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This page last updated 25 September 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 25 September 2016

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

23 September 2016: Declining Welsh attendance figures noted 'with a heavy heart'
According to the Church Times, average Sunday attendance in the Church in Wales has fallen to below one per cent of the population, the Membership and Finance Report said. And the Governing Body was in no mood simply to “receive” the report, as the motion on the order paper asked it to do.

23 September 2016: Bear necessities in bid for teddy record
The Grimsby Telegraph reports that a small group were knitting teddy bears to go in Christmas shoeboxes for needy children across the world. But the 15,687 bears they have knitted has broken the previous record, and they are striving to reach 16,000 by the end of the week. The bears are currently residing in St Mary’s parish church, Barton-on-Humber. The BBC noted that bears had been received from Spain, Italy, Turkey and Australia.

23 September 2016: English cathedral statistics 2015 show continued growth
Thinking Anglicans reported on the release by the Church of England of its Cathedral statistics for 2015.

22 September 2016: Drama as Anglican church bishops flee Anambra
The Daily Post reports that 170 bishops of the Church of Nigeria at a five-day meeting in Awka cut short their deliberations on Wednesday. The Indigenous People of Biafra had urged people to stay at home on September 23rd, in protest against the continued incarceration of their leader, despite court rulings for his release. The bishops feared that the Niger bridge, the only exit from the state, would be blocked and they would be trapped.

20 September 2016: Church of England needs 50 per cent increase in ordinands
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the C of E is seeking to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry from around 500 each year to 750. And they are targeting a 'substantial increase' in the number of young, and black and minority ethnic ordinands.


17 September 2016: Holy Communion in the Church in Wales to be open to all the baptised
Thinking Anglicans tells us the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales has announced that, with effect from Advent Sunday, everyone who has been baptised can participate fully in Holy Communion, regardless of their age or whether they have been confirmed.

16 September 2016: Anglican priest is first patient of robotic eye surgery
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the successful outcome of the world's first robotic eye surgery. The patient, the Revd Dr Bill Beaver, is a priest in the Church of England and was formerly the director of communications for the Church of England and introduced corporate branding to it, including the now-iconic 'e' symbol.

16 September 2016: The ABC makes a plea on social media
The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for prayers 'for wisdom, for patience, and for courage' on both Facebook and Twitter.

12 September 2016: Australia's Anglican hierarchy divided over marriage equality plebiscite
The Guardian (London), in its Australia News section, reports divisions in the Anglican Church of Australia on whether to back or oppose the federal government’s planned marriage equality plebiscite.

11 September 2016: Steampunk Bible game from NZ takes hold worldwide
The Bible Society of New Zealand announces the success of their online Bible game designed to bring the Scriptures alive. Called The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance, it claims more than 15,000 players mainly from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, with 400 kids playing the game every day.


8 September 2016: Australian primate says church will accept plebiscite results
The Guardian (London) reports that Archbishop Philip Freier, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, has said that his church must accept a change in the definition of marriage if the upcoming plebiscite in that country approves marriage equality. He also said it is unlikely the church's doctrine will change. In his statement, Archbishop Freier welcomes the referendum but expresses concern about the 'tenor of the debate.'

8 September 2016: Church of England 2014 parish finance results released
The Church of England published this press release, which summarizes aggregated parish finance figures for 2014. It reports a 'record level of giving' to parishes. The Church Times notes that although the level of giving has increased, it is not enough.

5 September 2016: Church in north London applies for permit as live music venue
The Telegraph (London) reports on the application by the vicar of St Michael in the Parish of Old St Pancras, Camden, to serve alcohol at evening musical events, a necessary step in enabling it to be a paid concert venue.

3 September 2016: Much to-do about gender issues in the Church of England
The LGBTI Mission has issued this statement about the recent statement by the Bishop of Grantham. Thinking Anglicans has reproduced a letter to the Sunday Times by various married lesbian and gay members of the Church of England. 138 members of General Synod have published an open letter to the C of E College of Bishops.

2 September 2016: Christians experiencing supernatural phenomena
The Church Times, reporting on a survey by Christian Research in a recently published book, tells us two-thirds of the Christians surveyed had had a personal supernatural experience at some point in their lives.

2 September 2016: Dodransbicentennial for Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba
The Anglican Communion News Service, demonstrating its ownership of good dictionaries and style guide, announced the celebration of the 175th anniversary of DNECA (Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba) in the Province of the West Indies. Our style guide notes that 'dodransbicentennial' is preferred over 'dodrabicentennial', 'dequasbicentennial', 'demisemiseptcentennial', or 'septaquintaquinquecentennial'. A previous employer of ours celebrated in 2007 its purported terquasquicentennial, but we think they invented the word and fibbed about the date of its founding, and they have since then gone out of business.


2 September 2016: Security guard dies foiling terrorists in Diocese of Peshawar
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the story of an attack on the Church of Pakistan by suicide bombers that was thwarted by a brave security guard who died defending the church.

