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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for October/November/December 2014

Link to main News Archives page

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31 December 2014: On church closings and a church closing
The Christian Century (USA) published an essay on the sadness of closing churches on the very same day that the Hull Daily Mail (Yorkshire, UK) reported on the sad closure of St Matthew in Hull, in the Diocese of York. They were known as 'The Stadium Church'. Surely their choice of a .com domain for their website did not contribute to their demise.

29 December 2014: The Bermuda church that never opened
The unfinished building on Church Folly Lane is a popular visitor attraction in St George's, Bermuda. Begun in 1874, church squabbles, financial setbacks and storm damage prevented its completion. Slate's Atlas obscura features the ruins of the structure, intended to seat 650 people. Rather than build a new church, the congregation restored St Peter, which claims to be the oldest surviving Anglican church in continuous use outside the British Isles.


28 December 2014: ABC has pneumonia
The Telegraph (London) reports the admission by Lambeth Palace that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has pneumonia. Even in this antibiotic-laced century, people still die of pneumonia, so prayers for the good archbishop would be in order.

26 December 2014: Daughter of atheists now Anglican bishop tackling poverty
The mayor of Edmonton has asked the Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Edmonton, Jane Alexander, to chair his task force on child poverty. The Edmonton Journal profiles Bishop Alexander, whose parents actively discouraged religion. She was not baptized till she was in her mid-twenties, and eventually was ordained, after teaching at the University of Alberta. Income inequality in Alberta is getting worse, with one in ten children living in poverty. Alexander is hopeful that her group can help change that, with concrete proposals on many fronts.

26 December 2014: Meet Britain's first 11-year-old female bishop
Oldham parish church in the Diocese of Manchester has a new year's tradition whereby a 'boy bishop' briefly takes the place of the diocesan bishop. This year, however, with the passage of legislation to enable female bishops in the Church of England, they have appointed a girl bishop. The Telegraph quotes Rebecca Howarth, who will take charge, until the Epiphany: 'Really women are just as good as boys I think, they're both equal to each other.'

23 December 2014: Council praises courageous leadership of Obama, Castro
The Episcopal Church of Cuba was a missionary diocese of The Episcopal Church of the United States. When the United States placed an embargo on travel and communications between the two countries in 1960, the Metropolitan Council of Cuba was established to provide episcopal direction, chaired by the Canadian primate, who did not have similar travel restrictions. The Canadian Churchman reports that the leadership of the church in Cuba and the Metropolitan Council have greeted the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States with hope and appreciation.

24 December 2014: Aboriginal Bishop announced for South Australia
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the appointment of the Revd Chris McLeod as Aboriginal Bishop for South Australia. He is a Gurindji man who has been involved in ministry among and beside Aboriginal people in Anglican orders for more than 20 years.

22 December 2014: Financial crisis in Diocese of Bathurst leads to job loss
The Daily Liberal (Dubbo, New South Wales) notes the drastic cuts in employment required because of huge debt in the Diocese of Bathurst. The bishop cut his own position to part time and made four of his staff redundant.

22 December 2014: Pope blasts Vatican staff
The Guardian (London) reports on Pope Francis' Christmas address, which he used to deliver a 'scathing critique of the churchís highest-ranking officials, including a list of 15 "ailments" that he said plagued the Vaticanís power-hungry bureaucracy.'

20 December 2014: When a child is born...
Church Times tells us Kenya is one of the world's most dangerous places to give birth. Madeleine Davies reports from two Maasai villages where the Church is improving access to life-saving health care.


20 December 2014: Archbishop of Jerusalem reflects on 2014
The BBC has posted a video interview with the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, Archbishop of Jerusalem.

19 December 2014: Christmas celebrations banned due to Ebola
The Church Times reported that Christmas celebrations are being banned in Sierra Leone, as the country tries to fight back against the Ebola virus. Numbers of cases are still rising in some parts of the country.

