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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jul/Aug/Sep/Oct 2019

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18 October 2019: Banned books on display in Durham Cathedral
The Church Times reports that as part of the Durham Book Festival, the cathedral library has put on a display of historic books that were once banned for their provocative concepts. Their authors include Dante, Milton, Galileo, Diderot, Hobbes and Defoe.

17 October 2019: Anglican churches reject Sydney archbishop's stance on same-sex marriage
Archbishop Glenn Davies suggested that supporters of same sex marriage should please leave the church. The Guardian reports that Bishop Jeremy Greaves in Southern Queensland responded with a statement that all God's children are welcome there, and no one is asked to leave. The Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, found it troubling that the welcome in Anglican churches was not universal, and the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Freier, said the church would not turn people away. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, even conservative rectors shuddered when they listened to Dr Davies' comments.

17 October 2019: Retired bishop of Quebec to run for Greens in 'election like no other'
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that Dennis Drainville will run for the Green Party in the federal election. He feels the new parliament will have to make momentous decisions about climate change, and also about the growing concentration of power in the prime minister's office. The leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, was studying to become an Anglican priest before she entered politics.

11 October 2019: New York cathedral makes progress on restoration six months after fire
The US Episcopal News Service tells us the restoration of the Cathedral of St John the Divine has progressed enough that it was able to host the New York City Fire Department's annual memorial service, with a fire clean-up crew’s scaffolding serving as part of the backdrop for the ceremony.

4 October 2019: ABC tells of his vision for future of Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) tells us Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, gave a 'powerful vision for the ministry of the Anglican Communion' at a recent meeting of CCEA, the Council of the Church in East Asia. The text of his speech does not yet seem to be online, but you can read the ACNS article to get a sense of what he said.

3 October 2019: 'Heartbreak' over early resignation of South African bishop
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the resignation of Dino Gabriel, Bishop of Natal, 'precipitated by the consequences of pressures on Diocesan finances'. Towards the end of the ACNS report, it mentions 'South African media outlets report that he has been driven out by hostile leaders within his diocese.'

1 October 2019: US Episcopal school to remove from buildings the names of leaders who ignored abuse
The Concord Monitor (New Hampshire, USA) reports that St Paul's school in Concord, which had named two of its buildings after former leaders, plans to remove their names from the buildings because they took no action in response to complaints of sexual misconduct. One leader gave a favourable job recommendation to a teacher who had a sexual relationship with a student.

30 September 2019: English vicar in midnight vigil catches thieves stealing lead from parish roof
The Telegraph reports the story of an English vicar in Wiltshire who caught thieves stealing lead from his roof because he was there for a midnight vigil. Because scrap-metal dealers in England pay cash and don't ask questions, lead thefts from church and cathedral roofs is a serious problem. The thieves are rarely caught.

26 September 2019: Church in Wales achieves 50/50 gender balance
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that after the recent election of Cherry Vann as Bishop of Monmouth, the Church in Wales now has an equal number of male and female bishops.

26 September 2019: New Primate for Nigeria
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the Church of Nigeria has elected Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba as the next Primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria.

26 September 2019: New Archbishop for South East Asia
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the Church of South East Asia has elected Melter J. Tais, an indigenous bishop from Sabah in Malaysia, as the next Archbishop of South East Asia and Primate of the Anglican Church of South East Asia.

24 September 2019: Canada Synod votes to review governance structures
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has voted to launch a review of that church's governance. A motion for a constitutional review passed on the last day of General Synod, setting the stage for a thorough examination of its governance structures.

23 September 2019: Two new bishops in Ghana
Ghana Business News (Accra) reports that the Anglican Church of Ghana has consecrated Debukari Tong as Bishop of Tamale and Paul Appiah-Sekyere as Bishop of Dunkwa-on-Offin.

19 September 2019: New bishop tasked with training leaders for Ethiopia's fast-growing churches
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports a new area bishop for the rapidly-growing churches in the Gambella region of Ethiopia has been given the important task) said raising up and training Christian leaders would be the new bishop's most important job.

