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This page last updated 18 August 2014
Anglicans Online last updated 17 August 2014

The News Centre
Editors: Brian Reid and Helen Gordon
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

17 August 2014: Diocese of Truro facing £1m shortfall
The BBC reported the Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans, said unless urgent action was taken, such a level of dept was unsustainable. Churchgoers in Cornwall currently donate 20% less than those in any other diocese in England.

16 August 2014: Welby urges radical design for cathedral
The Press (Christchurch) reported on remarks made by the Archbishop of Canterbury while on a visit to Auckland.

12 August 2014: Southern Aftrica appoints woman to lead college
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Anglican Church of Southern Africa for the first time has appointed a woman as Rector for its only provinicial residential college, the College of the Transfiguration.


10 August 2014: The angels weep: violence in too many places
Violence in Iraq: Andrew White grieves the death of a young Christian boy he had baptized. His friend and one-time mentor back in Ireland, Fr David Armstrong, is worried about Fr White's own safety.

Violence related to Gaza: The Church Times reports that hospitals in Gaza are struggling to keep up with the needs of the wounded. A major hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Oppression begetting violence in Uganda: the Huffington Post reports that Uganda's Archbishop Stanley Ntagali has expressed deep disappointment at a court striking down that country's anti-gay statute, which sentences homosexuals to life in prison.

10 August 2014: Small actions leading to a better world
The Diocese of Western Massachusetts has written about its partnership with a home in Ghana for children whose mothers died in childbirth. The Anglican Communion News Service has announced a tentative agreement between senior theologians of the Anglican Communion and Eastern Orthodox churches over a previously-disputed theological principle. It's probably a good thing that they are not studying the theology of violence.

10 August 2014: Ebola's effect
The Nigerian Tribune reported on one effect the Ebola outbreaks have had on those attending church in that country: 'We don't shake hands during service anymore'.

7 August 2014: Congo Anglicans reach out to pygmy community
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo breaking new ground by bringing help and hope to a Pygmy community living in that country’s forests.

29 July 2014: Italy recognizes Church of England
The Diocese in Europe has announced that after seven years of preparation, the President of Italy has signed a decree recognizing the Chiesa d'Inghilterra  as a denomination. There are twenty Anglican churches in Italy.


28 July 2014: Celebrations in Sudan as new internal provincial archbishop enthroned
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the enthronement and celebration of the first Archbishop of the new internal province of Sudan, held at All Saints Cathedral in Khartoum. Joy abounds. Read the article if you don't know what 'the new internal province of Sudan' means or if you are wondering why this is such a newsworthy event.

28 July 2014: Requiem at Canterbury
Dr Thérèse Vanier founded the first l'Arche community in England in 1973. The concept had originated with her brother, Jean, when he took two men with disabilities into his home in France, and the idea spread throughout the world. The first English group home was in a former Anglican vicarage in Little Ewell, the gift of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey. The Vaniers, children of a former Governor General of Canada, were devout Roman Catholics, but their effort was ecumenical. When she died at the age of 91, a requiem mass was held at Canterbury Cathedral, perhaps for the first time since the reformation. The Globe and Mail tells of Dr Vanier's career with the Canadian and Free French forces during the war, as a distinguished hematologist as St Thomas's Hospital in London, as a pioneer with Dame Cicely Saunders in palliative care, and as founder of l'Arche in England; and the Independent Catholic News comments on the 'Catholic Requiem at the beating heart of the Anglican Communion, a generous and appropriate gesture to one who was alive to the scandal of disunity,' and noted that the dean welcomed the congregation and remained near the altar throughout the service.

28 July 2014: 40 years of women priests in the USA
Bishop Pierre Whalon, writing in the Huffington Post, reminds us that it was 40 years ago this week that the first women were ordained to the priesthood in the US Episcopal Church. Yesterday's news is today's history.

20 July 2014: Requiem for NZ cathedral dean
Anglican Taonga reports on the requiem held last week for Dean Lynda Patterson, widely beloved Dean of Christchurch.


