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This page last updated 29 November 2015
Anglicans Online last updated 29 November 2015

The News Centre
Editors: Helen Gordon and Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle

IN THE NEWS CENTRE we report news of global interest that relates to the Anglican Communion. Sometimes we write news articles ourselves. More frequently, we refer you to some article we have found elsewhere in the world. We focus more on news reported about the church than by the church. New articles are also referenced in our Noted This Week section. We depend on you to tell us about news where you live; here's how to contribute. It is unusual for us to mention news items that contain phrases such as 'youth gather', 'bishop calls for', 'releases report on', 're-envisions', or 'synod debate'.

Simon Sarmiento, our UK correspondent, maintains a list of more specific UK-oriented news articles as part of the Thinking Anglicans site. There you can find items we might not normally link at Anglicans Online.

Other News Centre resource pages: Newspapers Online, Official Church Publications, and Online News Sources. And of course, our News Centre Archives. If you are having trouble finding something, don't forget our search engine.

News Stories

29 November 2015: Pope prays at Anglican shrine
The Monitor reports that on his way to the shrine for the Catholic Ugandan martyrs, Pope Francis stopped at the Anglican shrine in Namugongo, and blessed the new museum that honours the 23 Anglican and 22 Roman Catholic martyrs executed by the king of Buganda in the 19th century.

28 November 2015: New bishop of Tasmania
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on the election by the Diocese of Tasmania of Dr Richard Condie as its new Bishop. Dr Condie made the news in 2013 when he was invited, in his capacity as an opponent of gay marriage, to meet Gene Robinson in Melbourne. This article 'We Took an Anti Gay Marriage Priest to see a Gay Married Priest' summarizes the outcome reasonably well.

28 November 2015: Zimbabwe's Kunonga appeals court order demanding restitution of stolen funds
The Herald (Zimbabwe) reports on former bishop Nolbert Kunonga's unsurprising appeal of the High Court decision requiring him to pay back US$428,000. After years of hyperinflation, the Zimbabwe dollar was abandoned as currency in that country and business there is now conducted in US dollars. Kunonga is a favourite of Zimbabwe's aging dictator Robert Mugabe.

27 November 2015: Catholic confirmation mass in Worcester's Anglican cathedral
Independent Catholic News reports that Fr Brian McGinley, the priest of two catholic parishes, had a confirmation class of fifty, and neither church was large enough to accommodate the service. He approached the dean of Worcester Cathedral, and the confirmation was held there.

26 November 2015: Archbishop Mouneer Anis opens Ethiopia's first Anglican theological college
For many years St Matthew's church in Addis Ababa was the only Anglican congregation in Ethiopia. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports that the arrival of refugees from the civil war in Sudan increased the number of Anglicans, and their clergy, because of the war-time situation, lacked a theological education. The new St Frumentius College in Gambella will train clergy in and Anglican and African context. St Frumentius brought Christianity to Ethiopia in the fourth century, and was the first bishop of Axum.

25 November 2015: Rural vicars drowning amid battle to keep empty churches open
A fall in religious observance, combined with population shifts away from the countryside, has produced a crisis for England's medieval churches. The Telegram reports that one in four rural parishes—about 2,000 churches—have fewer then ten regular worshippers, and half would be able to muster even twenty on a Sunday. The church's General Synod is considering a report on new uses for churches that are no longer sustainable.

25 November 2015: Churches for sale
Various news reports tell us that the Diocese of Huron has listed St George, Walkerville, Ontario for sale for CDN$250,000 and that the Diocese of Rockhampton is offering St Francis, Bororen, Queensland for AUS$65,000.


22 November 2015: UK cinemas refuse to show C of E advert on Lord's Prayer
The BBC and the Guardian, among other news sources, reported on the decision by the three major cinema chains in the UK refusing to play a 60-second Church of England advertisement before showings of the new Star Wars film in the week before Christmas. The three chains control about 80% of the cinema screens in the UK. The C of E advert features the Lord's Prayer and promotes a new website,, whose aim is to 'promote the renwal of prayer in a digital age'. The C of E press release about this can be found here. We especially like the use of 'bewildered' in the press release. The Guardian article has links to other op-eds and stories about this including Richard Dawkins and Giles Fraser. We hope you will watch the short video at any of the three links we listed.

20 November 2015: Open Doors charity celebrates 60 years
The Church Times reported on the work of Open Doors which is marking six decades of support for the persecuted Church. Open Doors emerged from the work of Brother Andrew, known for his work smuggling Bibles into Eastern Europe. The work of Open Doors has developed considerably since the early days of smuggling Bibles to providing support and advocacy for persecuted Christians around the world.

18 November 2015: Zanu PF’s Kunonga ordered to repay Anglican Church $430,000
After the former bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, was dismissed, he sold off church investments at give away prices. New Zimbabwe reports that Kunonga and his associates must repay the church the fair market value for the stocks, plus interest calculated from 2007.