17 December 2014: Christmas celebrations cancelled in Peshawar
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported that the Bishop of Peshawar (Pakistan) has The Bishop of Peshawar has said that, following what he called 'another unimaginable horror', the Church of Pakistan has decided to cancel its Christmas celebrations. Bishop Humphrey Peters spoke solemnly about the aftermath of the attack by the Taliban on a school that left 132 children and nine adults dead.

17 December 2014: Suffragan Bishop of Stockport announced
We are pleased to report the email subject line from the C of E press release was the above. What is more historic is the identity of the new suffragan: the Revd Libby Lane, the first female to be named a bishop in the C of E. The press release is here. The Church Times report from 19 December is here.

17 December 2014: Top Ten Bible verses for 2014
Christianity Today reported Bible Gateway has released statistics on trends and patterns in Bible searches this year. Many of the online readers were searching for verses about love.


14 December 2014: Anglican Church of Australia proposes sex abuse reparation scheme
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a proposed scheme for reparations to victims of child sex abuse.

12 December 2014: 'Radical overhaul' of Church of England leadership
The Church Times reports on an as-yet-unreleased document describing a new scheme for training and appointing upper management within the Church of England. Accompanying that report is a scathing opinion piece about it by the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Oxford Cathedral and this leader by the Church Times' Paul Handley. This report's title is 'Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans: A new approach' but it is being called 'the Green Report' because of its authorship.

11 December 2014: Ding dong merrily on high: the maths of Christ Church belfry
The 19 bells of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin peal out every Sunday to call the faithful to worship. The science page of the Irish Times explores the 'melodic pandemonium' of change ringing, which helped create a form of advanced mathematics called group theory.†

9 December 2014: Swaffham Bulbeck pom pom art and music fills church.
A local artist installed 840 pom poms in the church of St Mary in Swaffham Bulbeck, one for each person in the village. BBC News has photographs of the colourful work that is reported to have brought the village together.

8 December 2014: 30 years of partnership between Japanese and Korean churches
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the joint celebration of the 30th anniversary of their partnership by the Japanese and Korean Anglican Churches.


6 December 2014: From politician to priest
The Herald Sun (Melbourne) reported that 'the transformation' of the former South Australian premier, Lynn Arnold, to the priesthood is now complete. The Revd Lynn Arnold was one of seven deacons ordained to the priesthood in a service at St Peter's Cathedral in North Adelaide.

6 December 2014: ABC speaks
The Independent (UK) reported the Most Revd Justin Welby spoke frankly with The Times (UK) about the conflicting views between churches within the Communion. The interview and his remarks follow the completion of his visits to all 38 provinces in the Communion.

4 December 2014: 40th year commemorative service for Tracy
Australian Broadcast Commission (ABC) reported on the service from Darwin's Christ Church Cathedral commemorating the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy wreaking her wrath on the city. A recording of the service is available via audio stream in the posted story.

4 December 2014: Inside Christchurch Cathedral
One News (NZ) reported on a group of anonymous photographers who entered the damaged cathedral and have released photos of the interior. The Press (NZ) also has a full report, and the Daily Mail (UK) picked up the story as well.

4 December 2014: Maidstone see to be revived
The Church Times reported the Church of England's suffragan see of Maidstone in Kent, vacant since 2009, is to be revived to accommodate a conservative Evangelical bishop.

29 November 2014: New bishop in Northern Territory
The Diocese of Sydney issued a press release on the consecration of the sixth Bishop for the Northern Territory, the Rt Revd Dr Gregory Anderson.


30 November 2014: Former soldier embraces role as Moscow priest
The Moscow Times published a human interest story on the Revd Clive Fairclough, the current priest-in-residence at St Andrew's in Moscow who also serves as the ABC's official representative to the Orthodox patriarch and chaplain to the British ambassador.

