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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for October/November/December 2013

Link to main News Archives page

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27 December 2013: Exit the bar and enter the pulpit
The Tanzania Daily News reports that retired Chief Justice Augustino Ramadhani will be ordained in Christ Church cathedral in Zanzibar. After a long career in the army and on the bench, he will serve the cathedral congregation, where he regularly worships.

25 December 2013: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal

24 December 2013: Nigerian archbishop kidnapped at gunpoint
P.M. News (Lagos) reports that the retired Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, along with his driver, was kidnapped by gunmen. Another Nigerian newspaper, Vanguard, reports that he was rescued the next day by State Police.

23 December 2013: £100k found in York is given to local church
Last August, residents of a former vicarage discovered a bin-bag containing thousands of pounds. After police ruled out any criminal connection, a magistrates court awarded the money to St Thomas with St Maurice church council. The York Press reports the church (whose annual income is less than half of what was found) will use it for local projects.

23 December 2013: British monarch issues pardon for Alan Turing's violation of British anti-gay laws
Recognizing (albeit 60 years too late) that the conviction of British computer genius Alan Turing for the crime of being gay was a violation of human rights, Queen Elizabeth issued a posthumous Royal Pardon.

21 December 2013: Heart of Darkness
The Parliament of Uganda has approved the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and the Senate of Nigeria approved that country's Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill. Reports and commentary can be found in the Baltimore Sun, Huffington Post, Human Rights Watch, The Observer (Uganda), and numerous others. At the time of this writing (29 December 2013) neither bill has been signed by the country's president or prime minister. The Monitor (Uganda) names three Anglican bishops who voiced public support for the Anti-homosexuality bill.


21 December 2013: Anglicans v. RC in cricket
From the lighter side of the news, the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Archbishop of Canterbury has accepted a challenge from the Vatican to play their first ever cricket match. Priests from the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are planning to compete - appropriately enough - at Lord's in London next September.

20 December 2013: Llandaff confirms choir redundancies
Church Times reported on the Cathedral Chapter's efforts to reduce the budgetary deficit. Unfortunately, it means the laying off of five lay clerks, a part-time choral scholar and the assistant organist — the week before Christmas.

18 December 2013: Northen Manitoba area bishop announced
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reported the Rt Revd Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Bishop, will also serve as the area bishop for the Northern Manitoba region of the Diocese of Keewatin.

18 December 2013: Zimbabwe: resurgence of a bad penny
The Zimbabwe News Daily reported that excommunicated Nolbert Kunonga has reportedly grabbed back the Anglican Church of St Luke in Bvumbura parish in Chikomba District. Kunonga's loyalists forced out parishioners with the help of local traditional leaders, ZANU PF politicians and government officials.

17 December 2013: New Jersey parish in exile returns to building
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the re-consecration of All Saints in Bay Head which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The parish was unable to worhip in their own building during past year while reconstruction was underway, but they are celebrating Advent IV Eucharist back in their own building.


15 December 2013: Gospel for Hearers
The Age (Australia) reported on a new translation of the Gospels by Australian Elizabeth Edwards entitled, 'Gospel for Hearers'. Edwards says, "The gospels were written for reading aloud—that's how they were delivered." The difference in writing for reading and for speaking, with its emphasis on rhythm, dramatic intensity and human engagement, exercised a subtle but powerful influence on her translation.

13 December 2013: New Bishop for Bath and Wells
The Church Times reported the appointment of the Rt Revd Peter Hancock as the Bishop-designate of Bath & Wells.

12 December 2013: North India General Secretary arrested defending Dalit Christians
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Delhi police cane-charged and water cannoned Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi as well as several other bishops, nuns and pastors as they led a rally demanding an end to the descrimination against Dalit Christians. A more complete report can be found on the Church of North India's website here with a follow-up story including the Prime Minister's apology here.

11 December 2013: Zimbabwe update: Persecution continues
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Christians in Zimbabwe are facing a new wave of persecution after excommunicated former bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his supporters refused to surrender Church property in the Diocese of Masvingo.

10 December 2013: Age takes toll of New Zealand Anglicans
Anglican Taonga, the news service for the Church in New Zealand, reported on the findings of the latest census and also published a response by Archbishop Philip Richardson. Christianity Today's report on the results of the 2013 census of the four million inhabitants of New Zealand, focused on the minority (47%) who identified themselves as Christian and the reduction in the number of Anglicans (close to 100,000) in six years.


7 December 2013: Anglican leaders eulogize Nelson Mandela
Angican leaders around the world have issued tributes to Nelson Mandela, who died recently. Worth your attention are those from Justin Welby, Desmond Tutu, Thabo Makgoba, and Fred Hiltz.

