog.


28 June 2013: Why St Cuthbert combed his hair
An exhibition of the Lindisfarne Gospels is about to open at Durham University. It will also display Cuthbert's comb, retrieved when his coffin was opened in 1827. Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph (UK) that priests combed their hair before saying mass, because putting on vestments disarranges it, and that a 13th century compilation of spiritual metaphor made that action signify the removal of superfluous thoughts.

28 June 2013: Disco-dancing vicar becomes web sensation
The Church Times reported the Revd Kate Bottley initiated a flash-mob dance to round off a traditional wedding ceremony in the parish of St Mary and St Martin in Blythe, Nottinghamshire. The video has gone viral, topping the BBC's most-viewed-clip list for the week. The article includes the following quote by the vicar: 'The Church of England has a reputation of being a bit grumpy, but that's not what we want.'

26 June 2013: The tale of the lost bracelet
The West Australian (Perth) reported the Archbishop of Perth has described one of his priests as 'reprehensible' after the priest refused to return an AU$6500 bracelet to its owners unless they paid him half the value. The paper reported the next day Revd Terry McAuliffe 'repented' and returned the bracelet to the owner—after public backlash and the aforementioned scathing condemnation from his Archbishop.


21 June 2013: New Primate for Papua New Guinea
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of a new Primate for the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.

20 June 2013: Remember that Covenant thing?
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Anglican Church in Hong Kong (the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui) has adopted the proposed Anglican Covenant. We'd nearly forgotten about it, and we suspect that most everyone else has, too.

17 June 2013: New Primate for Mexico
The US Episcopal News Service reports the election of a new Primate for the Anglican Church of Mexico.


16 June 2013: Retrospective on Church vs State in Zimbabwe
We weren't sure whether the battle in Zimbabwe between the Anglican church and the corrupt Mugabe government was over. Now there's a retrospective editorial in The Standard (Harare) wondering: 'But we should look at the Anglican saga in another way. Is it the miniature of the drama that is unfolding in our country?'

16 June 2013: Successful celebration in Zimbabwe
The Standard (Harare) tells us 'Over 20 000 jubilant members of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) converged at the revered Bernard Mizeki shrine yesterday for the annual pilgrimage, five years after being denied access by the disgraced ex-Bishop Nolbert Kunonga.' Last week we reported that Anglicans in Zimbabwe were excited about being able to do this, so we are delighted to report this week that it went well.

15 June 2013: Farewell ceremony for retiring Archbishop of Sydney
The Australian Broadcasting Corportation tells us 'The retiring Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has been farewelled at a ceremony at St Andrew's Cathedral.' We had never before realized that 'farewell' could be a verb.

14 June 2013: Archbishop and Pope meet in Rome
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the recent visit to Pope Francis by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin.

14 June 2013: End of the line for church ownership lawsuit in Virginia
The US Episcopal News Service reports 'In a one-sentence order issued June 14, the Virginia Supreme Court denied a request from The Falls Church Anglican to rehear its earlier decision reaffirming a circuit court ruling that returned The Falls Church property to loyal Episcopalians to use for the mission of the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church. According to the law in Virginia, that is the end of that dispute. The litigants will surely have other disputes. We are amused that the US Episcopal News Service linked their press release to Episcopal Café's PDF of the court order rather than getting their own copy.

13 June 2013: New website for Anglican Communion News Service
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that it has a new website. We have been assured that the Director of Communication there is quite able to read and has finished 6th Form in school, but evidently he was not aware that they have had a web site for a decade, because he wrote 'Until now we've been restricted to sending news stories to people's email inboxes. Anglicans and Episcopalians around the world can visit the new site for, not just news, but also comment, feature stories, podcasts, videos and photos.'

10 June 2013: 2000 confirmations in South Sudan in 8 days
The Anglian Communion News Service tells the story of the Bishop of Wau, the Rt Revd Moses Deng Bol, confirming 2000 people in an 8-day trip around his diocese.


9 June 2013: Religious tension in Anambra over schools
The Guardian (Nigeria) reports 'Anambra State's continual hesitation to hand over Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School to the Anglican Communion is raising friction between the church and its Catholic counterpart in the region.' The issue appears to involve up to 300 schools owned by other churches and communities.

8 June 2013: Dioceses of Chicago, Quincy unanimously agree to reunite
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reports members of the dioceses of Chicago and Quincy unanimously agreed June 8 to reunify, something that no other dioceses have done in the US Episcopal Church for 70 years. Both dioceses, meeting separately, approved the same reunification resolution.

