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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Oct/Nov/Dec 2018

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30 December 2018: Average C of E church 'held just one wedding last year'
Premier Christian Media (London) reports that the average Church of England church hosted only one wedding last year. Statistics also show an average of four baptisms and five funerals.

27 December 2018: US Episcopal Church buys shares in gun manufacturers
2018 has been by far the worst on record for gun violence in US schools. When high school students held a rally outside the headquarters of Smith & Wesson, the bishop of Western Massachusetts, Dr Douglas Fisher, joined them (the headquarters is in his diocese). The Church Times reports that Dr Fisher is a member of Bishops against Gun Violence, and is becoming chair of the Episcopal Church's committee on corporate social responsibility in January. The church is buying stock in gun manufacturers to try to minimize the criminal and lethal use of their products.

27 December 2018: Florida church demolished before it could be listed
The Gainesville Sun reports that the Diocese of Florida demolished a deconsecrated church building a week before a hearing at which it might have been given historic (listed) status. The diocese would receive a substantial sum if the land were sold to a developer. The local Historic Preservation Board had nominated the building for inclusion in the Local Register of Historic Places, due in part to its having been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


21 December 2018: Archbishop Ntahoturi to leave Rome after sexual misconduct allegation
The Church Times (London) reports the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, has resigned over an allegation of sexual misconduct.

20 December 2018: Gunmen Kidnap Nigerian Bishop, later freed
Sahara Reporters (New York) reports that gunmen on Tuesday night stormed the residence of the Bishop of Ahoada, the Rt Revd Clement Ekpeye, and took him away to an unknown destination. Three days later Vanguard (Lagos) reported his release.

18 December 2018: Two decades of women's ordination celebrated in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the celebration in Tokyo of 20 years of of women's ordination to the priesthood in that province.

17 December 2018: Christmas messages from Anglican primates
The Anglican Communion has gathered a collection of Christmas messages from various primates around the Anglican world. We must confess that we didn't manage to read every word of all of them.


14 December 2018: US Episcopal Church might invest in gun manufacturers to gain a voice
The news service of the US Episcopal Church has released an explanation of its plans to invest in gun manufacturers to gain a voice in shareholder decision-making. These plans result from its General Convention in July 2018.

13 December 2018: Archbishop of Burundi leads march against gender-based violence
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the march by hundreds of people, led by the Primate of Burundi, Martin Blaise Nyaboho, in a protest against gender-based violence.

12 December 2018: US Episcopal Church suspends statute of limitations for Clergy Sexual Misconduct
The US Episcopal Church has released a 'Letter to the Episcopal Church from the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies' announcing a 2-year suspension of the statute of limitations for sexual misconduct. This means that anyone wishing to bring a case of sexual misconduct against a member of the clergy will be able to do so, regardless of how long ago the alleged misconduct occurred.

12 December 2018: Two vibrant Anglican congregations in Winnipeg
The Christian Century visits St Margaret, a low-church evangelical parish, and Saint Benedict's Table which has been open to expressions of theological doubt in its liturgy. The two rectors are friends, and despite the apparent differences in the congregations, both are attracting young people and resisting the decline that threatens many of their urban neighbours.

11 December 2018: CofE publishes pastoral guidance on gender transition liturgy
Thinking Anglicans (UK) reports the publication by the Church of England of 'Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition'

10 December 2018: Hertfordshire church destroyed by arson
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the near-total destruction of St John the Baptist Church in Royston. Hertfordshire, England. Constabulary said that they are treating the fire as arson.

8 December 2018: UK Opera star says King's College Choir must accept girls
The Guardian (London) reports the statement from UK opera star Lesley Garrett that it is time for all-boys choirs to admit girls.