7 December 2013: New bishop for British Columbia
The Times Colonist (Victoria, BC) reports on the election of the Very Rev. Logan McMenamie as 13th bishop of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia.

5 December 2013: South Sudan bishop warns churghgoers not to pay for prayer
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us a bishop in South Sudan has struck out at pastors who have been selling prayers and blessings to church members.

4 December 2013: Campaigner's posthumous gift to be given to Ireland's first woman bishop
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us a cross which was left as a gift by one of Ireland’s foremost campaigners for the ordination of women will be presented to the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, the Most Revd Pat Storey.

3 December 2013: A new worship app
The Church of England has announced the publication of a smartphone app intended to help people remotely follow Sunday services. Christopher Howse has test-driven the app, and suggests that following prayers on it is a bit like drinking alone.

2 December 2013: Ancient bibles go online in Bodleian-Vatican library tie-up
BBC News reports that the Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican have collaborated to digitize a selection of ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and early printed bibles. Speaking about the project, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested that when you can see these ancient texts, there is a lifting of the spirit. A German bible printed in Strasbourg in 1485 contains a number of woodcuts painted in full colour.

2 December 2013: Christchurch diocese free to demolish cathedral
Anglican Taonga reports that New Zealand's Supreme Court has rejected a final bid to preserve the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral. This means the Diocese of Christchurch is free to demolish the ruined building and move ahead.


1 December 2013: Melissa Skelton elected bishop of New Westminster
Mother Melissa Skelton, as she is styled on the parish website of St Paul's Episcopal church in Seattle, was elected to succeed Michael Ingham as bishop of New Westminster. The Vancouver Sun reports that she is relatively well known in the diocese because of the leadership workshops she has organized in British Columbia and in Washington state. She will be the first female bishop in the diocese.

1 December 2013: Former South Australian premier ordained deacon
ABC reports that Lynn Arnold, who was briefly premier of South Australia in the early nineties, has been ordained deacon and will work at St Peter's Cathedral with marginalized people. Archbishop Jeffrey Driver noted that the record number being ordained reflects a renewed confidence in the church, and that the two candidates from China and one from Malaysia will bring further cultural diversity to the church.

30 November 2013: Ireland consecrates first female bishop
The BBC, The Telegraph, and Raidió Teilifís Éireann (Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster) all reported on the consecration of the Rt Revd Pat Storey as Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

30 November 2013: Central Africa says 'no' to women's ordination
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) Synod has voted against the ordination of women following a heated debate on a motion seeking to allow individual dioceses ready to ordain women within the Province to go ahead.

27 November 2013: Stolen crozier recovered
We told you in late October about the crozier stolen from the cathedral of St Paul in Regina, Canada. This week the Leader-Post reported the recovery of the crozier with some damage to be repaired.

26 November 2013: RIP: Rt Revd John Simalenga
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the death of the Bishop of Diocese of South West Tanganyika, the Rt Revd John Simalenga. Tanzania's Daily News reported the Bishop's passing as well.


22 November 2013: Trinidad & Tobago diocesan paper appeals for support
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports the diocesan paper for Trinidad & Tobago is running a large enough deficit that the Diocesan Council has called for its suspension. The latest issue contains an appeal from the editor for increased financial support and donations. We have not managed to find a means of donating online.

22 November 2013: C.S. Lewis memorial: a stone for a lover, not a poet
Fifty years after his death, C.S. Lewis has been memorialized with a marker in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Christopher Howse reports in The Telegraph on the service (at which Rowan Williams spoke) and on Lewis' legacy.

19 November 2013: New Primate elected in Brazil
The Episcopal News Service (ENS) reports Bishop Francisco de Assis da Silva of the Diocese of Southwest Brazil was elected to serve as the next Primate of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil).

19 November 2013: Bishop of Easton announces retirement - with a twist
The Diocese of Easton (Maryland, US) posted a release on the announcement of the Rt Revd James Shand to retire 1 July 2014. The twist to which we refer is the plan outlined in the posted letter to the Diocese: instead of calling for the election of a new Diocesan bishop, Easton will call for the election of a Provisional Bishop and then spend time re-examining 'the office of Bishop as well as the question [Bp Shand] frequently hear[s], "What exactly is a diocese?"'

19 November 2013: Blessing of the beer unites Episcopal clergy
Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Online reports that the Lancaster county clericus gathered at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant for the annual blessing of St James brown ale. Part of the proceeds benefit the programs of St James Episcopal church in Lancaster, where the brewer is a member of the congregation.