7 June 2013: Diocese of Riverina synod unsuccessful in bishop election
The Irrigator (Leeton, New South Wales) reports on the recent synod for this Australian diocese that is numerically small and geographically vast. Part of the synod's business was to elect a bishop; there was a single nominee on the ballot — the necessary positive two-thirds votes in each order were not reached, and the election failed.

6 June 2013: First post-Kunonga celebration of Bernard Mizeki on track in Zimbabwe
After years of oppression by government thugs and fake bishops, pilgrims in Zimbabwe stand ready to return to the shrine of Bernard Mizeki to celebrate his life. The Anglican Communion News Service tells the story.

6 June 2013: Diocese of Christchurch to wait for High Court judgment
Newstalk ZB (New Zealand) reports 'The Anglican Church has decided to wait for the outcome of a High Court appeal before choosing what the new ChristChurch Cathedral will look like,' Details here. The Diocese of Christchurch maintains this page of information about cathedral construction and reconstruction.

3 June 2013: Status report: Church of England
As it has been for months, the Church of England is paralyzed in conflict over the issues of women bishops and same-sex marriage. When there's an actual result, we'll report it. If you want to follow the blow-by-blow combat, see Thinking Anglicans.


2 June 2013: C of E Bishops under pressure
The Telegraph (UK) reports bishops are facing intense pressure not to use their votes in the House of Lords to block the government's gay marriage bill. There is 'fear that a large bloc of clerics turning up to vote down the bill could rebound on the Church, reopening questions over the right of bishops to sit in the Lords and even raise the prospect of disestablishment'.

30 May 2013: NZ Cardboard cathedral update
The Press (NZ) has informed us that 'The $5.3 million temporary [Christchurch] Anglican cathedral is due to be completed by the end of June.' A goodly number of locals there in Christchurch are outraged that the Diocese of Christchurch spent insurance money to build a worship space instead of an urban edifice. The 'Transitional Cathedral' is slated for completion by midwinter (the end of June) but all construction projects are late, aren't they? We can't wait to find an excuse to travel to New Zealand to see it and worship there. The cathedral's website includes a link to a webcam that lets you follow the progress of the construction.

29 May 2013: Bermuda installs new bishop
Bernews.com reported on the consecration and installation of the Rt Revd Nicholas Dill as Bishop of Bermuda. The Bermuda Sun item from 31 May is here.

28 May 2013: Taizé 'Pilgrimage of trust'
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the 'pilgrimage of trust on earth' in southwestern South Dakota. The Taizé brothers from France journeyed to Pine Ridge, for the pilgrimage which was the first on a reservation and the most remore of the locations that have been part of their pilgrimage.

27 May 2013: Bolivia consecrates bishop
The Straits Times (Singapore) reported on the consecration of the Rt Revd Raphael Samuel. Why would a paper in Singapore report on happenings in Bolivia? The new bishop is 'believed to be the first Singaporean to head a diocese outside of Singapore'.

27 May 2013: Early church and burials found at Lincoln Castle
Lincolnshire Today (Grimsby, Lincolnshire) reports 'Archaeologists digging under Lincoln Castle have found the remains of a previously unknown church that's at least 1,000 years old.' Do note that Lincoln Castle is not Lincoln Cathedral (though they are only 100 yards from one another). It would of course be less surprising to find an old church under a cathedral.


26 May 2013: Longest-serving vicar honoured
The BBC reported the longest-serving vicar in the Church of England, the Revd James Cocke, is to be honoured at a service in Oxfordshire. He has served over 50 years (56 years, to be exact) at All Saints Highfield in Headington, and been in ministry 60 years in total.

26 May 2013: Commentaries and analyses: CoE and women bishops legislation
Our friends at Thinking Anglicans have a good summary of the published reports and analyses on the latest proposals for legislation in the Church of England to allow female bishops. The 24 May issue of Church Times has two articles pertaining to this issue: 'House of Bishops sets out next steps on women in the episcopate' and 'House approves a new attempt at women bishops'.

25 May 2013: Sailing fleet blessed
The Whitsunday Times (Queensland) reports on the blessing of the sailing fleet off the point at Airlie Beach in the Whitsunday Islands. Those islands off the coast of Queensland, are in the Whitsunday Passage, so named in Captain Cook's journal because they were thought to have been discovered on Whitsunday whereas, because of an error in time-keeping, it was actually Whit-Monday.

23 May 2013: Challenging the church
The Otago Daily Times reported on the public lecture by Dr Jenny Te Paa Daniel entitled in part, 'Peacemaking or Mischief Making Discourses in the Public Square?' in which she points out that that although about half of the world's Anglicans are women, the disparity between men and women in leadership roles around the globe is 'hardly impressive..or acceptable.'