30 November 2014: Bishop begins commemorative ocean journey
Three News in New Zealand reported the Rt Revd Jim White has begun a voyage by sea kayak that will end with a Christmas Day service at Oihi Beach in the Bay of Islands. The service will commemorate the 200th anniversary of first Christian service held by Maori and Christian missionaries in New Zealand in 1814.

29 November 2014: 'Time capsule' room discovered in Liverpool church.
The BBC and the Metro (Associated Newspapers) both reported on the re-discovery at St Nicholas of a room full of books as well as toys from the 1930s and 1940s that had been sealed off and forgotten since World War Two. The rector, the Revd Dr Crispin Palling, attributes his discovery to natural curiosity: 'When you see a hole in the ceiling, I think you've got to go through it and find out what's on the other side, and that's what I wanted to do here'.

28 November 2014: Cathedrals ponder success as midweek attendance booms
The Church Times reported statistics published this week indicate that attendance at cathedral services Monday through Saturday doubled between 2003 and 2013, from 7500 to fifteen thousand.

27 November 2014: Obituary: PD James
The Guardian (and many other news sources) published an obituary for PD James. 'Her books always contained at least one religious character, a sign of her devotion to Anglicanism. This gave way to much discussion in her stories about the nature of good and evil, with Dalgliesh, the son of a vicar, often leading the way.'

25 November 2014: New Diocese inaugurated
SpyGhana reported the inauguration of the Asante-Mapong Diocese, the second diocese to be created in the Ashanti Region. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) posted the press release from the Church of the Province of West Africa in which the new diocese is located.


23 November 2014: Crozier returned to Maori donors a century later
The Special Broadcasting Service (Australia) reports on the return of a crozier to its donors by the Bishop of Auckland, who had discovered a century-old crozier that had been presented in 1914 to the then-bishop of Auckland by Maori tribes in the Bay of Islands. It will be returned to Kito Pikaahu, Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau.

19 November 2014: Why unity evades the Church of England
Thinking Anglicans has published a press release from Westminster Faith Debates of a survey performed by YouGov, which shows that a small group of male conservatives is the chief roadblock to unity in the Church of England.

19 November 2014: Every organ, every church in the diocese
The Derby Telegraph tells the story of Peter Gould, organist at Derby Cathedral, who has, at his retirement, traveled to each of more than 270 churches in the Diocese of Derby to perform on that church's pipe organ(s).

18 November 2014: ABC uses Presidential Address to C of E Synod to deliver 'State of the Communion' speech
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) has published Justin Welby's speech about the state of the Anglican Communion. The Church Times had this report on it and The Economist said this.

18 November 2014: Church of England General Synod actually had other business besides women bishops
It wasn't just women bishops at this session of the General Synod. For example, the Synod approved a motion calling for evaluation of research findings into the effect of removing the Spare Room Subsidy.

17 November 2014: Church of England Legislation on women bishops becomes law
Only in a country with an established church would a press release from church headquarters use the phrase 'becomes law'. The C of E's Church House issued this press release announcing that General Synod had enacted the measure enabling women to be ordained as Bishops in the Church of England. Opinions published in the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the BBC are worth reading.


14 November 2014: C of E 'poised to choose first female bishop by Christmas'
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England is expected to have at least one female bishop appointed before Christmas of this year. That newspaper also reports on the 'special training' given to some female clergy to prepare them should they be selected as bishops.

14 November 2014: Update on Nova Scotia church's journey
Back in November 2009, we listed the sale of All Saints in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia, to a Baptist congregation in Louisiana. This week, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly featured an update on the move of the building.

14 November 2014: Slight decline in attendance shown in 2014 C of E report
The Church Times notes the publication by the Church of England of its latest attendance statistics and notes that the report shows a slight decline from last year.

14 November 2014: Biblical scholars dismiss claim of 'lost gospel' found at British Library
Pointing out that it is neither lost nor a Gospel, church historians call the assertion that the discovery of a 'lost' early Gospel at the British Library would lead to a re-writing of the New Testament 'deepest bilge'. Read about it in the Church Times.