18 November 2013: ABC invites RC to Lambeth
The Guardian reports members of a Roman Catholic ecumenical community have been invited to live and pray daily at Lambeth palace next year, breaking five centuries of Anglican tradition and heralding a further rapprochement between the churches of England and Rome.

18 November 2013: Tengatenga to serve as fellow at EDS
The Episcopal News Service (ENS) reports that Episcopal Divinity School has named the Rt Revd James Tengatenga, bishop of Southern Malawi, as a presidential fellow for six months beginning January 2014. The fellowship was made possible with the support of the Episcopal dioceses of Connecticut and Massachusetts.

18 November 2013: New bishop announcement at 'messy' time
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Australia's first female diocesan bishop has described the timing of the announcement of her historical appointment as 'messy' after it was brought forth at the same time a royal commission focused on her new diocese. The commission is investigating the tragic scandal that came to light at a children's home run by the diocese. Elected unanimously and to be installed next March, the Revd Dr Sarah Macneil has two good sound-bites in the article: '"Life is like that, celebrating one event cannot be done in splendid isolation from the harsh realities," she said. "Life gets messy."' and '"I believe the announcement does not distract from the commission; the commission's work is ongoing and important, not just for the Grafton diocese but the whole of Australia."'

15 November 2013: Bellringers run for cover as bell crashes through two floors
The Daily Mail reports that eight veteran bellringers, including their 90-year-old leader, fled St Peter and St Paul church in Kilmersdon, Somerset, when one of the bells plunged through the tower towards them. The Mirror made the inevitable headline reference to potential 'dead ringers'. The Wikipedia article on the church notes that it had been added to the Heritage at Risk register because of repairs needed to the roof and tower.


17 November 2013: First woman diocesan bishop in Australia
The Canberra Times tells us that the Revd Dr Sarah Macneil will next year be installed as the 11th bishop of Grafton and the first woman to head an Anglican diocese in Australia. We imagine that there are groups of grumpy men who have issued angry statements about her selection, but we haven't gone looking for those statements. There is good coverage by the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

17 November 2013: General Synod this week in England
There will be a Church of England General Synod this week. Thinking Anglicans has collected advance press coverage. It looks as though they plan to spend much of their time wrangling the issue of women bishops.

16 November 2013: Tercentenary of the death of Fabian Stedman
Fabian Stedman was a leading campanologist, who influenced the English tradition of change ringing by publishing Tintinnalogia, or the Art of Ringing in 1668. To mark the tercentenary of his death, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has encouraged ringers to ring a Stedman (which takes about 45 minutes), or any other peal, around the 16th of November, the date on which he was buried at St Andrew Undershaft in London. St Andrew's church in Sonning and St Mary's church in Dover are two of the churches around the world that will be marking the anniversary.

14 November 2013: Agencies & Churches rally to help typhoon victims
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the efforts by Anglican agencies and Churches to aid the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The article lists agencies that are accepting donations for relief efforts. ACNS also reported on the message of prayer and solidarity sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury to all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The Mission to Seafarers, a global maritime welfare charity, has set up a new emergency communications fund to allow Filipino mariners to call home, and the mission is partnering with the Daily Telegraph Newspaper (UK) in a charity auction to raise funds for seafarers in need affected by Typhoon Haiyan. More coverage can be found in the 15 November Church Times report.

11 November 2013: RIP: the Rt Revd Douglas Edwin Theuner
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the death of Bishop Theuner, the eighth bishop of New Hampshire. His episcopacy was distinguished by his strong stands and advocacy for social justice.


11 November 2013: ABC on the Pressure of Christmas
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on remarks by the Archbishop of Canterbury made during an interview on ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show: 'the "absurd and ridiculous" pressure to have a perfect Christmas puts relationships under strain and "spoils life"'.

10 November 1013: Mural unveiled after being hidden sixty years
CNN reports A religious mural, installed in 1946, depicting two military servicemen was unveiled Sunday after 60 years hidden away. The painting was unveiled at the historic St Peter's Chelsea church in Manhattan just in time for Veterans Day.

8 November 2013: WCC body elects Anglican as moderator
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Central Committee for the World Council of Churches made history Friday by electing Dr Agnes Abuom of Nairobi, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, as the moderator of the highest WCC governing body. Abuom, who was elected unanimously to the position, is the first woman and the first African in the position in the 65-year history of the WCC.

5 November 2013: Obituary: The Rt Revd William Spofford
Episcopal News Service (ENS) posted an obituary for the Rt Revd William B Spofford, Jr., who was the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. The family has posted the full obituary here. The current Bishop of Eastern Oregon, the Rt Revd Bavi E 'Nedi' Rivera's message can be found here.

