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This page last updated 6 September 2015  

The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for April/May/June 2015

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28 June 2015: Confederate symbols in US National Cathedral
Two windows installed in the US National Cathedral in Washington in 1953 depict US Civil War Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and both contain depictions of the Confederate flag. CBS News reports that the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Revd Gary Hall, has called for them to be removed from the nave, but preserved as part of a historical display. In the wake of the shooting in a Charleston church the week before, he said there is 'no excuse for the nation's most visible church to display a symbol of racism, slavery and oppression'. His sermon can be found here.

27 June 2015: Presiding Bishop elected
The Episcopal Church (US) is in the midst of its General Convention. The Rt Revd Michael Bruce Curry (Diocese of North Carolina) was elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of the province on the first ballot. The press release is here.

24 June 2015: Prayers requested for Sindh Province
Anglican Communion News Service reported the Bishop of Hyderabad of the Church of Pakistan (United), the Rt Revd Kaleem John, yesterday asked for prayer for the people of Pakista's Sindh Province, which is experiencing a record-breaking heatwave.

21 June 2015: Corrupt politicians should be killed - Anglican bishop
The Daily Post (Lagos) reports that when the bishop of Wusasa, the Rt Revd Ali Buba-Lamido spoke to his synod, he advocated the death penalty for public office holders found to be corrupt. Bishop Lamido is the only Faluni (a traditionally Muslim tribe) bishop in Nigeria, and has frequently been attacked by militants. In the past he has joined with Muslim leaders in advocating an amnesty for Boko Haram if it would lead to lasting peace.

19 June 2015: US Episcopal Church to elect new primate
The Church Times (London) reminds us of next week's General Convention of the US Episcopal Church, at which a new Presiding Bishop will be elected.

19 June 2015: Agenda and Papers for Church of England General Synod now online
Thinking Anglicans has provided an agenda and a list of the papers that are online (and expected soon to be online) for the July 2015 General Synod of the Church of England.

19 June 2015: English ecclesiastical court dismisses legal challenge to women bishops
The Court of the Vicar-General of the province of Canterbury dismissed a legal objection to the election of the Archdeacon of Hackney, the Ven Rachel Treweek, as Bishop of Gloucester, according to the Church Times.

16 June 2015: Richard III fan prosecuted for York Minster rant
David John Smith is a retired accountant who believed that Richard III should be reburied in York, not in Leicester, where his body was found. At a packed cathedral service in York, he confronted the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, saying she would 'burn in the hell fires forever' for allowing the reburial in Leicester. The Telegraph reports that a contrite Smith won a conditional discharge, and had to pay court costs.

15 June 2016: Beloved hagiographer James E Kiefer passes away
The Episcopal Café has reported the death, in April 2015, of James E Kiefer, famous for writing most of the 'Biographical sketches of memorable Christians of the past'.

12 June 2015: Another UK woman bishop and a conservative change of view
The Church Times (London) reports that with the appointment of the Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally as Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Revd Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham and past opponent of women bishops, has said that he would now accept the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

11 June 2015: US General Convention materials published
The Office of Public Affairs of the US Episcopal Church has announced the online availability of all reports for the upcoming General Convention of that church. The US Episcopal Church holds its General Convention every 3 years; this one will be in Salt Lake City from June 25 to July 3.

10 June 2015: Vicar loiters in Norfolk Square
The Diocese of Derby tells us that the Revd Andrew Hargreaves, Vicar of Whitfield Parish, will be sitting under his gazebo in the square to give an opportunity to the people of the town to talk to a Christian leader about anything that bothers or puzzles them.

10 June 2015: Australian diocese to give sex-abuse survivors a clear target
The Guardian (London) tells us the Diocese of Wangaratta has voted to become a company so child abuse survivors will know exactly who to sue if they launch a case against the church. Wangaratta is the third Anglican diocese in Victoria to make the decision to incorporate.

9 June 2015: NZ diocese helps rescue Melanesia library
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) reports on the support by the Diocese of Auckland in replacing books eaten by white ants (termites) at the Bishop Paterson Theological College in Melanesia.

4 June 2015: NZ Archbishop and the upcoming Missions Conference
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) reports the eagerness of Archbishop Philip Richardson to get started on a 10-year project for regional collaboration in mission across several provinces.

7 June 2015: Decline in C of E heralds calls for innovative use of church buildings
According to the British Social Attitudes survey, in the two years between 2012 and 2014 the number of people describing themselves as Anglican fell from 21% to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people. The Guardian looks at how the vicar of the churches in Great Casterton, Little Casterton, Pickworth, Tinwell and Tickencote, the Revd Jo Saunders, cares for her congregations. Each has an ancient church (though Pickworth is merely Georgian), and attendance that varies from 50 each Sunday to six once a month. One suggestion is to make the buildings work harder, with other uses in their rural communities.

