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This page last updated 20 April 2015
Anglicans Online last updated 19 April 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

19 April 2015: Church of England branded 'cowardly' for not speaking up
The Independent (London) reports on the response by various liberal Anglican organisations to the silence of the Church of England on a planned 'conversion therapy' conference, some of whose organizers and speakers are associated with the C of E.

17 April 2015: Aden church and clinic close as fighting intensifies
Christ Church, Aden was built in 1863 as a garrison church for British forces, requisitioned by the communist government of South Yemen in 1970, and restored and rededicated in 1997. It offered services for a small ex-pat congregation (on Friday mornings to accommodate local schedules), and operated a clinic which offered general medical services and specialist eye treatment. But the civil war in Yemen has paralysed life in the city, and the Church Times reports that the church and clinic are now locked.

17 April 2015: Turning kitchen tables into sacred spaces
The Religion News Service has run an interesting piece 'How Shauna Niequist helps Christians turn kitchen tables into sacred spaces'. It is not news, and this is the News Centre, but we found it interesting enough that we decided to include it here.

16 April 2015: 41 years in, still a struggle for women in the church
The US Episcopal News Service, reporting on a recent symposium in Tennessee, notes that two of the women ordained in 1974 in Philadelphia said that the need remains to fight for women's proper role in the church.

15 April 2015: ACO at UN announces 2015 Global Service Award
The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations (ACOUN) has honored Beth Adamson with its 2015 Award for Global Service for her dedicated work to strengthen Anglican women's presence at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).


11 April 2015: South Australia's first aboriginal Anglican bishop
The Revd Christopher McLeod has been consecrated as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide, and is South Australia's first aboriginal Anglican bishop. Bishop McLeod, who was rector of St Jude's church, Brighton is of Gurindji descent, and his mother was a member of the Stolen Generations, who were removed from their families by state and church authorities. ABC reports that he will use his new role to focus on reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people, and that the ordination ceremony combined Anglican and aboriginal rituals.

10 April 2015: ABC calls murdered Kenyan students martyrs
The Church Times reported that, in his Easter sermon, Archbishop Welby said the Kenyan students killed on Maundy Thursday were among the 'many martyrs' of the past year.

9 April 2015: Rumonge asks for prayer after devastating landslides
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) consolidated reports from the BBC and the Anglican church of Burundi to report the Diocese of Rumonge in Burundi has asked for prayer after heavy rains on 22 March and 5 April triggered landslides that have killed more than 14 people and caused significant property damage some 35km south of the capital Bujumbura.


3 April 2015: Archbishop of Kenya speaks on this week's massacre
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has called on the international community to stand with Kenya as it mourns the brutal killing of at least 147 students at the Garissa University College by the Al-Shabaab militia on Thursday.

3 April 2015: Stations of the cross by rail
A railway enthusiast, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows, bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, invited people to join him 'at a station near you' for moments of reflection on the cross throughout Good Friday. The Irish Times reports that the 'stations in stations' would take place at 14 stops on his train journey. One assumes that this pilgrimage is unrelated to another reportthat since the bars in railway stations are exempt from the rule that requires most pubs in Ireland to close on Good Friday, the bar in Dublin's Connolly Station was packed with people with one-way tickets to the closest stop.

2 April 2015: Queen hands out Maundy money in Sheffield
The Yorkshire Post reports that this year the Queen handed out Maundy money at Sheffield cathedral, to 89 men and 89 women (one for each year of her age). In the Telegraph, Christopher Howse reflects on this Maundy Thursday tradition, that dates back to the time of King John.

2 April 2015: New Communion Secretary General appointed
The Church Times reports the Rt Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna, has been appointed the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. ACNS's press release is here.

2 April 2015: Maryland suffragan trial date set
The Baltimore Sun reported the trial for Heather Cook, who is accused of fatally hitting a cyclist while driving drunk, has been scheduled for early June. The Washington Post report is here.


26 March 2015: New Bishop of Gloucester
10 Downing Street has announced the appointment of the Venerable Rachel Treweek as Bishop of Gloucester. The Revd Treweek is currently Archdeacon of Hackney. The Anglican Communion News Service reminds us she is England's first female diocesan bishop.