22 May 2013: Oklahoma: A global outpouring of support, and a long road to recovery
The Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the aftermath of the 20 May tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The article includes links to Episcopal Relief and Development's resources for tornado relief and to the Diocese of Oklahoma's website.

20 May 2013: Three thousand attend installation of Tanzania's new Primate
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the installation of the Most Revd Dr Jacob Erasto Chimeledya as the new Primate for the Church in Tanzania. The president of the country and the Archbishop of Canterbury were among the guests.


18 May 2013: Western Michigan elects ninth bishop
The Sentinal-Standard (Ionia, MI) reported on the outcome of the special electing convention for their next bishop. The Revd Whayne Hougland, currently rector of St Luke's Church in Salisbury, N.C. was elected as the ninth bishop of the diocese.

18 May 2013: Australian bishop resigns in wake of child sex abuse complaints
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the resignation of the Rt Revd Keith Slater as Bishop of Grafton over failure to deal with child sex abuse complaints. The Australian also has a report.

18 May 2013: Renovations complete on thousand-year-old Portsmouth Cathedral
The News (Portsmouth, UK) reports the successful completion of major renovations to the ancient Portsmouth Cathedral.

17 May 2013: Okoh on peace with Boko Haram
Channels TV (Nigeria) reported on the remarks by the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh where he urged the federal government's committee on dialogue and amnesty for Boko Haram not to accept peace on Boko Haram's terms. Okoh demanded justice for all the Christians that have been killed in the sect's insurgency.

14 May 2013: Archbishop Sir Ellison Pogo is dead
Anglican Taonga reports that former Archbishop of Melanesia Sir Ellison Pogo, famous and beloved one-time leader of the Anglican Church in Melanesia, has died of lymphoma.

14 May 2013: GTS announces new Dean and President
The General Theological Seminary (New York) announced the Revd Kurt Dunkle has been elected as the next Dean and President. Dunkle officially starts in his new position 1 July 2013.


11 May 2013: Former Archbishop of York accused of child-abuse cover-up
The Church Times (London) reports that the current Archbishop of York announced recently that an independent inquiry is to be launched into allegations that a former Archbishop of York, David Hope, covered up child abuse by a cathedral dean. Additional coverage of this issue is in the Yorkshire Post, The Independent, and various other publications.

11 May 2013: New archbishop in New Zealand
Radio New Zealand News reports on the installation of the Most Revd Philip Richardson as one of the three archbishops jointly sharing the leadership of the Anglican church in that country. Anglican Taonga (an official news site) has a longer report with pictures, but it is less accessible to people unfamiliar with the structure of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. Whenever we report on something happening in NZ, we like to remind you to have a look at the webcam for the Cardboard Cathedral to see how nicely it's coming along this winter.

10 May 2013: Allegations of physical and sexual abuse at now-closed Anglican school in Australia
The Australian reports that 'The little Anglican boarding school of St Barnabas, in the misty mountain town of Ravenshoe, north Queensland, was allegedly a hotbed of physical and sexual abuse in the 1960s.' The allegations of 'brutal physical punishment and sexual abuse' involve two consecutive headmasters and more than one staff member, some of whom have already been convicted. Another article in that same newspaper reports an admission by former Anglican Church officials that they were aware of the abuse and did not take action.

10 May 2013: Statistics, Part I: Church of England
The Church Times reported on the 2011 attendance figures for the Church of England. The full report is available on the C of E website. 'A "quiet confidence" underlies the latest church-attendance figures, which report growth in 20 out of the 44 dioceses'.

10 May 2013: Statistics, Part II: Diocese of Mara, Tanzania
The Church Times published an opinion piece by the Revd Stephen Spencer about the exponential increase in parishes in the Diocese of Mara under the Rt Revd Hilkiah Omindo. Bishop Omindo is very clear about the reason for this growth: people are attracted to the Anglican Church because it proclaims a holistic salvation, of the body as well as the soul.

10 May 2013: Church in Ghana goes 'wild'
The Chronicle (Accra) reported on the rebranding efforts of the Church in Ghana. The Rt Revd Dr Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, Bishop of Accra, said the church was organising a three-day crusade in Accra to underpin 'our vision to build the Anglican Diocese of Accra'.

9 May 2013: First female Dean of Llandaff Cathedral quits after two months
Wales Online tells us about the resignation of Janet Henderson as Dean of Llandaff after two months on the job. The article gives us the impression that she was overwhelmed by the negativity from clergy who resented the appointment of a woman.

8 May 2013: Communiqué from ARCIC
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission has issued a communiqué after its meeting in Rio de Janeiro. If you are fond of communiqués and have absolutely nothing better to do, you can read it here at the Anglican Communion News Service.