6 June 2015: New Bishop for Montreal
The Anglican Journal reported the election of Mary Irwin-Gibson, dean and rector of St George's Cathedral in Kingston, has been elected the first female bishop of the Anglican diocese of Montreal in its 165-year history. The International Business Times report is here. Irwin-Gibson holds an MBA from the Université de Québec à Montréal with a study based on the church and its future. One of the other candidates was the bishop of Quebec, who sought to promote a merger between the two dioceses.

5 June 2015: Researchers say UK Anglicans in serious decline
The Church Times report by Madeleine Davies examines the outcomes of the British Social Attitudes survey.

5 June 2015: Digital evangelism
The Church Times writes about the evangelism efforts of

4 June 2015: Heather Cook's trial date postponed
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the criminal trial of the Diocese of Maryland's former Bishop Suffragan, Heather Cook, has been postponed until early September.

4 June 2015: Church in Brazil celebrates 125 years
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the celebrations planned and underway in the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.

2 June 2015: WCC conference renews call for just peace in DRC
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the recently concluded World Conference of Churches (WCC) conference on peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has issued an invitation for churches and partners to establish 'a suitable structure or process for the purpose of sharing and consolidation of existing initiatives by the churches and related organizations or networks, and in order to consider new ecumenical initiatives' in the DRC.

30 May 2015: Bishop of Guyana dies while recovering from heart surgery in Miami
Carib News Desk and the Bahamas Press both report the sad and unexpected loss of the Rt Revd Cornell Moss, Bishop of Guyana, in recovery from heart surgery, in Miami.

29 May 2015: Perhaps all water is holy?
The New Vision (Kampala) tells us the Anglican Church has decided to start bottling safe drinking water from springs at the Anglican Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo.

27 May 2015: Manchester vicar refuses to baptize infant with unmarried parents
The Manchester Evening News reports that when the parents of young Roman Lawrence asked for him to be baptized at Saint John’s Church Dukinfield, the vicar refused because the parents had not yet married.

23 May 2015: Church of Ireland issues statement on same-sex marriage
The referendum in Ireland legalizing same-sex marriage in that country has had widespread international publicity. Today the Church of Ireland issued this press release reminding us that it 'defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and the result of this referendum does not alter this'.

22 May 2015: Mothers' Union president speaks
Anglican Communion News Service posted Anglican Taonga's story on the Mary Sumner Lecture given by the Worldwide President of the Mothers' Union, Lynn Tembey. The report provides an overview of what former ABC Rowan Williams described as "the Communion's fifth 'instrument of Unity'".

19 May 2015: Installation of the first indigenous bishop in Sabah
The Daily Express (Kota Kinabalu) and the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Rt Revd Melter Jiki Tais is the sixth bishop for the Diocese of Sabah and the first native of Sabah to be installed as bishop.

18 May 2015: Church bell ringers in Kent told to fill out US tax form to open bank account
St Mary's Church, Chartham boasts the oldest peal of bells in Kent, dating back to 1605. 76-year-old Neil Campbell is treasurer for the bell ringers, and applied to open a bank account for them. He filled out the 18 page application form, affirming that they were not involved with the nuclear power industry, and outlining details of the groups income and expenses. That, however, was not sufficient for the bank, which wanted further details required by an American law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The Telegraph reports that they were asked for detailed personal identification and bank details, not just for the signing officers, but for every member of the group. Their dilemma has been widely reported, but we have not seen any account of a solution.

17 May 2015: New Dean for Sydney
The Diocese of Sydney reported the Revd Kanishka Raffel has been appointed the new Dean for Sydney, the first person from a non-European background to hold the position.

16 May 2015: Bishop elections in Texas
The Living Church reports the Diocese of Dallas has elected the Very Revd George R Sumner as its seventh bishop. The publication also reports the election of the Rt Revd J Scott Mayer as the next Bishop Provisional for the Diocese of Fort Worth.

15 May 2015: Nepal: second earthquake update
The Church Times reported on the situation in Nepal after the second earthquake struck last week. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the renewed appeals for support from Anglican agencies providing emergeny assistance in Nepal.

15 May 2015: Church of England Commissioners 2014 annual report
The Church of England issued a press release on the 2014 Church Commissioners annual report. Some highlights include: a reported 14.4% return on investments; an amount of charitable expenditure that suggests they were one of the largest charitable givers in the UK and the eighth largest globally. The Church Times, in their article on the report, said the report reveals the Church Commissioners used their clout as shareholders to oppose two-thirds of the executive pay deals in companies in which they have a holding.