16 November 2015: Canada's Central Interior parishes gain Diocesan status
Anglican Communion News Service reported on the Canadian Council of General Synod (CoGS) action that recognised the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) as a 'territory' with the status of a diocese 15 years after their former diocese of Cariboo was forced to close. Anglican Journal published an in-depth article about this including remarks by the APCI bishop, the Rt Revd Barbara Andrews. Andrews said she is 'pleased with the affirmation we have received from CoGS to become a territory,' and noted that doing so allows it to 'continue our journey to healing and reconciliation' with Indigenous Anglicans in the Central Interior.

13 November 2015: First Anglican confirmation service in Moroccan capital
Anglican Communion News Service reports on the first confirmation service at the new Anglican congregation in Rabat, St Augustine of Hippo.


14 November 2015: Letter from the Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris
The Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris, Lucinda Laird, has written this public letter about the recent terrorist attacks in that city. The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe (bishop of the Diocese in Europe), Robert Innes, issued this statement. The Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, Pierre Whalon, issued this statement, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, issued this statement.

13 November 2015: Priest wins national prize for work with indigenous peoples' fiddle music
The Alaska Dispatch News reports on the award of a 2015 Purpose Prize to Belle Mickelson, an Episcopal priest, for her work in reviving the joyful music of Athabasca within Alaskan rural communities where it had once been widespread and traditional. The New York Times had this to say about the Purpose Prizes.

12 November 2015: Māori Bishop of Te Waipounamu dies after long illness
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the death of the Rt Revd John Gray, Bishop of Te Waipounamu, who was the first Māori bishop to be appointed to the South Island of New Zealand.

12 November 2015: Wife of Henry VIII wrote BCP prayer
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the discovery by Professor Micheline White of Carleton University that an important prayer in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer was written by Katherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII and placed into the prayer book by Queen Elizabeth I.

12 November 2015: Church of England publishes 10-year Financial Overview
Thinking Anglicans reports on the recent publication of 'Financial Overview 2013', which gathers the finances of the Church of England into one place. It aggregates financial information from over 12,000 parishes, 44 dioceses, 41 cathedrals and 3 National Church Institutions.

10 November 2015: Migratory seminary to consolidate to Chicago
The Besley Seabury Seminary Federation, whose Bexley Hall peregrinations are documented here, has announced plans to consolidate all of its programs into its Chicago site.

8 November 2015: Diocese of Maryland looks to new assistant bishop for healing
After the former assistant bishop of Maryland was jailed after being convicted of killing someone while driving drunk, the diocese was in turmoil. The retired Bishop of Maine, Chilton Knudsen, has been named the new assistant bishop, and the Baltimore Sun tells us about the healing she has already accomplished.


6 November 2015: Global Christian Forum tackles Christian discrimination & persecution
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the recently completed consultation in Albania of the Global Christian Forum. The topic being discussed was the discrimination, persecution & martyrdom Christians face in different parts of the world. 'The consultation has turned out to be a unique event, where Christians from different traditions came together in a very effective way to support the churches going through difficult and challenging times.' The World Council of Churches has more reporting on the consultation on its website.

6 November 2015: Survey brings good & bad news for faith-sharers
The Church Times reported on the results of a study, Talking Jesus, carried out by ComRes and the Barna Group for the Church of England, the Evangelical Alliance, and Hope UK. The report says that, after a conversation with a Christian about his or her faith, 42 per cent of non-Christians said that they felt glad not to share the faith; and 30 per cent said that they felt more negatively about Jesus. The report is to be presented at the Church of England's General Synod this month.

6 November 2015: South Sudan
Madeleine Davies writes in The Church Times on the long-awaited report of the African Union's Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. The report documents acts of 'extreme cruelty', including brutal killings, the mutilation of bodies, forced cannibalism, and the atrocities suffered by women raped in and kidnapped from churches during the civil wars suffered by the country. The Rt Revd Samuel Enosa Peni, Bishop of Nzara, South Sudan, spoke this week at Trinity Church in Waterloo, Iowa (US) about peace and reconciliation efforts in South Sudan. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) summarized the report of his talk from the article published in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

6 November 2015: Ottawa, Montreal dioceses vote to divest from fossil fuels
Anglican Journal reports a majority of delegates from synods of the diocese of Montreal and the diocese of Ottawa recently voted to divest from fossil fuels, joining 430 other institutions and 2,040 individuals representing C$2.6 trillion in assets who have chosen to pull fossil fuel stocks from their investment portfolios.

6 November 2015: Isle of Man post office marks BCP anniversary
250 years ago the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge published the first Manx Gaelic edition of the Book of Common Prayer. Anglican News reports the post office of the crown dependency is marking the anniversary with five special Christmas stamps.

4 November 2015: ABC hosts visit by Ecumenical Patriarch
The Archbishop of Canterbury's website has posted the joint communiqué of Archbishop Welby and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the conclusion of two days of prayer, worship and discussion of issues facing their churches and the wider world. ACNS reported on the presentation to both leaders of an agreed statement between Anglican and Orthodox Churches on the theology of the human person at a special evensong service at Westminster Abbey. ENS (Episcopal News Service) also reported on the visit.

