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This page last updated 19 June 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 19 June 2016

The News Centre
Editors: Helen Gordon and 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


19 June 2016: Build-up to Church of England July synod
See Thinking Anglicans for up-to-date reports on the C of E General Synod.

18 June 2016: Leading C of E evangelical bishops call for Church to change on gays
Christian Today reports 'Two prominent bishops have called for evangelicals in the Church of England to cease their fighting over homosexuality and accept other evangelicals as such, even when they take a pro-gay stance.'

17 June 2016: Keep pushing on Rome
The Church Times quotes the Archbishop of Canterbury: 'The purpose of dialogue with other Churches is to rub salt into the wounds caused by our division. I pray for disruption.'

16 June 2016: Great Council of the Orthodox churches first meeting in 1000 years
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the first global meeting of Orthodox churches since the Great Schism in 1054.

16 June 2016: Diocese of Missouri appoints Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention
The Diocese of Missouri has announced the appointment of the Revd Dr Marc D Smith as Bishop’s Deputy for Gun Violence Prevention. We believe that this is the first such post in the Anglican world.

15 June 2016: Archbishop of York clashes with UK talk-show host over gay marriage
The Archbishop of York became embroiled in a live TV argument over same-sex marriage on Wednesday morning as ITV presenter Piers Morgan accused him of homophobia. Christian Today reported on it.

15 June 2016: Three indigenous bishops ordained in Argentina
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that three indigenous Anglican priests were ordained as bishops in Argentina, joining the a very small number of indigenous Anglicans to have become bishops in that province.

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11 June 2016: Scotish Episcopal Church Synod
The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church met in Edinburgh this week. The best coverage is by Thinking Anglicans.

11 June 2016: New bishop for Easton
The Diocese of Easton reports its election of the Rt Revd Santosh Marray as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Easton. Bishop Santosh has been assisting in the Diocese of Alabama, where he is well liked and will surely be missed.

10 June 2016: Nigerian primate is new head of GAFCON
Nigeria Today reports the election of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh as Chairman of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Primates Council. The Telegraph (London) notes that this portends poorly for worldwide Anglican unity.

10 June 2016: Latvian Lutheran Church rescinds ordination of women
The National Catholic Reporter (USA) reports on the action by the synod of the Lutheran Church of Latvia has gone back on its 40-year-old decision by officially ruling that women cannot be ordained priests.

10 June 2016: Women are becoming cathedral stonecutters
The Church Times tells us that many of the stonecutters involved in recent cathedral restoration are women, and that a goodly percentage of newly-trained stonecutters are women.

7 June 2016: Last Anglican friary in NZ to close
Anglican Taonga reports the closing of the last Anglican friary in New Zealand. Anglican Franciscan brothers have maintained a friary in that country for about 50 years.

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5 June 2016: Growing flock of Muslim refugees are converting
The Guardian reports that churches throughout Europe are reporting many Muslim converts. The curate at Liverpool cathedral, the Revd Mohammed Eghtedarian, conducts a weekly Persian service that attracts between 100 and 140 people. One in four confirmations conducted over the past year by the bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth, were of converts from Islam.

3 June 2016: Well-attended pilgrimage in Uganda
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the participation in Uganda's annual pilgrimage to Namugongo, site of the martyring of Christians in the 19th century. The king of Buganda, Kabaka Mwanga ordered the execution of all converted Christians in his kingdom. The king's soldiers killed 45 Christians as a result of that order. There are separate Anglican and RC shrines, but they are near one another and the massacre site. Christianity Today also reported on the turnout.

3 June 2016: English clergy are older, and fewer are stipendiary
The Church Times reports on a report released by the Church of England Archbishops’ Council, which says that on average, clergy are older and fewer clergy are being paid a salary.

2 June 2016: Anglicanism fading in its country of origin
The New York Times reports on the continuing decrease in the size and influence of the Church of England, which has been steadily losing members for a long time.

2 June 2016: Church and State in Malawi
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the delivery by the president of Malawi of 100 bags of cement to St Mark in Mzuzu, for its ongoing construction of a new church.

30 May 2016: Annual tradition of grass-strewing at Shenington church
In the middle ages, the earthen floors of some churches would have been covered with rushes, which would have been changed in the spring. Banburyshireinfo reports that the annual grass-stewing at Holy Trinity church, Shenington is perhaps unique now. At Whitsun and the following two Sundays, Christopher Hawtin lays grass on the aisles and around the font. His family have been doing this since the 1800s. Some couples ask to get married when the grass is laid, but others ask for it to be removed because they have hay fever.