4 November 2013: Hot cushions to warm worshippers
The Diocese of Exeter (UK) reports two churches in Devon are piloting the use of warm cushions to keep worshippers comfortable. The programme is part of the diocese's green initiatives. 'This is a technology which has been designed for outdoor use in sports stadiums in Scotland, but we think it could have a lot of potential for church use in Devon where heating buildings can be expensive and inefficient.' (ACNS picked up the story as well.)


4 November 2013: Brotherhood takes gospel to biker family
Sydney Anglicans (Australia) posted a story on the Brotherhood Christian Motocycle Club.

29 October 2013: New university inaugurated in Ghana
Ghanaweb reported the Anglican University College of Technology (ANGUTECH) has inaugurated its premier campus at Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region. The Archbishop of the Internal province of Ghana and Bishop of Kumasi, the Most Revd Dr Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, attended. The new campus will house three schools: Agriculture and Bio Resources Engineering, Food and Health Sciences, and a school of Social Science.

25 October 2013: Cathedral searching for missing crozier
The dean of St Paul's Cathedral in Regina, Saskatchewan, Mike Sinclair, discovered that the bishop's crozier, presented shortly after the founding of the Diocese of Qu'Appelle in 1874, is missing. The Regina Leader-Post reports that he hopes the crozier will be returned.

25 October: Greenhouse theology in Zimbabwe
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the introduction of a new course on �greenhouse theology� to empower priests with knowledge about creation, the environment and its preservation. ACNS also reported on efforts in the Church in Southern Africa to promote involvement in the care for creation through worship, local church action and advocacy.

25 October 2013: Dominican church takes stand on court ruling
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported that Dominicans of Haitian descent are are facing statelessness after the constitutional court of the Dominican Republic ruled ineligible for citizenship any children born of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic. The Bishop of the Iglesia Episcopal Dominicana, the Rt Revd Julio Cesar Holguin said, 'I believe that the constitutional court has made ??a big mistake with that ruling, which violates the rights of at least four generations of descendants of immigrants, most of whom came to the Dominican Republic, by agreement between the two governments, Dominican and Haitian, to work primarily cutting sugarcane.'


25 October 2013: Non-zero progress towards women bishops in Church of England
The Church Times (London) quotes William Fittall, the Secretary General of some oreganization (it didn't mention which one) as saying that 'the package of proposals produced by the Steering Committee given the task of preparing fresh women-bishops legislation represented a "new and hopeful phase"'. A bit of poking around with search engines revealed Mr Fittall as the Secretary-General of the General Synod of the Church of England. Will Nigeria have women bishops before England does?

25 October 2013: ABC urges 'new structures' in the Anglican Communion
The Church Times, reporting the activities of the Archbishop of Canterbury, writes 'The Anglican Communion needs a new structure for the future rather than, as at present, one "for the power of some middle-aged English clergyman based in London with very little hair", the Archbishop of Canterbury said in Kenya on Sunday, on the eve of GAFCON II.' You can evaluate the good archbishop's hair from the photograph in this news report.

25 October 2013: GAFCON II meeting in Nairobi
The second Global Anglican Future Conference — GAFCON 2013 — met in Nairobi this past week. This report in the Huffington Post will help you understand how things went. A simple summary is that people who were represented at the Global Anglican Future Conference believe that they are the key to the global Anglican future, and most who were not represented there do not believe that.

25 October 2013: Agenda released for next Church of England General Synod
Thinking Anglicans has published the agenda for General Synod of that was recently released.

23 October 2013: Anglican church in Perth destroyed by fire
Perth Now (Australia) describes the fire that destroyed the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury in the Perth suburb of Willagee.

22 October 2013: Anglicans vs Roman Catholics: the cricket match
Reuters reports that the Vatican is forming a cricket team with the intention of challenging a yet-to-be-formed Anglican team in a cricket tournament. The Guardian (London) has a report with a decidedly British flavour.


20 October 2013: New bishop elected in Fond du Lac
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Matthew Gunter was elected 8th bishop of Fond du Lac. Without looking it up, do you know where it is or the name of its see city? Hint: the see city is actually dessus du lac and the lake in question is Lake Winnebago.

20 October 2013: Australia's Diocese of Ballarat approves women priests
It's old news in some other parts of the world, but little by little, diocese by diocese, it's happening. The Courier (Ballarat) reports on the overwhelming vote at the Diocesan Synod to ordain women as priests.