4 May 2013: Bishop election in New Jersey
The Times of Trenton reported the election of the Revd William Stokes as twelfth bishop in the Diocese of New Jersey. The diocesan website for the search process has the full press release and statement from the bishop-elect.

3 May 2013: New Marian windows at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey announced plans to unveil two new stained glass panels in the Lady Chapel built by Henry VII. The panels are being installed in time for the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of the Queen. You can learn more about the artists behind the windows in this article from the York Press also published in early May.

3 May 2013: Irish priest declines appointment as bishop
The Church Times (London) reports that 'The Ven Leslie Stevenson, who was to have been consecrated this week as Bishop of Meath & Kildare, in the Irish Republic, withdrew on Sunday after a press campaign against him.' There is a vast amount of blog-like commentary online on this decision, none of which we deem worthy of your attention.

3 May 2013: Chichester warned against complacency
The Church Times reports on the conclusion of the final report of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Visitation of the Diocese of Chichester (the first such event for more than a century) and notes its warning that the diocese 'despite "enormous steps forward" in safeguarding, ... must avoid the temptation to give the impression that "everything is all right".' The Diocese of Chichester was found to have had 'an appalling history' of failures in safeguarding powerless people against clergy abuse, and the report urged 'a radical change of culture'. The BBC filed this thoughtful report on the abuse and the recent visitation.

2 May 2013: RIP: The Revd Ian Weathrall
The Hindustan Times reported on the passing of Father Ian Weathrall, the last British member of the Church of North India's Delhi Brotherhood, who died this week at the age of 91.

1 May 2013: Canadian bishop sues blogger
The Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario) tells us 'The Bishop of Niagara is suing a blogger over online material he claims was fashioned to hold the spiritual leader of 25,000 Anglicans up to ridicule and contempt.'

29 April 2013: British bankers like the ABC
A blogger at The Economist (London) says that bankers in that country have expressed respect for the financial competence of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

28 April 2013: Bishop election in Botswana
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the recent election of Fr Metlhayotlhe Rawlings Belemi, a priest working in South Africa, as the bishop-elect of the Diocese of Botswana.


26 April 2013: Christ Church, Dublin bells muffled after complaints
In 1688, the Lord Mayor of Dublin put the cathedral's officers in the stocks, after complaining that the bells did not ring cheerily enough for the birth of the Prince of Wales. In 2013, the BBC reports that when the cathedral began allowing tourists to ring the bells, to raise money, Dublin City Council received two complaints, and the ringing-master fitted mufflers to the bells. The mufflers will be removed during the weekly practice and normal bell ringing on Sundays.

24 April 2013: Retiring Anglican ambassador to the Vatican blasts 'raid'
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the remarks of Canon David Richardson, the just-retired Anglican ambassador to the Vatican. He characterized the creation of the ordinariate by the Vatican as a 'raid' that was offensive and embarrassing.

24 April 2013: Lambeth Palace book theft revealed and recovered
The BBC reported on the 'curious tale of the stolen books' from the library at Lambeth Palace. The Spectator had a story about the 'repentant book thief of Lambeth Palace' published a fortnight ago. Both are well worth the read!

23 April 2013: Bishop of Chichester admits child abuse cover-up
The BBC tells us the Bishop of Chichester has admitted that there had been cover-ups in that diocese in child sexual abuse cases. The accused priest died in 2006, but his victims are alive to receive the admission. The priest was ordained in 1966 despite having been convicted of child sex abuse.


21 April 2013: Sydney inner-city church's parish hall gutted by fire
Australia's news.com tells us that the parish hall of Holy Trinity Church Dulwich Hill, now used primarily as a community centre, was burned to the ground yesterday. The Australian, whose headline writer needs further training, says it was arson by a 'disgruntled kid'. Early reports in Sydney media had the church itself burning down, but the fire was in the hall across the street, which was used as a church in the distant past.

20 April 2013: Anglican parishes in Zimbabwe continue to heal
The Anglican Communion News Service has published a report by a parish priest in Mutare in the Diocese of Manicaland, on the rededication of the Cathedral of St John the Baptist after its rogue former bishop had been dealt with by Zimbabwe's government.

19 April 2013: All of the cardboard now installed at 'Cardboard Cathedral'
The transitional cathedral in Christchurch New Zealand continues to delight us as we follow the progress of its construction on its webcam. Construction projects being what they are, we don't think we'll buy airplane tickets to go see it until we're sure it is ready. Meanwhile the political fights about the 'real' cathedral continue; this week The Press reports a statement by the Dean that 'The new Christ Church Cathedral design is unlikely to be settled by a public referendum.' The diocesan synod has just voted on the design, and according to Anglican Taonga, the vote was an 'overwhelming endorsement to the most modern of the three concepts for a new cathedral in the Square.'