19 September 2019: US Federal judge rules against splinter group in favour of Episcopal Church in South Carolina
When many parishes in the Diocese of South Carolina separated from the US Episcopal Church years ago, the South Carolina state courts ruled that they owned the name 'Diocese of South Carolina'. It seems to us that many of the state judges were Episcopalians who attended the breakaway churches. This week the US Episcopal News Service reported a ruling by a Federal judge (also a resident of South Carolina) that the breakaway group was guilty of false advertising and trademark violation and must immediately stop its use of trademarked names that belong to the Episcopal Church. Noting how litigious the South Carolina group has been, we are confident that they will appeal this decision, but the appeal would be to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Virginia.

14 September 2019: Wai now Bishop Quayle
The Wairarapa Times-Age (New Zealand) reports on the ordination of Waitohiarki Quayle as the first Maori woman bishop in the Anglican Church of New Zealand. She is 69, and was made deacon in 2013. Until recently she was Maori manager of health services. Anglican Taonga has more coverage here.

10 September 2019: New bishop for Bathurst
The Diocese of Bathurst has announced the election of the Revd Mark Calder as its next bishop. Fr Calder is currently a minister in the Diocese of Brisbane, and before that in the Diocese of Sydney. Sydney has a better information distribution network than Bathurst, and remembers well the man who did such a good job in Sydney's Parish of Roseville, so Sydney has published a comprehensive announcement of this event. Anglicans Online has confidence that Fr Calder will lead the Diocese of Bathurst out of its current difficulties, and we congratulate him on his election.

10 September 2019: Diocese of San Joaquin plans solar power for all church buildings
The (US) Diocese of San Joaquin in central California has 22 faith communities and lots of sun. The Episcopal News Service reports that it plans to become The US Episcopal Church's first solar-powered diocese. By the end of next year, the bishop hopes that nearly all its properties will have solar panels. The church will provide a location, developers will commit to installing the panels, and a utility will agree to acquire the energy produced for a set period of time. Various parish churches have invested in solar; San Joaquin may be the first diocese to do so.

9 September 2019: US Episcopal Church begins racial audit of church leadership
Noting that the US Episcopal Church 'is one of the whitest Christian denominations in America', that church's Executive Council has announced and begun a racial audit of church leadership, to learn just how far the church needs to go to adapt to the population demographics. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports on an effort by a church in Baltimore to understand its 19th-century role in slavery, in which it discovered that at least one parish family was descended from slaves who had been owned by a former rector of that church.

6 September 2019: Brazilian bishops blame Amazon fires on 'greed and hatred'
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports 'A group of 15 Brazilian bishops representing the Anglican church in Brazil have called on their government to take action to stop the spread of fires in the Amazon rainforest.'

6 September 2019: Hundreds of clergy facing hardship despite vast C of E wealth
The Guardian (London) reports that hundreds of Church of England clergy are in financial hardship, with some resorting to credit cards or pay-day lenders to pay their bills. Last year the Clergy Support Trust gave 1.8 million pounds in grants to 459 clergy. About 3,000 of England's 20,000 clergy are self-supporting, often by having a pension from an earlier career.  

5 September 2019: No decision on ABC's attendance at GAFCON
Premier (London) reports 'The Church of England's representative in Parliament says no decision has been made about whether the Archbishop of Canterbury will attend the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Kigali, Rwanda next year.'

3 September 2019: Alison Cheek, first female US Episcopal priest to celebrate Eucharist, dead at 92
The US Episcopal News Service reports the death of the Revd Alison Cheek, one of the first female priests in the US Episcopal Church and the first to publicly celebrate the Eucharist, has died.

30 August 2019: ABC tells interfaith conference churches must 'own up to extremism'
The Associated Press reports on the statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury during a visit to Sri Lanka that all religions and their leaders must own up to extremist activities within their faith and examine which of their traditional teachings enable extremists to commit evil. He said that accepting responsibility is key, 'rather than disavowing an evildoer as not a good enough follower of a religion'.

30 August 2018: C of E to fund research into Messy Churches
The Church of England has announced it will 'fund new research to help deepen the faith of families and children attending "Messy Churches" – non-traditional church gatherings that attract tens of thousands of worshippers across the country'.