12 November 2014: RIP: Bishop Dyer
The Allentown Morning Call (Pennsylvania, US) reported the death of the Rt Revd J Mark Dyer, former Bishop of Bethlehem. Virginia Theological Seminary issued a release including 20 November funeral details. The Bishop served on faculty of the seminary after his time in Pennsylvania. Episcopal News Service also reported this with a focus on Dyer's role as a widely-respected leader in the Anglican Communion.

9 November 2014: East Carolina consecrates new bishop
The Greenville Daily Reflector reported the consecration of the Rt Revd Robert Stuart Skirving as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. Later in the week the Episcopal News Service also published an article about the consecration.

9 November 2014: Labyrinth blessed by five unified faiths
The Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger reported on the dedication of the new labyrinth at the local parish of St James. 'There were Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, and they were all there with a common purpose: The dedication and blessing of the prayer labyrinth which now adorns St. James' courtyard.'


7 November 2014: One pastor, three congregations
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly (US) profiles John Unger of West Virginia, who is the pastor at a Lutheran church as well as at a Methodist one, and who is also the priest at an Episcopal parish. Add to this, he is a state senator. 'I am very careful to make sure that I donít bring politics into the church. However, Iíll tell you this, that I do bring my faith into my politics. It is who I am. And I do not discredit or try to in any way tear down other peopleís point of view. I believe my ministry is loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and my public service is loving my neighbor as myself.'

5 November 2014: King of Bahrain meets with Bishop
The Bahrain News Agency issued a press release on the meeting between King Hamad and the Rt Revd Michael Lewis (Cyprus and the Gulf). Among other things, the King reviewed with the Bishop 'issues which contribute to disseminating the culture of dialogue and tolerance between all monotheist religions as well as commitment to moderation and renunciation of extremism'.

5 November 2014: Priest faces charges for feeding the homeless
In order to discourage outdoor food programs, Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance restricting their operation. When the Revd Mark Sims of St Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs was helping at a food distribution, Christian Today reports, police shut down the operation and charged the people serving the food. They face a potential fine of $500 and sixty days in jail. It is estimated that there are about ten thousand homeless people in the city. Municipal officials claim that feeding them sanctions homelessness.

4 November 2014: Priest speaks out about climage change
Australia's ABC reported on remarks by the Dean of Darwin's Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Revd Keith Joseph. Joseph lived and worked on the Solomon Islands where he saw firsthand the effects of climate change and the damage being done. 'If you were sick and went to 30 doctors and 29 said you've got cancer and give up smoking and one said it's not a problem, what are you going to do? It's the same with climate change. The scientific evidence is in.' The Solomon Times also published this story.


1 November 2014: Former ABY resigns over sexual abuse cover-up
The Australian has reported 'One of the worldís most revered Anglican bishops has quit the ministry following scathing criticism of his handling of allegations of the horrific sexual abuse of children in Australia and Britain by a pedophile clergyman.' They are, of course, referring to David Hope, Lord Hope of Thornes, former Archbishop of York. Reports in UK newspapers include The Guardian and The Telegraph. (Note: if the link to The Australian requires you to be a subscriber, you can try this link).

1 November 2014: Obituary: Bernard Mayes
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both published an obituary of the once Revd Bernard Mayes, noting that, though born, raised, and ordained in England, he created the first suicide prevention hotline in the USA, was the founding chairman of US National Public Radio, a US-based reporter for the BBC, and assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. Later in life he renounced his orders and began formulating an atheist credo that he called Soupism.

31 October 2014: Church of England women bishops by 2015?
The Church Times reports on disputes 'over the implementation of arrangements for parishes that seek ministry from a male bishop' that are delaying the actual appointment of an actual woman as bishop in the C of E.