14 May 2015: New bishop consecrated in Southeast Florida
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the consecration of the Rt Revd Peter David Eaton as bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

12 May 2015: Yemen update
The bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus & the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Augustine Owen Lewis, posted an update (12 May) on the diocesan website on the situation in Aden, Yemen. He writes it remains 'very difficult' due to damage from blast waves from shelling in the area. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) also published the bishop's message. On 14 May, Christian Today posted a more in-depth article on the situation.

7 May 2015: ABC voices fears about 'dishonest unity'
The Christian Post reports on The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, who has warned that pretending all faiths are the same or united is 'dishonest', and may be helping to fuel religious extremism.

5 May 2015: ARCIC issues communiqué, schedules next year's meeting
The Anglican Communion News Service has published the 2015 communiqué from the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and announced that ARCIC's 2016 meeting will be held in Toronto.

5 May 2015: Leader of C of E campaign against women bishops is made a bishop
The British Prime Minister's Office has announced the appointment of the Revd Prebendary Roderick Thomas as Suffragan Bishop of Maidstone. The Telegraph (London) offers an explanation of who he is and what this appointment means.

1 May 2015: Dean of Westminster defends inclusion of Muslim prayer in abbey service
Christian Today reports on the Dean of Westminster's defence of the choice of a prayer in which the prophet Muhammad was described as 'The Chosen One' at the Abbey as 'within orthodox Christian worship'.

1 May 2015: Bishop frees 25 prison inmates in Kaduna
Leadership (Abuja) reports that the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna, has secured the release of 25 prison inmates from Kaduna Central Prison as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of his consecration as bishop by paying fines that the prisoners had been unable to pay. Because of a strike by the local courts, the actual physical release of these inmates has not yet occurred.

1 May 2015: Interview with new Anglican Secretary General
The Guardian (Nigeria) published an interview with the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the newly appointed Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. 'My ministry is to help Africa understand Europe and Europe to understand Africa.'

1 May 2015: Nepal earthquake update and response
The Church Times published two reports on the earthquake in Nepal. The earlier article (27 April) details the efforts of Christian aid agencies. The later article (1 May) reports on the responses by charities and the effects on Anglican parishes in the area. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) also published a report by the Diocese of Sydney that includes links for donation to help in the relief and recovery efforts, details on the Anglican Communion response to the disaster, and a place to share prayers for Nepal and the region.

1 May 2015: Prominent Canadian Catholic joins Anglican Church
The National Post (Toronto) interviewed author Michael Coren and reported that the prominent Canadian, known as a strong apologist for the Roman Catholic Church and who authored 'Why Catholics Are Right' among other titles, has formally joined an Anglican congregation in Toronto citing a 'growing sense of hypocrisy'. As a result, the Catholic Register has pulled his regular column, and the announcement caused some uproar in conservative RC groups. The Catholic World Report also reported this story.

1 May 2015: Dual actions end Cook's ordained ministry, employment
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported that an agreement has been reached that removes Heather Cook from ordained ministry and from her post as suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Maryland.

1 May 2015: Baltimore and racial unrest
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly interviewed the Rt Revd Eugene Sutton, Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland, in a segment entitled, 'Making Peace in Baltimore'. And Religion News Service interviewed the Revd Kelly Brown Douglas, priest, professor, and author of Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.

28 April 2015: New Kenyan diocese installs first bishop
The Standard Times (Nairobi) reported on the installation of the Rt Revd Lawrence Kavutsu Dena as the first bishop of the new Diocese of Malindi.

26 April 2015: Church of Nigeria consecrates three bishops
New Bishops for the Diocese of Niger West, Gwagwalada, and Ijesha-North were consecrated at All Saints Cathedral Church Onitsha in Anambra State. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh was in attendence.

26 April 2015: Former Hamilton vicar and wife make contact after quake
Following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which killed 2000 people in Nepal, the New Zealander serving as a missionary in Kathmandu describes the devastation that occured and his efforts to reconnect with his congregation and loved ones.

24 April 2015: An Anglican Treasure
The Hindu, Chennai (Madras) celebrates St George's cathedral, which first opened its doors 200 years ago, built when the British started leaving the confines of the Fort and George Town. It made the reputation of the military engineer who built it, Major Thomas Fiott de Havilland. But he lost the contract for St Mathias in Vepery to a rival, and when he discovered that the spire for the new church was to be taller than that of the cathedral, he declared it could be a security threat to the Fort and had it shortened.

22 April 2015: Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu to co-author book on joy
Huffington Post reports that the two religious leaders are having a series of conversations which will culminate in the publication of a book to be titled The Book of Joy: Finding Enduring Happiness in an Uncertain World.