20 October 2013: Preserving churches on the Isle of Man
Manx Radio reports the Rt Revd Robert Paterson is calling for public debate on how to preserve crumbling church buildings for future generations. Without any action, many of the 45 Anglican churches will become un-usable within 20-30 years.

16 October 2013: Plans released for rebuilding cathedral in Haiti
Religion News Service reported the landmark Holy Trinity Cathedral that was reduced to rubble in the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will be rebuilt. Plans were unveiled at the Executive Council meeting of the US Episcopal Church.


13 October 2013: Church so full it's opening a new one in bowling club
The Telegraph (Sydney) reports that it has been difficult to find a seat Sunday morning at St Matthew's church in Adelaide. The influx of churchgoers includes many migrants who have recently moved to the area, and has prompted the congregation to open a second base at the Trinity Gardens Bowling Club.

11 October 2013: England: Queen approves dioceses' merger
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports the Queen has said yes to a new single diocese for West Yorkshire and the Dales to replace the three existing dioceses of Bradford, Wakefield, Ripon and Leeds. The new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales will come into existence at Easter 2014 when the three existing dioceses will be dissolved and a small number of parishes will transfer into their neighbouring dioceses of Blackburn and Sheffield.

11 October 2013: Anglicans could receive Roman Catholic communion, Archbishop suggests
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Revd Bernard Longley, has suggested that restrictions that prevent Anglicans from receiving communion in Roman Catholic churches might be considered. Although he insisted that he was expressing a personal view, they are the view of the senior Catholic cleric responsible for dialogue with Anglican churches.

10 October 2013: Financial crisis for Iqaluit cathedral
The Alaska Dispatch reports officials from the Diocese of the Arctic say they are in a financial crisis after receivers for a bankrupt contractor asked for the outstanding bills on the new cathedral in Iqaluit, the capital city of Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, to be paid posthaste. The fundraising by the diocese has been ongoing, but the receivers' new demand is 'unrealistic'. St Jude's cathedral is also known as the Igloo Cathedral and is the hub of the diocese covering Canada's Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Inuit self-governing region of Nunavik in northern Quebec. A report by Nunatsiaq Online can be found here.

7 October 2013: Obituary: The Most Revd David Gitari
Fulcrum published an obituary for Archbishop David Gitari, third Primate and Archbishop of the Church of Kenya. They have also re-published an article about Gitari dating from 1996: Biblical Interpretation in Action in Kenya. Both articles are authored by the Rt Revd Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne.

7 October 2013: Church of England releases 2012 costs for its bishops
The Church of England has issued a press release and a report on the 2012 office and working costs of its bishops — all 44 diocesan and 69 suffragan and other fulltime assistant bishops.


5 October 2013: GAFCON II will be held despite violence in Nairobi
Anglican Ink tells us 'GAFCON II is a go.' The conference set for 21-26 October 2013 at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi will be held despite the recent violent attack on non-Muslims at the Westgate Mall in that city. To learn more about GAFCON or its upcoming meeting, look at its website or read the Wikipedia article about the first GAFCON meeting. New Zealand's Revd Bosco Peters has written about GAFCON from the perspective of one who was not invited and would perhaps not be welcome there.

4 October 2013: Christians in Qatar celebrate formal opening of Anglican Centre
The US Episcopal News Service tells us about the opening ceremonies of the Anglican Centre in Qatar in Doha, that country's capital.

4 October 2013: Anglican Church of Australia complicit in child-abuse evidence withholding?
Radio Australia reports that NSW Police have been accused of complicity with RC and Anglican churches in a bid to limit the release of incriminating evidence about child abuse.

4 October 2013: Making over clergy fashion
The New York Times profiles CM Almy, one of the oldest American producers of clerical clothing. They are revamping their women's line, noting that about half the graduates from Episcopal seminaries are women. One customer advised them, 'The job is dominated by men, but that doesn't mean we have to look like them.' The company is also working on prototypes for maternity wear.

4 October 2013: Anglican Church of Southern Africa adopts Anglican Covenant
The US Episcopal News Service reports that Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) has adopted the Anglican Communion Covenant. If you've forgotten this once-controversial document, you can review its official website, the website of those organized against it, or the Wikipedia article about it. Or you can just decide not to care, which has become the predominant view in many provinces.

1 October 2013: Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Tewkesbury ordained and consecrated
The Archbishop of Canterbury's press office has announced an unusual dual-ABC ceremony in which two suffragan bishops were ordained and consecrated. We normally pay no attention to the affairs of suffragan bishops, but since one of these is a new Flying Bishop for the Province of Canterbury, we thought it worth reporting. Both Justin Welby and Rowan Williams participated.


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