27 October 2014: RIP: Bishop Robertson
The Living Church reported the death of the Rt Revd Creighton L. Robertson, ninth Bishop of South Dakota. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published his obituary on 29 October.

27 October 2014: Coadjutor elected in West Texas
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the election of the Rt Revd David Mitchell Reed, currently bishop suffragan of West Texas, as the coadjutor for the diocese. He was elected on the first ballot.

27 October 2014: Christology truce after 1500 years
The Anglican Communion News Service reports 'Senior theologians in Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches recently made history by signing an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christ's incarnation.' This dispute began with the Council of Chalcedon in AD451, and has been unresolved for all these many centuries.


23 October 2014: Church offers 'green' burials
The Northumberland News (Ontario) reported St James in Roseneath is offering green burials. Green burials are also known as 'eco-friendly'. They do not use concrete vaults or embalming, and they use a biodegradable coffin. The article also informs us that cremation is 'one of the worst end-of-life green options,' using an equivalent amount of energy to heat a house for a month.

22 October 2014: Bermuda hit by two tropical storms, buoyed by prayer
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported that Anglicans in Bermuda have expressed their deep gratitude to God and to their brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion after surviving two tropical storms.

22 October 2014: General Seminary update
The Huffington Post reported the eight General Theological Seminary professors who have been on strike over working conditions at the New York City school have tentatively agreed to return. Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on this issue on 21 October and 24 October.

20 October 2014: RIP: Bishop Ken Short
ACNS reposted the news release from the Diocese of Sydney reporting the death of Bishop Ken Short AO, former missionary, military chaplain, Dean of Sydney and Bishop of Wollongong, Parramatta and the Defence Forces. The news release from Sydney includes details on how to join the live Internet stream of the 27 October funeral at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney.

20 October 2014: Bishop speaks: detribalised Nigeria
Leadership (Abuja) reported on the call by the Primate of Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, for a united and detribalised Nigeria.


18 October 2014: Architect of Anzac Day remembered
Canon David Garland was an Australian chaplain who served in the Middle East during the first world war, and who planned the ceremonies and rituals (a march, a returned soldier's luncheon, two minutes silence, and wreath-laying ceremonies) that mark Anzac Day, which honoured the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought with heavy casualties at Gallipoli. ABC reports that his tomb in Toowong cemetery has been restored, after being damaged by earth movement.

18 October 2014: The strip of land that began an unholy row
The Melbourne Herald Sun reports on the claim made by St John's, East Malvern against their neighbour for a narrow strip of land. They only discovered their ownership after a dispute over the cost of repairing a fence prompted a survey which showed the church owned a strip of their neighbour's land.

17 October 2014: RIP: Rt Revd M Thomas Shaw
The Diocese of Massachusetts reported the death of Bishop Shaw, recently retired bishop of the diocese. The Boston Globe report is here. In addition to his 20 years as bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, Shaw was life-professed in the Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE), the oldest religious order for men in the Episcopal/Anglican church. You can read their announcement of the passing of their Brother Tom here.

17 October 2014: Don't forget Peshawar
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) carried a reflection and update from Anglican Alliance on those affected by the bombing of All Saints Church last year.

17 October 2014: Rumours of hauntings became church's downfall
St John's church, Shrewsbury (Canada) was built in 1858, a wooden building with a modest steeple. It continued services into this century, though most of its members had moved. But rumours circulated that the congregation had committed mass suicide, and it showed up on ghost-hunting websites. For years it was subject to vandalism, and the diocese of Montreal deconsecrated it in 2010. The Montreal Gazette reports that this year it was burned to the ground, a victim of arson. The Gazette comments, 'The fire was an act of cultural erasure.'

17 October 2014: General Theological Seminary update
The Board of Trustees of General Theology Seminary issued a statement which was reprinted at Episcopal News Service (ENS). Episcopal Cafe posted details of the meeting with students and seminary as well as the statement by the dismissed faculty. Later the Cafe added another post with links to the largely negative reaction to the events from around the province. Comments after each article are different and illuminating. On October 19, the Diocese of New York released an email sent by the bishop, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche, to the diocese with his accounting of the board discussions and his call to reinstate the eight faculty in full.