26 July 2014: End is near for Christians in Iraq
The Independent (London) reports 'the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq has warned the end for Christians in the country appears "very near" as he appealed for help after a deadline set by Islamic militants to convert or be killed expired.'

26 July 2013: Two churches in Jamaica
The Jamaica Gleaner features two ancient churches that sharply contrast. St Paul's church in Chapelton, neatly cared for, has celebrated its 348th anniversary. It was the chapel built by the locals who did not want to travel to the parish church, and gave it's name to the area, Chapel Town. By contrast, Stewart Town has declined from the busy market town it once was, and in the abandoned St Thomas' church, there is enough dust to choke a cherub.

22 July 2014: Human skull left at Dorset church
The warden of Lady St Mary Church in Wareham found a carefully wrapped skull in a bag outside one of the church doors. The police said that it appeared very old, but the BBC News reports that they would like to clarify where it came from and how it was found.

22 July 2014: New Ecumenical Associate for US Episcopal Church
The Living Church (USA) reports that Richard Mammana, an editor of Anglicans Online and member of the board of directors of The Living Church Foundation, has been named Associate for Ecumenical and Interreligious Ministries of the US Episcopal Church.


20 July 2014: Late bishop preaches at his own funeral
The East Malaysia Daily Express reports that the funeral for the fifth Anglican Bishop of Sabah, the Rt Revd Datuk Albert Vun Cheong Fui, featured a video of him preaching forgiveness and giving all to God, among other Christian virtues. 

19 July 2014: The bishop with two cathedræ
The Winnipeg Free Press describes the coming situation in the Diocese of Rupert's Land in which the transfer of some parishes from another diocese will include its former cathedral. The Canadian diocese of Keewatin is being dissolved, with some of its parishes (and its cathedral, which contains the second cathedra) joining the Diocese of Rupert's Land and the remaining parishes being organized into the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh. This map, provided by the Anglican Church of Canada, might help you understand this reorganization if you are not Canadian.

18 July 2014: Synod seeks to amend robes canon
In some contexts, the wearing of robes seems inappropriate or unhelpful for mission. The Church Times reports that the Church of England's General Synod has passed a motion calling for draft legislation to relax the current rules.

17 July 2014: New editor for Canada's Anglican Journal
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports on the appointment of Marites (Tess) Sison as editor of Canada's always-excellent Anglican Journal.

15 July 2014: RC ordinariate reaches out to Anglicans after C of E women-bishops vote
The Catholic Herald (London) reports that the leader of England's Roman Catholic 'ordinariate' has issued an invitation to Anglicans following the Church of England’s vote to create women bishops.

14 July 2014: Church of England votes to allow women bishops
After years upon years of bickering, the Church of England has voted to allow women as bishops. News coverage includes the BBC, the Church Times, and the Huffington Post. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on sadness there at the Diocese of Sydney's continuing stand against women clergy.


12 July 2014: Assisted dying debate in UK
The BBC reported the Church of England has called for an inquiry to carefully assess the issues associated with assisted dying as a result of potential legislation to allow the terminally ill in England and Wales to get help to end their lives. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the bill is 'mistaken and dangerous'. In the Observer (UK), Archbishop Tutu weighs in with an opinion piece in which he writes, 'I have been fortunate to spend my life working for dignity for the living. Now I wish to apply my mind to the issue of dignity for the dying.' The Observer also published an editorial on the topic.

11 July 2014: Kenyan ordinands denied UK visas — again
Church Times reported the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, has launched a campaign to change the UK's visa rules after Kenyan ordinands who were invited to visit his diocese were refused visas for a second time. The diocese has had a link with the Anglican Church of Kenya for many years. The ordinands, part of the group invited, were refused visas on the grounds that they did not provide evidence of sufficient income.

9 July 2014: New archbishop for IpWA
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Rt Revd Jonathan Hart of the Episcopal Church of Liberia was enthroned as archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa (IpWA). He succeeds Bishop Solomon Tilewa Johnson of The Gambia who died in office in January of this year.