30 August 2019: The refugees on my church's cricket team
One of the volunteers from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London who worked with asylum seekers noticed that several of them came from the Indian subcontinent, and wondered if they might play on the parish cricket team. The vicar writes in The Christian Century that the suggestion changed their relationship: 'No longer did we think, these people need a shelter, a lawyer. Now we thought, we need a wicket-keeper; do you bowl fast, or leg spin? Mutuality had replaced charity and condescension. The vicar no longer sneaks away to play cricket, now he boasts of the rainbow team and feels closer to the kingdom of God.'

28 August 2019: New primate for Uganda
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that Bishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Mityana, will become the next Archbishop and Primate of Uganda when the current Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali, retires next year. 

26 August 2019: New Canada primate predicts significant change
Canada's Anglican Journal (Toronto) has published an interview with Canada's new primate, in which she says 'Her top priority will be a review of the church’s mission and ministry—a re-examination of its role that could result in “painful” change for some as the church adjusts to challenging times.'

25 August 2019: English church finds defence against bat droppings
The BBC reports on the success achieved by All Saints Braunston in the Diocese of Peterborough of preventing bats from despoiling the pews before worship services. Bats are a protected species in the UK, and solutions that might injure them are not permitted.

25 August 2019: Church of Nigeria publishes a hymnal
The Guardian (London) reports that the Church of Nigeria has published a hymnal. It contains 1250 hymns, of which about 450 were written by Nigerians.

23 August 2019: Rwanda church marriages declared fraudulent because of corruption
RegionWeek (Uganda) reports on the chaos in Kampala after it came to light that weddings performed there from 2006 to 2016 were not registered with the government. The Church of the Resurrection in Bugolobi collected registration fees from the couples, but did not use it to register the marriages. That means that the Rwandan government does not consider the marriages to be valid. We suspect we will hear more on this story in coming days and weeks.

22 August 2019: Oxford dean Martyn Percy to be reinstated after tribunal hearing
The Guardian (London) tells us 'The dean of an Oxford college who was suspended last September after being accused of “immoral, scandalous or disgraceful conduct” has won a tribunal hearing and will be reinstated next week.' Martyn Percy is the dean of Christ Church college at Oxford, and will return to work after being cleared by a tribunal.

22 August 2019: CSI petition to uninvite ABC from visit to South India
The New Indian Express (Tamil Nadu) reports 'A group of eminent personalities of the Church [of South India] has petitioned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan not to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury as a state guest.' The protesters assert 'the Church’s invitation to the Archbishop was aimed at covering up several issues, including corruption' and 'The ... [Church of England] is facing massive erosion in its membership and this Church is a remnant of the British colonial empire, which has no relevance as far as the Church of South India is concerned.'

19 August 2019: New bishop in Rwanda
The New Times (Kigali) reports on the ordination of the Rt Revd Nathan Amooti Rusengo as Bishop of Kigali. He had previously been bishop of the Diocese of Cyangugu, which is also in Rwanda.

18 August 2019: Anglicans could receive Roman Catholic communion, Archbishop suggests
The Telegraph reports on statements by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, who is the catholic co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. He said that he can imagine that the ban on Anglicans receiving Holy Communion might be relaxed. But he also said that was only his personal view, and he could not predict the speed of any change.

16 August 2019: United, not Anglican, Churches in India
The Church Times (UK) discusses the complexities of Archbishop Welby's upcoming visit to India and to the Churches of South India (CSI) and North India (CNI) next month.

15 August 2019: Youth officer’s advocacy helps Scottish churches tackle rural poverty
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the work of a part-time youth officer in the Scottish highlands who has been taking practical steps to help reduce poverty in her region.

15 August 2019: Tree of Life to hold High Holiday services at Calvary Episcopal
The Pittsburgh (USA) Jewish Chronicle reports that Calvary Episcopal Church has offered use of its facilities to Tree of Life * Or L'Simcha Congregation for High Holy services free of charge. Last October a gunman entered the Conservative synagogue and opened fire, killing eleven and injuring seven more. The congregation has been holding Shabbot services in a neighboring synagogue, but was struggling to find a place in the area to hold these services that could seat the over 800 people expected.