22 April 2015: Conservative Anglican group backs away from split with Anglican Communion
Several media outlets (National Catholic Reporter, The Church Times) are reporting the move away from schism following the meeting of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in London. The group instead intends to 'renew the Anglican Communion from the inside'.

22 April 2015: Anglican Church gets behind Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam
Following Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Anglicans throughout the communion are coming together to help rebuild. Efforts include those in South Canterbury, UK and New South Wales, Australia.

20 April 2015: More Martyrs: ISIS executes dozens of Ethiopian Christians in Libya
Christianity Today reports on the martyrdom of several Ethiopian Christians, and includes extensive remarks from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who had recently arrived in the region to deliver condolences for the 20 Copic Orthodox Christians who had been martyred days earlier.

19 April 2015: Church of England branded 'cowardly' for not speaking up
The Independent (London) reports on the response by various liberal Anglican organisations to the silence of the Church of England on a planned 'conversion therapy' conference, some of whose organizers and speakers are associated with the C of E.

17 April 2015: Aden church and clinic close as fighting intensifies
Christ Church, Aden was built in 1863 as a garrison church for British forces, requisitioned by the communist government of South Yemen in 1970, and restored and rededicated in 1997. It offered services for a small ex-pat congregation (on Friday mornings to accommodate local schedules), and operated a clinic which offered general medical services and specialist eye treatment. But the civil war in Yemen has paralysed life in the city, and the Church Times reports that the church and clinic are now locked.

17 April 2015: Turning kitchen tables into sacred spaces
The Religion News Service has run an interesting piece 'How Shauna Niequist helps Christians turn kitchen tables into sacred spaces'. It is not news, and this is the News Centre, but we found it interesting enough that we decided to include it here.

16 April 2015: 41 years in, still a struggle for women in the church
The US Episcopal News Service, reporting on a recent symposium in Tennessee, notes that two of the women ordained in 1974 in Philadelphia said that the need remains to fight for women's proper role in the church.

15 April 2015: ACO at UN announces 2015 Global Service Award
The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) has honored Beth Adamson with its 2015 Award for Global Service for her dedicated work to strengthen Anglican women's presence at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).

11 April 2015: South Australia's first aboriginal Anglican bishop
The Revd Christopher McLeod has been consecrated as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide, and is South Australia's first aboriginal Anglican bishop. Bishop McLeod, who was rector of St Jude's church, Brighton is of Gurindji descent, and his mother was a member of the Stolen Generations, who were removed from their families by state and church authorities. ABC reports that he will use his new role to focus on reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people, and that the ordination ceremony combined Anglican and aboriginal rituals.

10 April 2015: ABC calls murdered Kenyan students martyrs
The Church Times reported that, in his Easter sermon, Archbishop Welby said the Kenyan students killed on Maundy Thursday were among the 'many martyrs' of the past year.

9 April 2015: Rumonge asks for prayer after devastating landslides
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) consolidated reports from the BBC and the Anglican church of Burundi to report the Diocese of Rumonge in Burundi has asked for prayer after heavy rains on 22 March and 5 April triggered landslides that have killed more than 14 people and caused significant property damage some 35km south of the capital Bujumbura.

3 April 2015: Archbishop of Kenya speaks on this week's massacre
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has called on the international community to stand with Kenya as it mourns the brutal killing of at least 147 students at the Garissa University College by the Al-Shabaab militia on Thursday.

3 April 2015: Stations of the cross by rail
A railway enthusiast, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows, bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, invited people to join him 'at a station near you' for moments of reflection on the cross throughout Good Friday. The Irish Times reports that the 'stations in stations' would take place at 14 stops on his train journey. One assumes that this pilgrimage is unrelated to another reportthat since the bars in railway stations are exempt from the rule that requires most pubs in Ireland to close on Good Friday, the bar in Dublin's Connolly Station was packed with people with one-way tickets to the closest stop.

2 April 2015: Queen hands out Maundy money in Sheffield
The Yorkshire Post reports that this year the Queen handed out Maundy money at Sheffield cathedral, to 89 men and 89 women (one for each year of her age). In the Telegraph, Christopher Howse reflects on this Maundy Thursday tradition, that dates back to the time of King John.

2 April 2015: New Communion Secretary General appointed
The Church Times reports the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna, has been appointed the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. ACNS's press release is here.

2 April 2015: Maryland suffragan trial date set
The Baltimore Sun reported the trial for Heather Cook, who is accused of fatally hitting a cyclist while driving drunk, has been scheduled for early June. The Washington Post report is here.

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