8 July 2014: Oceans of Justice campaign
ACNS reported on the Oceans of Justice campaign which Anglican Alliance is supporting. The campaign is calling on the G20 to bring climate change to the top of their agenda when they meet in Brisbane in November 2014.


05 July 2014: Another diocesan newspaper stops paper printing
The Winnipeg Free Press reported 42% of Canadian Church Press member publications indicated they do not expect to exist in their present form in 10 years. The Diocese of Rupert's Land is giving up its printed edition starting in September. The new digital format will contain less news and more opinion and reflection pieces and will give subscribers the option of a weekly email for news updates. The report lists a website for those wishing more information:

3 July 2014: Australian Synod backs change to confession
The Adelaide Advertiser reported on a unanimous vote at the General Synod in Adelaide that amends the canon on confession. Individual dioceses must vote to adopt the changes that allow priests to report serious crimes if the person making confession has not already reported the offence to authorities.

03 July 2014: Service of Thanksgiving for Bishop Crowther
The Canterbury Times reported on the special service at Canterbury Cathedral celebrating the sesquicentennial of the consecration of the first black Anglican bishop, the Rt Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached, and representatives from the Nigerian Government and members of the Ghanaian Royal family attended. 'We are sorry for his suffering at the hands of Anglicans in this country. Learning from their foolishness and from his heroism, we seek to be a church that does not again exclude those whom God is calling.' One may also peruse this story in the Church Times.

3 July 2014: Church jargon jettisoned for better communication
Episcopal News Service (ENS) has the above titled report on its website. Of course, 'better' is in the eyes of the beholder. Ditto 'jargon'. Part of the account is about the initiative in the US Diocese of Los Angeles, thads, which has had positive impacts in its community.

30 June 2014: Crowdsourcing to return Anglican presence to Pitcairn
The St Helena Star (California, US) reported on the efforts of John Brantley, 'who claims to be an Anglican Rite Old Catholic priest,' to raise funds in order to bring an Anglican presence back to Pitcairn Island.

30 June 2014: Leading CofE academic in fatal car accident
Ruth Gledhill writes on Christian Today of the death of Dr John Hughes, Dean of Chapel at Jesus College, Cambridge. Aged just 35, he was from the academic Anglican-Catholic tradition and a leading thinker on a project set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to examine Anglican social thought. Besides having developed a coherent intellectual response to the new atheism, he had studied and become an expert on Roman Catholic social teaching especially in relation to economics.


28 June 2014: Faith debates: 'The future of the Church of England'
The Westminster Faith Debates sponsors have announced a series of 5 debates on the future of the Church of England, to be held in Oxford on five Thursdays from 9 October to 4 December. Debates about the future are rarely swayed by measurable data. We recall having attended debates a few decades ago about the future of urban transportation and the future of telephony that somberly agreed on outcomes making it obvious that no time travel had been involved.

28 June 2014: Anglican Church of Australia elects new primate
The Anglican Church of Australia has elected the Most Revd Dr Phillip Freier, currently Archbishop of Melbourne, as its new primate. Its own website is in disarray, but the Sydney Morning Herald has good coverage of Dr Freier's election. This article from 18 June in the Brisbane Times sketches some of the challenges that he will face as he takes on this new job without being able to step down from his previous job.

26 June 2014: New bishop for Church of England Diocese of Winchester
The British government has announced the appointment of the Revd Canon David Grant Williams as the next Bishop of Basingstoke. Basingstoke is a suffragan see of the Diocese of Winchester, which posted this announcement.

24 June 2014: New bishop for Diocese of the Northern Territory
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of Dr Greg Anderson, currently at Moore Theological College, to be the next Bishop of the Northern Territory.

19 June 2014: Ropley church gutted by blaze
Much of St Peter's church in the Hampshire (UK) village of Ropley dates back to Norman times.
BBC News reports that the church has been gutted by a blaze whose cause is still unknown. The Southern Daily Echo has this dramatic photograph taken by photographer Kevin Milner using a small drone to take the picture from 250 feet above the church.


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