8 December 2018: New bishop for Barbados
Anglican Ink (USA) reports on the appointment of a new bishop for Barbados, the Revd Michael Maxwell. It has been reported since the publication of that article that the new bishop's consecration is scheduled for Barbados on Saturday January 26, 2019. The Senior bishop, the Rt Revd Errol Brooks, has been in charge of the province (CPWI) since the retirement of Barbados bishop John Holder who was also the Archbishop of the West Indies. A new archbishop can be elected after the Barbados diocese has a bishop in place.


8 December 2018: Brisbane ordaining more women than men
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that in the last ten years, more women than men have been ordained in the Diocese of Brisbane.

7 December 2018: Bishop turnover in US Episcopal Church fuels talk of 'unprecedented' challenges
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the large number of bishop searches worldwide, especially in the US.

6 December 2018: New Bishop of St Helena
Until 2016, the only way to get to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena was by boat. Now there is an airport, and this week, three bishops flew in to consecrate the Rt Revd Dale Bowers as Bishop of St Helena. This was the first-ever on-island consecration. The Anglican Communion News Service reports.

5 December 2018: US Presiding Bishop postpones ordination and consecration in Haiti
The US Episcopal News Service reports that US Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has postponed the already-scheduled ordination and consecration of a new bishop in the Diocese of Haiti. This is not a Draconian act; the required majority of consents has not yet been received.

5 December 2018: Anglican funeral for George H W Bush
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the funeral held for former president George Bush at the US National Cathedral. Despite its nickname and use for national events, it is the See of the Diocese of Washington. Its real name is 'The Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul', but almost no one uses that name.

3 December 2018: New life in Diocese of San Joaquin
The US Episcopal News Service reports a new cathedral dean and the first diaconal ordinations at St James Cathedral since the schism in 2007. The breakaway group tried to take the cathedral, but 'a series of court battles ensued and ... all but one property has been returned to the Episcopal Church'. The name is pronounced 'san wah-KEEN'.


1 December 2018: Diocese of Tasmania pulls properties from sale after backlash
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Diocese of Tasmania has backed down somewhat on its plans to sell church buildings. Of the 108 buildings originally earmarked for sale, a third will now be exempt.

1 December 2018: Historic NZ church apology takes place in Tauranga over land lost 151 years ago
The Herald (New Zealand) reports on the apology by senior clergy of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa for dirty deeds done to the Maori by the church beginning 150 years ago. The government of New Zealand was complicit, but does not seem to have been included in the list of those apologising.

29 November 2018: New bishop for Harare
The Diocese of Harare, in Zimbabwe, had been plagued with corruption and crime for years. A former bishop was excommunicated for crime and immorality. A new bishop, Chad Gandiya, managed to restore a certain amount of normalcy to the diocese, but he is set to retire at the end of 2018. A very contentious selection process has concluded. According to the diocese's Facebook page, the new bishop will be the Revd Dr Farai Mutamiri. We expect Western media to have analysis and commentary later this week.

30 November 2018: Enormous angel made of more than 100,000 knives arrives at Liverpool Cathedral
Rob Jackson, a lay clerk at Liverpool Cathedral and a nurse at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, has been speaking with young people's groups about the realities of knife crime. The Liverpool Echo reports that he was instrumental in bringing the Knife Angel to the cathedral over the Christmas period. The imposing figure was made of knives turned in to police forces across the country during an amnesty. It is hoped that the angel will prompt discussion about knife crime.

26 November 2018: Planning continues for 2020 Lambeth Conference
The Anglican Communion News Service has issued a status report on the planning for Lambeth 2020, including a press-release-style quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Lambeth Conference's own website is filling out with more content.


23 November 2018: Canada Council of General Synod meeting in Ontario
Canada's Anglican Council of General Synod (CoGs) is meeting in Mississauga, Ontario, with clergy and laity from across Canada gathering for three days of discussion. Find coverage via the Anglican Journal. An opening address from the treasurer summarized major issues.

23 November 2018: CMS-Africa celebrates anniversary with new mission hub
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that CMS-Africa (the sister organisation to the Church Mission Society) has celebrated its tenth anniversary by opening a new international base in Kenya as part of its vision to reach 50 million African families by the middle of the century.