26 March 2015: Fundraising for resurrected Arctic cathedral
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports on fundraising efforts to help pay the debt incurred in rebuilding St Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Diocese of the Arctic. It was destroyed by arson a decade ago and has been rebuilt. But there is still construction debt. If you would like to contribute, this page explains how you can do it.

26 March 2015: Archbishop leads Richard III's reinterment prayers
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the rite of reburial of King Richard III, who died in 1485. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led the prayers and blessing. King Richard was reburied at Leicester Cathedral, 13 miles from Bosworth Field.

25 March 2015: First husband and wife bishops?
10 Downing Street has announced the appointment of Canon Alison White, priest-in-charge of St James' church, Riding Mill, as Bishop of Hull in the diocese of York. Canon White is married to Frank, assistant bishop of Newcastle.

25 March 2015: Hymnal transcribed into Braille
Mary Williams likes to sing the hymns with the rest of the congregation at St John's church, South March in the Diocese of Ottawa, but her fragile sight meant she could not read the words. When a new Canadian hymnal was introduced, there were many new hymns, and the words to some that she knew by heart were changed, to make them gender neutral. A serendipitous encounter led to the production of a Braille edition of the new hymnal. The Anglican Journal (Canada) tells us that now Mary finds out what will be sung on Sunday, and brings the appropriate pages from the five binders of the Braille hymnal, so she can take part fully in the worship.

23 March 2015: New Bishop of Manicaland
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the election of the Revd Canon Erick Ruwona as the next Bishop of Manicaland, in Zimbabwe.


20 March 2015: WiSpire in Norwich
The Church Times reports on an innovative way to bring high speed internet connectivity to rural areas in the Diocese of Norwich.

20 March 2015: Vicar apologises
Last week we listed the story of the London vicar who participated in a non-C of E service in his parish. The Church Times reports he has now apologised for same.

18 March 2015: Typhoon Pam wreaks havoc on Vanuatu
Anglican Taonga has a first-hand report from a member of the General Synod Standing Committee who lives in Port Vila, hard hit by Typhoon Pam. There are links to Archbishop Makgoba's appeal for prayers and aid as well as links to Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Missions Board (NZ).

18 March 2015: Dakota hymn sing
The Capital Journal (South Dakota, US) reported on a monthly event at St Peter's Episcopal Church in Fort Pierre where the Dakota language is kept alive through singing hymns.

18 March 2015: Christchurch cathedral deadlock broken?
Anglican Taonga reported the Rt Revd Victoria Matthews has encouraged her diocese to consider a restoration scheme by Sir Miles Warren to rebuild the Cathedral in the Square as a possible way to break the deadlock over the city's earthquake-ravaged cathedral.

18 March 2015: EcoPeace Middle East: Save the Jordan River
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on efforts by groups in the Holy Land to rehabilitate the Jordan River. The project brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to mobilze and build friendships around their common source of life. 'In this area of the world, water can bring us together, because water does not see all these walls and borders that we put between each other.' Links to congregational educational resources can be found here.

16 March 2015: Cuban synod votes to return to Episcopal Church
Anglican Journal (Canada) reported members of synod for the Episcopal Church of Cuba narrowly voted in favour of returning to the church's former affiliation with the US-based Episcopal Church.

16 March 2015: Dominican Republic announces nominees for bishop coadjutor
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the slate of three nominees for bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic has been announced. The electing convention will be 25 July.

16 & 20 March 2015: Pakistan church bombings
On Sunday, 15 March, suicide-bombings outside two churches in Lahore killed 16 and injured more than 70. One parish was RC, the other was Christ Church Anglican. The Church Times reported this on 16 March and ran another story on 20 March about the participation via mobile phone by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the funeral of some of the vicitms at Christ Church. ACNS reports are here and here.


15 March 2015: Scanlan elected in Central Pennsylvania
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the election of the Revd Canon Audrey Cady Scanlan as 11th bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

13 March 2015: Syrian refugees
The Church Times published two reports on the plight of Syrians. The first tells of a new report just released by 21 international humanitarian and human-rights organisations, Failing Syria. In the second article, Madeleine Davies relays stories of Syrian refugee families she met in camps in Jordan.