16 October 2014: Central Tanzania has new bishop
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Tanzania Anglicans have elected their Provincial Secretary, the Revd Dr Dickson Chilongani, the sixth bishop of Central Tanganyika, the Tanzania's largest diocese.

13 October 2014: Church provides land for Ebola fight
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Diocese of Freetown has provided land for an Ebola holding centre for the Ola During Children's Hospital, the only children's referral hospital in the country.

10 October 2014: Obituary: Bishop Stephen Sykes
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) published an obituary for the Rt Reverend Stephen Sykes, who was Bishop of Ely from 1990 to 1999 and one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. His tenure was, however, a comparatively brief interlude in a career of considerable academic distinction: he moved to Ely from the Regius chair of Divinity at Cambridge, and before that held the Van Mildert chair of Divinity at Durham. ACNS based their article on the full obituary published in the Telegraph on 8 October and can be found here.

10 October 2014: Wrong Number, Right Message
The Anglican Church of Canada posted an uplifting story about Back to Church Sunday. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) re-published this story as well.


10 October 2015: Survey finds C of E clergy wedded to the parish system
The Church Times reports the results of a survey of 1500 Church of England clergy. It found that Church of England clergy are overwhelmingly committed to the parish system, despite the challenges it poses.

8 October 2014: Obituary: Fr David Russell
South African priest David Russell was a key contributor to the end of apartheid. This week his obituary is in The Independent (London).

7 October 2014: Anglican Vicar of Baghdad is now a refugee
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Canon Andrew White, who is vicar of the only remaining Anglican church in Iraq, not to return to that city because of threats from ISIS. The Christian Post has the story.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 1
The Church of Ireland Gazette released an interview with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It's a 21-minute sound recording, so we can't really excerpt it here, but we can tell you that Archbishop Welby said during the interview that ACNA — the Anglican Church in North America — is not part of the Anglican Communion. The Post Courier (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) reports various things that ACNA leaders have said in response. Meanwhile The Telegraph (London) reports that Pope Francis has made welcoming overtures to ACNA.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 2
In that same interview, Archbishop Welby addressed the various rumors circulating about 'cancellation' of the 2018 Lambeth Conference. Canada's Anglican Journal has transcribed much of that portion of the interview.

5 October 2014: Diocese of Tasmania to cooperate with sex abuse investigators
The Examiner (Tasmania) reports on the announcement by Bishop John Harrower that the Diocese of Tasmania will 'fully co-operate with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse'.


4 October 2014: Update from Malaysia on the 'Allah' issue
The Malay Mail reported remarks by Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok on the government's persistence in refusing non-Muslim Malaysians the right to use the word 'Allah'. The Archbishop said it 'is tantamount to the systematic destruction of the language and culture of the Bumiputera community in Sabah and Sarawak'.

2 October 2014: Uganda Martyrs Museum begins construction
New Vision (Kampala) reported on the start of construction for the Uganda Martyrs Museum. Located at the Anglican Shrine, the museum's design includes 47 pillars, each representing one of the Uganda martyrs. In the 1880s, twenty-three Anglican and twenty-two Catholic converts were killed after they defied orders to renounce Christianity.

1 October 2014: Upset and uproar at General Theological Seminary
The New York Times reported on the troubles at General Theological Seminary (GTS), the oldest Episcopal seminary in the US. The majority of the full-time faculty were relieved of their positions after a communications impasse with the Seminary's Board over the behavior of, and conflict surrounding, the Dean of the Seminary, the Very Revd Kurt Dunkle. Much has been reported on different sites (including Episcopal News Service, EpiscopalCafe, ChristianToday, Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education) and the dismissed faculty have started their own website to provide their perspective on the situation.

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