23 November 2018: Diocese of Tasmania to close five cemeteries
The Mercury (Hobart) reports that the Diocese of Tasmania will close five old cemeteries before new laws come into effect that significantly expand the length of time after the last burial before a graveyard can be shut. Because The Mercury is a Murdoch newspaper, you must buy a subscription to read the article. So we don't have a link to it. We've given you the summary information, which is probably enough.

19 November 2018: Border Ministries Summit brings together US and Mexico dioceses
The US Episcopal News Service reported on an Anglican summit near a busy point on the US/Mexico border. This first-ever Border Ministries Summit heard presentations from the dioceses of Northern Mexico, West Texas, Arizona, San Diego, Western Mexico and the Rio Grande. There is a great pastoral need during this widely-publicised border conflict.


16 November 2018: New Bishop for West Tennessee
The Episcopal (USA) Diocese of West Tennessee has announced the election of their new bishop. Phoebe Roaf was elected on the first ballot.

16 November 2018: Blackburn Cathedral releases its own brand of gin
The Church Times reports that Blackburn Cathedral has partnered with the Brindle Distillery to produce its own gin, Cathedra. The cathedral is hoping to redevelop its crypt into a community conferencing facility, and an exhibition and heritage space that tells the history of Lancashire's cotton towns and the faith that underpinned them. The gin is one of the fundraising ventures to achieve this goal.

12 November 2018: New Archbishop for New Zealand
The Anglican Communion News Service reports Fijian priest Fereimi Cama was elected Archbishop of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He will be one of three primates for the province.


11 November 2018: Peterborough bells to ring to remember end of first world war
The Peterborough Examiner reports that Anglican and other churches in the city and across Canada will ring their bells at sunset. It is part of the Royal Canadian Legion's Bells of Peace initiative, inviting churches across the country to toll their bells one hundred times, to commemorate the armistice that silenced the guns of the first world war a century earlier.

10 November 2018: New bishop for Canberra & Goulburn
The Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn has announced the election of its next diocesan bishop, Mark Short.

10 November 2018: New bishop for Polynesia
Anglican Taonga reports the selection of the Revd Fereimi Carria has the next Diocesan Bishop of Polynesia. He will therefore become Archbishop and Primate, or joint leader of The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

9 November 2018: Episcopal Forum of South Carolina closes, citing 'mission accomplished'
The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina, an independent group 'not affiliated with the Episcopal Church or its dioceses', has announced its closing and transferred its assets to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (the real one). This group played a major role in 'holding the Mark Lawrence regime to account in its early years, and restoring the Episcopal Church to its full potential following the Lawrencians' disastrous attempt to leave the Church in 2012.' There is so much masquerading and making of false claims in breakaway diocesan groups that we felt the need to fact-check this announcement by following links from the master page at the Anglican Communion Office. We always flinch when we see the US Episcopal Church referring to itself as 'The Episcopal Church', but clicking through that link and others did tell us that the Episcopal Church in South Carolina is the real diocese. The situation surrounding the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has always felt to us like a scene from a Monty Python film.

9 November 2018: Entertainment provided by Diocese of Sydney continues
The 'First Dog on the Moon' cartoon in the UK newspaper The Guardian has pretty much nailed the description of what is going on in Sydney, where numerous diocesan schools have petitioned the government for permission to violate the country's anti-discrimination laws. Despite what Miss Claratyne Cusset-Bevildedge, Principal of St Barbitua's School for Frightfully Spirited Girls has said, one signatory has claimed she didn't realise the letter she signed was linked to sexual orientation. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Archbishop Glenn Davies has apologised 'to the community' but refused to back down. The outrage in and around Sydney is growing; see, for example, Leaders of two Anglican schools back away from letter on sacking gay teachers or Growing up gay in a Christian school had lasting effects on my life or Anglican school backtracks from letter on gay teachers and students or Blue Mountains Grammar under fire over Anglican open letter. If you live in the USA or North Korea, you are probably accustomed to the behaviour exhibited by Julie Townsend, principal of St Catherine's School, but others might find their bogometers to be blinking. The bogon flux is currently very high in the Diocese of Sydney.

