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This page last updated 15 September 2019
Anglicans Online last updated 15 September 2019

The News Centre

Editor: Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle and Allie Graham

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

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.

For news older than 30 July 2019, please refer to our News Archives.

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