2 September 2016: Anglican women's ministry centre opens in Seoul
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the long-awaited opening of the Women’s Mission Centre in Seoul, Korea. The project was launched in 1995.

2 September 2016: First C of E bishop declares he is in gay relationship
The Guardian (London) reports the announcement by the Bishop of Grantham that he is gay and in a relationship. Columnist Andrew Brown notes the hypocrisy of the Church of England's official stance on clergy sexuality. The Guardian also reports 'Fourteen gay Anglican priests urge bishops to take lead on inclusion'. Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over sexuality issues, and The Guardian has published an ominous-sounding prediction of schism.

31 August 2016: Shadow Synod to meet in Tunbridge Wells
The Church Times reports on the upcoming 'shadow synod' with representatives of 11 congregations in three dioceses (Rochester, Canterbury, and Chichester) are meeting on Thursday at St Mark's, Tunbridge Wells to express disgust at the state of the Church of England.

29 August 2016: Australian archbishop expresses remorse for non-support of sex abuse victims
Perth Now reports that Anglican Archbishop of Perth says he badly let down child sexual abuse survivors in his former diocese and hopes the church has been 'woken up' by the Royal Commission. Archbishop Roger Herft has been giving evidence at hearings into how the Diocese of Newcastle, which he headed between 1993-2005, handled (or mishandled) allegations of abuse.

28 August 2016: Britain's Ordinariate is in peril
Damien Thompson, who had championed the Ordinariate, writes in the Catholic Herald that it seems doomed. It has about a thousand lay members scatted about the country in tiny communities and eighty ex-Anglican priests to support. The bishops have not encouraged it, and there seems little enthusiasm amongst its members. Mr Thompson, however, hopes for signs of new life.


27 August 2016: ABC interviewed at Britain's Greenbelt Festival
Christian Today reports on and quotes from an interview with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by British television star Kate Bottley. One notable quote: 'I am constantly consumed with horror at the way the Church has treated gay people.'

27 August 2016: New testimony in Diocese of Newcastle sex abuse hearings
The Australian reports that the child abuse royal commission released a slew of exhibits about the Anglican diocese. On Monday it begins a third week of hearings, when the Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, is due to be the first facing cross-examination. One revelation is that the former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral wrote a character reference for a priest he knew to be a pedophile.

26 August 2016: Bid to install padded chairs squashed by Court
The parishioners at the 12th century Church of the Holy Trinity in Long Itchington, Warwickshire, had to move their Victorian pews whenever they held Messy Church, or hosted village events. Despite concerns from the Victorian Society, they were permitted to remove the pews. The Church Times reports. However, the Chancellor of the diocese of Coventry has ruled that they must be replaced with un-upholstered wooden chairs. He suggested that wine-coloured padding might be off-putting to newcomers, and that an ‘overly casual appearance can be incompatible with a house of God’. One of the wardens told the Telegraph that she felt the court's decision would hinder the mission of the parish. The Telegraph has the best headline: ‘Not the comfy chair! Parishioners given Spanish Inquisition’, but the article is behind a paywall.

23 August 2016: Maori Archbishop to retire in March 2017
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the announcement by Archbishop William Brown Turei of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, that he will retire at the end of March 2017 at the age of 92. He is the oldest Primate in the Anglican Communion.


21 August 2016: The Revd Roly Bain
The Guardian reports the death of the 'Holy Roly', whose clown ministry took him around the world. He felt himself in the old tradition of jesters in church, who symbolize the comedy and tragedy of life. During his career, he had custard-pied ten bishops, 'and most were grateful'. 

21 August 2016: Anglican church commences construction of trauma centre for Boko Haram victims
The Diocese of Maiduguri has laid the cornerstone on this trauma centre according to the Premium Times (Nigeria). Though 'the centre belongs to the Anglican communion, its services will cut across all religions and denominations' and is expected to cost N15 million (£33,220).

21 August 2016: City square shut down, fears for Cathedral under Melbourne Metro rail tunnel drilling plans
Fears have raised about the stability of the ground beneath the 125 year-old St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne once drilling starts in 2018. The Herald Sun (Melbourne) also reports of concerns that the project could 'represent a major threat to the practical functioning of the Cathedral'.

19 August 2016: Interreligious Summit for Peace set for September
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will join Pope Francis and other prominent Christian and Muslim leaders for a peace summit in Assisi this September. Writes the Catholic News Agency, the meeting is '"a necessary encounter," especially given the current global climate of conflict.'

19 August 2016: Brazil’s Anglicans protest destruction of Indigenous land
Anglican Journal reports Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB) has joined a coallition of churches protesting the removal of indigious peoples from their land to make way for agro-business, which has led to nearly 400 murders and over 500 suicides over the last 12 years. The group has led demonstrations and met with legislators, with support from USPG.

For news older than 19 August, please refer to our News Archives.

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