12 March 2015: Vicar criticised after Muslim prayer service at church
The Daily Mail (UK) reported the Revd Giles Goddard, vicar of St John's Waterloo, has come under fire for allowing a Muslim prayer service in his church. During the service, he read a passage from Psalm 139, and referenced shared Abrahamic traditions with 'giving thanks to the God that we love, Allah' — upsetting some traditionalists. Apparently, those in the UK upset by the 'Allah' reference aren't aware of the on-going fight by Christians in Malaysia for the right to continue using 'Allah' which is traditional in their worship.

11 March 2015: WCC panel on climate change & human rights
The World Council of Churches (WCC) reported on a high level panel on Climate Change and Human Rights held at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. The WCC general secretary, the Revd Dr Olav Fyske Tveit, said, 'We are together in this blue planet as one humanity. Our actions have a positive or negative impact on the basic conditions for the life of others – of all. Therefore, we need to see this in the perspective of universal human rights.'

10 March 2015: Delegation advocates at UN for gender equity
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the delegation of 19 Anglican Communion women from 17 Communion provinces who are in New York for the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

8 March 2015: 'Our tribe is women'
Anglican Alliance published a statement and video from the women of the Episcopal Church of Sudan & South Sudan (ECSSS). 'As the women of South Sudan, we abhor tribalism and the division it causes. We therefore call upon all the women of South Sudan from all walks of life to forge a common agenda for peace.'


8 March 2015: Small Newfoundland town loses its church to fire
The Telegraph (St Johns) reports on the fire that today destroyed the only Anglican church in Indian Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

5 March 2015: Electronic voting results for recent C of E General Synod
Thinking Anglicans has noted and linked the files released by the Church of England containing the detailed results of the four electronic votes taken at last month's General Synod.

4 March 2015: New bishop for West Texas
The US Episcopal News Service reports the recent installation of the Rt Revd David M. Reed as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.

2 March 2015: U2 stars' final farewell to travelling pastor Jack
The Evening Herald (Dublin) reports on the funeral of the Revd Jack Heaslip at St Mary's church, Howth. Heaslip had been a guidance counsellor at Mount Temple Secondary School when the future band members were students there. He was later ordained, and accompanied the band on tour, to help the hundreds of staff and crew members cope with the challenges of isolation and long-distance travel. Terry Mattingly writes that in notes on its 2014 album, Songs of Innocence, the band called Heaslip 'our Northern Star', perhaps knowing that motor neuron disease would soon take his life.

2 March 2015: New tower for Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey announces it has been granted permission by the planning commission to build a tower to provide public access to the abbey's eastern triforium, which will house a new museum and exhibition space, The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries. It will be the most significant addition to the building since the west towers were completed in 1745.


1 March 2015: Australian Diocese of Newcastle to sell its Bishopscourt
There are two Diocese of Newcastle in the Anglican Communion. One is in England, and one is in Australia. The Newcastle Herald (Australia) tells us about the progress of plans to sell the diocese's Bishopscourt house, traditionally the home of its bishop. The AU$4 million that it could bring is seemingly too valuable to pass up.

1 March 2015: The remote little church that's a big thorn in the side of housing development
The Bucks Herald (UK) tells us about the little church in Buckinghamshire, vacant for decades, whose historical status is preventing Progress.

28 February 2015: Malcolm Boyd dies at 91
The US Episcopal News Service reports 'The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd – whose human rights advocacy shaped most of his 30 books including the 1965 best-seller Are You Running with Me, Jesus? – died February 27.' The Los Angeles Times published this obituary.

27 February 2015: New bishop for Diocese of Sabah
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us the House of Bishops of the Province of South East Asia has appointed Bishop Melter Tais as the 6th Diocesan Bishop of Sabah.

25 February 2015: NZ diocesan bishop demoted for racist remarks
The Press (New Zealand) reports 'An Anglican cleric who offended Jews and Muslims last month, has been demoted from some of his roles.' Those roles include being the Diocesan Bishop of Te Waipounamu.


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