2 November 2015: Dawani reflects on refugee situation in the Middle East
Episcopal News Service (ENS) printed a reflection by the Most Revd Suheil Dawani, Archbishop in Jerusalem, on the situation for refugees in the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

2 November 2015: Brandon elects new bishop
Anglican Journal reported the synod of the diocese of Brandon, Canada, elected Canon William Cliff, rector of the Collegiate Chapel of St. John the Evangelist at Huron University College in the diocese of Huron, as its seventh diocesan bishop.

2 November 2015: Preparing for Advent
'Anglicans worldwide and all Christians are being invited to observe Advent in a fun and prayerful way through a global online Advent Calendar called AdventWord. AdventWord invites Christians to sign up to receive a daily meditation and respond by posting a picture on Instagram and other social media. The pictures combine to create the Advent Calendar in real time. In 2014 over 50,000 people participated and 17,000 pictures were posted. In 2015 AdventWord will be released in English, Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Tamil, French, Portuguese and German.' The full ACNS press release is here. To sign up for AdventWord visit the website,

31 October 2015: Enugu women protest
Rural women in Enugu state, Nigeria, survive on subsistence farming, but they are now afraid to venture out to their farms for fear of being raped or killed by the Fulani herdsmen who have occupied their farms. Now, the Vanguard reports the church has stepped in to give the victims a voice. Led by the bishop’s wife, the Mothers’ Union has mobilized hundreds of women to demand that the government stop the attacks.


1 November 2015: All Saints Day sees Curry installed as new Primate and Presiding Bishop
The Most Revd Michael B Curry was installed as Primate and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (US) at a service in the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul in Washington, DC. A video recording is available to view on demand here. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly featured an interview with Curry which may be viewed here. Episcopal News Service (ENS) offers an interactive timeline of all the Presiding Bishops in the province's history.

30 October 2015: Practical theology is tool in South America
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the recent meeting of the Faith and Territories Network in Brazil. Local communities in South America, who are facing an increasing battle to preserve their common lands from powerful corporations, are turning to practical theology to assist them in their struggle; as church leaders pledge to be 'doers of the Word, not merely hearers of the Word'.

29 October 2015: Anglican Board of Mission celebrates 165th anniversary
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the history of the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) which had its beginnings in New Zealand and is now the national mission agency of the Anglican Church in Australia. The ABM is actively engaged in mission and outreach work in the Pacific.

29 October 2015: University Christian theology course on Harry Potter
The Deseret News (Utah) published an op-ed by Danielle Tumminio about a course she offered at Yale University considering the Harry Potter series in light of Christian theology.


25 October 2015: GAFCON statement asserts talk must end and action must be taken
Writing for Christian Today, Ruth Gledhill analyses and comments on this years pastoral letter from GAFCON. The GAFCON letter states 'There is now a shared realisation that the time for dialogue is over and there must be a decision that will settle the future direction of the Communion.' The letter also revealed that GAFCON members have agreed to attend the meeting in Canterbury next January that was called by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

22 October 2015: Church of England apologizes for the behaviour of George Bell
The Church of England issued this press release, which reports the formal apology by the current Bishop of Chichester for sexual abuse committed by former bishop George Bell, who died in 1958.

21 October 2015: Nigerian Bishop rejects governor’s donation
Civil servants in Imo State, Nigeria, have been waiting for months for their salaries and pensions to be paid. So when the governor offered the diocese of Owerri a large donation at its synod, Bishop Cyril Okorocha rejected the gift, suggesting it could be put toward the outstanding salaries. The Nigerian Bulletin reports that the governor’s representative was enraged by the comment, and stormed out of the meeting.

21 October 2015: At-risk church buildings in England
Thinking Anglicans gathered this information about the contents and nature of this year's annual 'Heritage at Risk Register'. Many of the structures declared to be at risk are churches.


14 October 2015: Oldest known draft of King James Bible discovered
The New York Times reports on the purported discovery by a Jeffrey Alan Miller, an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, of a handwritten draft dating from 1604 to 1608 of parts of the the King James Bible.

14 October 2015: Church of England proposal to reclassify churches as 'festival only'
The Guardian (London) reports that 'an increasing number of churches are likely to operate only at Christmas, Easter and on other holy days as the Church of England struggles with the financial burden of maintaining its properties in the face of declining congregations.' The Christian Post also has a report on the proposal. Letters received by The Guardian are worth reading, and this article in The Telegraph describes how one rural parish was able to save itself from closure. The internal Church of England report whose publication spawned these articles is here.

13 October 2015: Anglicans urged to drop filioque from Nicene Creed
The Anglican Communion News Service, from last week’s meeting of the Anglican Oriental Orthodox International Commission, reports that Anglicans are being urged to drop the filioque from the Nicene Creed.

12 October 2015: Married gay vicar elected to Church of England General Synod
The Guardian reports on the election to General Synod of Britain's only openly married gay vicar. Full results of the elections are here in Thinking Anglicans.


PRIOR TO 12 October 2015: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.

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