18 April 2013: Supreme Court of Virginia upholds ruling in favor of US Episcopal Church
The Diocese of Virginia (which calls itself just 'the Diocese') has announced the ruling by Virginia's highest court that supports a lower-court ruling that returns one of the oldest churches in North America to the US Episcopal Church's Diocese of Virginia. The Washington Post published this report on the ruling.

15 April 2013: Status of proposed diocesan merger in West Yorkshire
Thinking Anglicans reported on the status of the Scheme to merge the diocese of Wakefield, Bradford, and Ripon & Leeds. This complex action would affect some neighouring diocese such as Blackburn and Sheffield.

15 April 2013: New bishop elected in Toronto
The Diocese of Toronto has announced the election of the Ven Peter Fenty as suffragan bishop. He will be the first person of African descent to be a bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.


14 April 2013: Sydney has a racetrack chaplain
Harnesslink reports that the Revd Gary Bennetts, the son of a horse trainer and pastor of St Martin's church, Georges Hall, has been appointed as Bankstown Paceway's racecourse chaplain. A spokesperson said that Bennetts, a man of the cloth and of the saddle cloth, would care for stable workers and patrons at the track.

13 April 2013: The emergence of 'Emergents'
The Winnipeg Free Press has an interesting article about Phyllis Tickle and her latest book, Emergence Christianity: What it is, Where it is Going and Why it Matters. Tickle will be in Winnipeg to share what she has found on 26-27 April.

12 April 2013: Bishop of New Westminster to retire
The Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) has posted the announcement of the Rt Revd Michael Ingham's plan to retire 31 August 2013. He is currently the longest-serving active bishop in the Canadian church.

9 April 2013: Canadian priest accused of fraud and theft
The Winnipeg Free Press explains that the priest in the Diocese of Brandon who is accused of stealing more than CDN$190,000 is the son of the diocesan bishop.

9 April 2013: English priest convicted of child sex abuse despite coverup attempts
The Mail (London) comments that 'A judge has condemned the Church of England and social services for a cover-up that allowed a vicar who sexually abused a teenage orphan to escape justice for 26 years.' The Lancashire Telegraph assures us that the guilty priest confessed to the crime and was jailed for 3 years.

8 April 2013: Email scam in Southern Africa
The Anglican Communion News Service reported some emails being sent out by person(s) unknown are impersonating Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. The emails are designed to extort money, for example through issuing invitations to speak at conferences and then seeking banking details into which to pay travel costs.


7 April 2013: Queensland consecrates first female bishop
The Brisbane Times reported on the consecration of the Rt Revd Alison Taylor in St John's Cathedral in Brisbane before a congregation of over a thousand people. The new bishop admits to feeling 'a bit like an accidental pioneer'.

7 April 2013: Farewell service for Archbishop Moxon
Radio New Zealand reported about 900 people attended a farewell service for the Most Revd David Moxon at the chapel of Christ the King at St Paul's Collegiate (Hamilton). Moxon is taking up the post of being the Anglican Church's ambassador in Vatican City. The process for appointing a new Bishop for Waikato will now commence.

5 April 2013: Bucharest's church building marks 100 years
The Romania Insider reported that the Church of the Resurrection, the Anglican church in Bucharest and one of the city's landmarks, will have its centennial this year. 'The Church is home to many nationalities and as expatriates come and go, the congregation gets larger or smaller but there has always been a loyal congregation here, carrying on the tradition started in 1913 of regular worship'.

5 April 2013: Tutu awarded Templeton Prize
The Catholic News Agency reported Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize in recognition of his work in advancing global peace.

4 April 2013: New Christchurch Cathedral options unveiled
Channel 3 News in New Zealand reported on the unveiling of three designs to rebuild Christchurch Cathedral, damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. Photos of the designs are posted as well. Meanwhile, work continues on the interim 'cardboard cathedral'.

4 April 2013: RIP: The Rt Revd John Chien
Episcopal News Service reported on the 5 March death of the first indigenous bishop of Taiwan, the Rt Revd John C T Chien. Chien was ordained and consecrated as bishop on 25 March 1988 and retired 30 June 2001. His consecration marked a new era in the indigenization of the Taiwan Episcopal Church.

3 April 2013: Vicar's £10 handout to parish raises £10,000
The BBC reported on a vicar from Huddersfield who raised funds for his parish by handing out £10 notes and asking his congregation to multiply it - which they have done with a good return for his investment.


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