12 August 2019: Anglican Journal launches digital magazine 'Epiphanies'
Anglican Journal (Canada) has begun publishing a digital magazine which will present 'in-depth stories and diverse perspectives on complex subjects'. The first issue features reporting on issues ranging from the theology of bees to food insecurity, with authors including the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and indigenous clergy. The issues are available both as web content and as a single pdf.

9 August 2019: Norwich Cathedral installs a carnival ride in its nave
The Guardian (London) reports on the installation of a 'Helter Skelter' carnival ride inside the nave of Norwich Cathedral. It seems to have been planned independently of Rochester Cathedral's installation of a crazy golf course. As we read the negative reviews by various angry critics of the installations at Rochester and Norwich, we can't help but recall French critics in the 19th century denouncing the under-construction Eiffel Tower as being so barbaric that even the Americans wouldn't build it. The Dean of Norwich Cathedral has said that the purpose of the unusual installation is to give visitors a better view of the roof, which is beautiful and hard to see from the ground.

7 August 2019: ELCA overwhelmingly re-elects first female presiding bishop
The Christian Post reports the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has re-elected their first female presiding bishop, the Reverend Elizabeth A. Eaton, by a large margin (81%).

5 August 2019: New bishop for Taiwan
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Taiwan has elected the Revd Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang as its next bishop. He is currently rector of Advent Church in Taipei.

4 August 2019: New bishop for Montana
The Sun Times (Fairfield, Montana) reports on the election by the Diocese of Montana of the Revd Martha Stebbins as its next bishop.

2 August 2019: US Presiding Bishop urges massive get-out-the-vote campaign
In the USA there are many accusations about 'voter suppression'—organized attempts to prevent people from voting. The Anglican Communion News Service reports on a challenge by Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, to get as many young people as possible to vote.

31 July 2019: US National Cathedral issues rare political statement denouncing Trump
The Washington Post reports on a statement by the bishop, dean, and canon theologian of the (Episcopal) National Cathedral in Washington DC in response to President Trump's verbal assaults on the city of Baltimore. It is titled 'Have We No Decency? A response to President Trump.' and you can read it here.

30 July 2019: UK LGBT people are 'being made homeless due to religion'
The BBC reports on a study revealing nearly half of young British LGBT people who are left homeless after coming out are from religious backgrounds. The study determined that three in four LGBT people are rejected by their families, and 45% of that number are from a faith background, and the majority are from Muslim and Christian families.

30 July 2019: 9-hole 'crazy golf' course in nave of Rochester Cathedral
The BBC reports on positive and negative responses to the installation of a miniature golf course inside Rochester Cathedral.

26 July 2019: International forum calls for joint church action to end nuclear energy development
ACNS reports on an international forum convened by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican church in Japan) which has called for the denuclearisation of the world's power supply and a focus on natural power sources.

26 July 2019: Anglican Church of Canada to remove prayer for Jewish conversion
The Canadian Jewish News notes that the recent General Synod approved a replacement for a prayer calling for the conversion of the Jews that instead asks for 'reconciiation with the Jews'. They report that the move is being hailed as a milestone within the Canadian Jewish community. The measure will require a second vote in 2022. It is also worth noting that the problematic original prayer appears in the Canadian Book of Common Prayer, not the more commonly used Book of Alternative Services.

23 July 2019:Birmingham church houses beehives to better the environment
CBS42 reports on the steps taken by one Alabama church to be more sustainable. Taking inspiration from the beehives of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, and the Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona, volunteers at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham have established four beehives, providing a sanctuary for several thousand of God's creatures to continue their important work of pollination.

23 July 2019: Cleaning up St Paul's to educate Kingston's future
The Lower Burial Ground in Kingston, Ontario was laid out in 1783 by the Royal Engineers in anticipation of the arrival of loyalists after the American revolution. The cemetery was almost full by 1845, when St Paul's Anglican church was built over it. In 1872 a parish hall was added. Global News reports that almost a century and a half's debris is being cleared from the crawl space beneath the hall, and the grave markers of some of Ontario's first settlers will be conserved.