6 November 2018: Civil court in Kenya now involved in Anglican homosexuality dispute
The Religion News Service reports that a court in Nairobi has ordered a long-running dispute over three Anglican clergymen accused of homosexuality to be resolved through civil mediation.

5 November 2018: Chile becomes 40th province of the Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Iglesia Anglicana de Chile – the Anglican Church of Chile – has been inaugurated as the latest province of the Anglican Communion. It had been part of the province of South America but was given permission to have provincial status after sustained growth.

1 November 2018: Alumnae fight Australian schools' request for exemption from discrimination laws
34 Anglican Schools in Sydney have requested an exemption from Federal laws allowing them to discriminate against gay persons. Alumnae of Australia's oldest school for girls are making a strong protest. Students at those schools are also protesting. The Sydney Morning Herald, no fan of the dioces
e, reports 'Anglican heads letter prompts anger and division.'

1 November 2018: Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Statement on the Holy Spirit published
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the Agreed Statement between Anglican and Oriental Orthodox theologians on the Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit has been published. The statement was signed in October 2017 after lengthy discussions by members of the Anglican Oriental-Orthodox International Commission (AOOIC). It was published at the 2018 meeting of AOOIC in Lebanon. 

1 November 2018: Church of England rejects heart-shaped gravestone
The Telegraph (London) reports the Diocese of Manchester turned down a request for a blue granite gravestone in the shape of a heart, etched with personal prints, in memory of a stillborn baby. In issuing the ruling, the chancellor opined it would 'over-sentimentalise the memorial in a way which is undesirable and unnecessary and would be inappropriate in this particular churchyard'.

31 October 2018: Diocese of Sydney told to apologise for marriage vote conduct
The Guardian (London) reports that the chairman of the independent New South Wales MP and Equality Campaign has stated that the Diocese of Sydney should apologise for its conduct in the marriage law postal survey, rather than 'lobby to legalise bullying'.


28 October 2018: Mass murder in Pittsburgh synagogue
You already know this, because nearly every news source in the world has reported it extensively, but we would be remiss not to join them in reporting that a hate-filled assassin killed 11 people at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh because he 'wanted all Jews to die'. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette likely has the most extensive reporting. The Bishop of Pittsburgh made this statement. The US president, to little surprise, blamed the victims. The Economist (London) notes that 'a leader without morals cannot provide moral leadership'.

27 October 2018: England and Wales might soon permit outdoor weddings
The BBC reports that the UK Treasury, citing 'anachronistic red tape', might soon permit outdoor weddings in England and Wales.

26 October 2018: Two US dioceses form partnership, will share bishop
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York have voted to share a bishop and a staff.

25 October 2018: Sydney vote might allow domestic violence survivors to remarry
ABC News Online reports that after 34 years of deliberation, Sydney's synod voted 325-161 in favour of a motion requesting that bishops consider approving remarriage of a divorced person, where that person has been abused physically or emotionally by their former spouse. The Revd Mark Thompson, head of Moore Theological College and chair of the Doctrine Commission, spoke against the motion, saying the issue required 'time and careful study of bible passages'. Bishop Peter Lin of the Georges River region claimed to be a slow learner, and asked for more time to consider the issue. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation called the vote a 'no-brainer'.

25 October 2018: Trendy new churches poach worshippers from stuffy ones
The Economist (London) reports that newly-planted evangelical churches in England are growing rapidly at the expense of more-traditional congregations.

23 October 2018: US Presiding bishop criticises uninvolved moderates
The Guardian (London) reports from an interview with Bishop Michael Curry, Primate of the US Episcopal Church, in which he expresses unhappiness with religious leaders who fail to protect the poor and vulnerable.