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27 May 2016: Thomas Becket’s elbow to return to site of his murder in Canterbury
When the remains of Archbishop Thomas Becket were reburied in 1220, fragments of bone were dispersed across Europe,with a shard of his elbow ending up in Esztergom, which was then the capital of Hungary. The Guardian reports that the relic has been briefly returned to England, accompanied by Hungary’s president. It has been blessed by both Becket’s successor, Justin Welby, and the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, Vincent Nichols. The pilgrimage will end at Canterbury cathedral, where Becket was murdered in 1170.

27 May 2016: Church contains hardly any converts, report suggests
The Church Times reports that only two per cent of Anglicans in England and Wales are converts. Though the survey, conducted by Dr Stephen Bullivant of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham looks primarily at the Roman Catholic church, other denominations are compared.

25 May 2016: Iona Christian community in 'serious jeopardy'
The Guardian reports of the difficulties facing the popular Scottish pilgrimage destination. The community is looking to raise £1.5m to redevelop the monastery buildings which could be 'unfit for purpose' within a few years.

25 May 2016: Confirmation stays under review
Anglican Taonga (New Zeland) reports that a proposal to remove and replace the rite of confirmation with a the rite of The Laying on of Hands for Affirmation, Renewal and Reception has sparked a debate on Christian initiation in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia.

24 May 2016: Desmond Tutu's daughter gives up Church ministry after same-sex marriage
Christian Today writes of the Revd Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth giving up her preaching license following her marriage to another woman. Though same-sex marriage is allowed under South African law, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa does not. Tutu-Van Furth says "The bishop of the diocese was instructed to revoke my licence. I decided that I would give it to him rather than have him take it."

23 May 2016: Needing to raise ten of millions, Washington National Cathedral picks a fundraiser for its new dean
The Washington Post (USA) profiles the recently appointed dean of the National Cathedral of the Episcopal Church, USA in Washington, DC. The Revd Randy Hollerith follows Gary Hall, known for his activism in the church. Hollerith, who currently serves at a parish in Richmond, Virginia, is the brother of the Rt. Rev. Herman "Hollie" Hollerith of Southern Virginia.

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21 May 2016: Melbourne church offers space to Muslims for prayer after mosque fire
ABC News reports that since last October there have been five church fires in Geelong, Australia. The most recent fire destroyed the main mosque in that city. The building was previously a Uniting Church, and police do not believe the attack was targeting Islam. The Bishop of Melbourne, Philip Huggins, has offered the use of the parish hall of All Saints Church, Newtown for Friday prayers.

20 May 2016: New Primate for Kenya
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the election of the Bishop of Kericho, the Rt Revd Jackson Ole Sapit, as sixth Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Bishop of the Diocese of All Saints Cathedral.

19 May 2016: Bishop of Dunedin announces retirement, wonders if diocese can afford a bishop
The Otago Daily Times reports the Bishop of Dunedin has announced his intention to retire at Easter next year, and raised questions about whether the Dunedin diocese can afford to replace him. The next day, that newspaper published an editorial 'Churches in modern times', lamenting the state of New Zealand's churches and noting 'Many young New Zealanders these days have never attended a church service, not even at Christmas or Easter and not for weddings or baptisms.'

19 May 2016: Thousands join ABC for online Bible study
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) tells us the Archbishop of Canterbury was joined by thousands around the world today for his first live Bible study on Facebook.

17 May 2016: Church of Scotland to introduce online baptism
The Telegraph (London) reports a policy being considered by the Church of Scotland to allow online administration of the sacrament of baptism. Do remember that the Church of Scotland is not Anglican; that would be the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Church of Scotland has already issued a denial.

16 May 2016: Altar cloth in Herefordshire church linked to Elizabeth I
The people of St Faith in Bacton (UK) suspected that the altar cloth they had on display had links to Queen Elizabeth I. It had been donated to the church by Blanche Parry, who was the queen’s personal attendant, and whose effigy is in the church. The Hereford Times reports that the connection has been confirmed, and that it was a unique piece of Elizabethan dress. The confirmation increased its value; it is now thought to be worth millions of pounds. It will now be conserved at Hampton Court, and a facsimile will be produced for display at St Faith.

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PRIOR TO 16 May 2016: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.


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