19 July 2019: Canada's General Synod expands full communion recognition
Canada's Anglican Journal reports its General Synod passed a resolution to recognize full communion among the Anglican Church of Canada, the US Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Note that the ELCIC has already passed the same resolution.

19 July 2019: Global shortage of incense?
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a global shortage of frankincense could threaten the production of church incense. The aromatic resin, used to produce incense, comes from Boswellia, a genus of trees and shrubs from the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and India. The Boswellia trees are being destroyed by cattle farming, drought and conflict.

16 July 2019: Anglican Church of Canada in deficit position
Canada's Anglican Journal reports on the financial report by the ACC at its recent General Synod that a fall in revenues, especially contributions from dioceses, combined with increased expenses, to the Anglican Church of Canada in a deficit position in 2018.

16 July 2019: ACC re-evaluating governance after motion to recognize same-sex marriage fails
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that the Anglican Church of Canada is considering whether to change its governance structure after a motion to recognize same-sex marriage across the Church failed by just two bishops' votes.

16 July 2019: New bishop in Rwanda reports the election of the next Bishop of Cyangugu, in the Anglican Church of Rwanda. The Revd Francis Karemera will be consecrated and enthroned on Sunday, September 15, 2019, in the neighbouring Diocese of Kibungo.

16 July 2019: New poll shows growing view that clergy are irrelevant
The Religion News Service reports a recent NORC/AP poll of 1,137 adults, released this month showing that doctors, teachers, members of the military — even scientists — are viewed more positively than clergy.

13 July 2019: The Canadian General Synod
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in Vancouver, elected the bishop of Huron, Linda Nicholls, to be the next primate. It approved changes to a canon to enable a self-determining indigenous church. A vote to allow same-sex marriage received strong support from the laity and clergy, but the episcopal vote in favour (23-14) failed to reach the required two-thirds majority. Thinking Anglicans has links to responses by many bishops, some of whom already authorize the marriage of all people who are qualified by civil law to be married.

13 July 2019: Church collection plates with credit card readers
The Telegraph (London) reports on the first use at York Minster of collection plates with embedded credit card readers. Four bronze digital plates were offered to the congregation before, during and after the morning worship, which was attended by hundreds. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation notes the growing use of credit-card kiosks in North American churches.

11 July 2019: ABC denies giving 'easy ride' to bishops accused of abuse
The Independent (London), reporting on testimony given by Justin Welby to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), asserts he has insisted that he does not give bishops involved in child sexual abuse 'an easy ride'.

10 July 2019: Archbishop of York accused of inaction in past clergy abuse incident
The Guardian (London) reports on some controversy surrounding the role of John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, in an incident under investigation by IICSA. Thinking Anglicans has detailed day-by-day reports on the IICSA hearings.

7 July 2019: Church of England General Synod wraps up
Thinking Anglicans reports on the last day of this session of the General Synod of the Church of England.

4 July 2019: C of E to recognise religious communities for first time in centuries
The Guardian (London), writing about the New Monasticism, reports on the progress of a canon to be enacted at General Synod that will formally recognise religious communities. Ties between the religious communities and the Church of England were broken by Henry VIII in about 1540 and have not existed since. General Synod is in progress as we write this, but that canon is expected to be approved.

2 July 2019: Church of England issues new 'ten commandments' for the internet age
The Archbishop of Canterbury unveiled a set of guidelines at Facebook's UK headquarters, designed to make online platforms be happier places. The Australian publication 10 daily approves, elaborates on, and counts those 'ten commandments for internet use'. Where the guidelines say, 'Be honest', 10 daily translates, 'Thou shalt not catfish' (Merriam-Webster defines the verb catfish as creating a false personal profile online). 10 daily also notes 'These commandments were written on a very different type of tablet.' The sassy IT publication The Register headlines their report 'What would Jesus tweet?'

1 July 2019: Women becoming US bishops at an unprecedented rate
The US Episcopal News Service observes and comments upon (in what might end up being the last article written for ENS by the Revd Mary Frances Schjonberg) the large number of women being consecrated recently as bishops in the US Episcopal Church.

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