22 October 2018: Sydney backs down on proposal to ban Indigenous smoking ceremonies
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Diocese of Sydney has backed down on a controversial policy banning smoking ceremonies on any property owned by the church, following outrage from Indigenous leaders, school principals and priests who work closely with First Nations communities


20 October 2018: Several bishops elected
The Diocese of Arizona has elected Jennifer Anne Reddall as its next bishop. The Diocese of Kansas has elected Cathleen Chittenden Bascom as its next bishop. The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has elected Mark D.W. Edington as its next bishop.

20 October 2018: Row over Muslim scholar's invitation to preach at Anglican service
The Guardian (London) reports that traditionalists in the Church of England are unhappy at an invitation to a distinguished Muslim scholar to preach at a Eucharist service in an Oxford church.

19 October 2018: Sydney rule against 'promotion of homosexuality' condemned
The Guardian (London) reports on widespread criticism of a new rule likely to be passed soon by the Diocese of Sydney. It would 'ban same-sex weddings in churches and school halls and clamp down on the freedom of priests to support LGBTI rights'.

17 October 2018: Melbourne budget affected by redress payments
SBS (Australia) reports that the Diocese of Melbourne expects to have its budget significantly affected over the next decade because of redress payments.

16 October 2018: US Episcopal Church admits past role in sexual exploitation
The Religion News Service reports the US Episcopal Church is officially lamenting its past role in sexual exploitation and pledging steps to combat it.


11 October 2018: Matthew Shepard to be re-interred at US National Cathedral
Twenty years ago this week, a young Episcopal student was brutally murdered in Wyoming, allegedly because of his sexuality, The US Episcopal News Service reports that he will soon be re-interred at the National Cathedral.

11 October 2018: Tasmanian Government blasts Anglican Church
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports the latest salvo in the feud between church and state in the Australian state of Tasmania. The State Government has accused Tasmania's Anglican Church of "scaremongering" after it said changes to the Burial Act were effectively a $20,000 'death tax'.

8 October 2018: Melbourne consecration of sister brother bishop
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that when Kate Prowd was consecrated as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Melbourne, she and her brother, Lindsay Urwin, became the first brother and sister bishops in the communion. Bishop Lindsay, who now works in Melbourne, had been consecrated Area Bishop of Horsham. Because of his position on women's ordination, he did not join other bishops in the act of consecration. But he presented her with the pectoral cross that their parents had given him at his consecration almost 25 years earlier.

8 October 2018: Hong Kong province celebrates 20th anniversary
The Anglican Province of Hong Kong – the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui – is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. The Anglican Communion News Service reports.

8 October 2018: Diocese of Nevada suspends bishop search
The Episcopal Café reports the announcement from the Diocese of Nevada that the Diocese of Nevada has decided to suspend its bishop search process.

8 October 2018: London parish church to reopen 78 years after blitz bombing
The East London Advertiser reports the imminent opening of a new building for St Luke Millwalls 78 years after WWII blitz bombing destroyed its church. The new building looks nothing like the old, but it has the same name.


5 October 2018: Anglicans, Lutherans gather at Niagara
The Living Church reports representatives from four Anglican and Lutheran Churches in Canada and the United States gathered to continue the work of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission.

3 October 2018: Anglican Church of Southern Africa adopts safeguarding measures
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa will require those seeking ordination to obtain a police clearance certificate, and have set up a new national email contact point for reporting allegations of abuse. The new safeguarding measures are a response to charges of abuse earlier this year.

1 October 2018: Archbishop of York to retire in 2020 after Queen extends tenure
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, will retire in June 2020, three days shy of his 71st birthday. Church of England clergy are required to retire at the age of 70, but the Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has the power in her discretion to extend that for up to one year if she considers that there are special circumstances making it desirable.

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