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This page last updated 21 September 2014
Anglicans Online last updated 21 September 2014

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

20 September 2014: Church in New Brunswick destroyed by fire
The CBC reports that the church of St John the Baptist in Edmundston, New Brunswick was destroyed by fire overnight. That city's entire fire department — about 35 people — fought the fire, which was reported at 4:40am. A spokesman said that the fire 'started from outside the building' but voiced no theories as to its origin.

19 September 2014: ABC Justin Welby expresses doubt in God
The Guardian (London) reports on a recent public reflection by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in which he 'admitted to having doubts about the existence of God and disclosed that, on a recent morning jog with his dog, he questioned why the Almighty had failed to intervene to prevent an injustice.'

19 September 2014: Canon Andrew White recognized
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly reported Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, received the Anne Frank Special Recognition Award for his work promoting reconciliation and religious tolerance in Iraq.

19 September 2014: Anglicans beat Vatican team at first interfaith cricket match
The world-famous Canterbury Times tells us of the victory of the Anglican cricket team over the Vatican cricket team in a match that was held in Canterbury at the Kent County Cricket Club's Spitfire Ground. Priests are standing by throughout the world to welcome the thousands expected to convert as a result of this match.

18 September 2014: Sydney dean criticizes Islam, blames it for rise of IS
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on comments made by Phillip Jensen, dean of Sydney's cathedral, against Islam and Muslims. His comments included 'Islam is false.'

18 September 2014: English bishops spend two days talking about sex
The Church Times reports on the recent two-day meeting of the Church of England's College of Bishops in Market Bosworth (a tiny town in Leicestershire), during which they are reputed to have spent their time discussing issues of gender and sexuality.


13 September 2014: New Bishop of Massachusetts has interesting background
The new bishop of Massachusetts, Alan M. Gates, was once a Russian translator and intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense, and more recently rector of St Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. In an interview with the Boston Globe he spoke of how the younger generation tends to enter church life differently than in the past, often seeking opportunities to serve the community first and showing up on Sunday mornings later.

12 September 2014: Imam in residence at Calgary's St Martin's church
The Calgary Herald reports on an 'Imam in Residence' program at St. Martin's Church in Calgary, Alberta. A page on the church's website has some information about the program and a link to register for it.

10 September 2014: Lamentation Sunday services to apologize for past abuse
The Australian reports that congregations across the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn have held special services to apologise for abuse or mistreatment at the hands of the church. The services were intended to recognise the pain, hurt and sorrow caused by the church's past actions and inaction.

8 September 2014: Secretary General of Anglican Communion elected bishop in Ireland
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of the Revd Canon Dr Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion as the next bishop of Limerick and Killaloe.

8 September 2014: Yale University chaplain resigns after LTTE about anti-semitism
The New Haven Register (Connecticut, USA) reported the resignation of the priest-in-charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale, the Revd Bruce M. Shipman, after being accused of 'blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.' If you read all of the current news reports about this situation you will find that it is more nuanced than it might seem at first glance. You will find quite a chasm between reports from, say, Shalom Life and Intifada Palestine.


7 September 2014: Details of Richard III reinterment announced
The Leicester Mercury (UK) reported on the plans for the reinterment of Richard III next March at Leicester Cathedral. Both Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will be present.

6 September 2014: Bishop leads prayer from cathedral tower roof
The Chronicle (Newcastle, UK) reported on Spiritus 2014, a series of events held in, on, and around Durham Cathedral. The events were to allow people to examine the role of prayer in everyday life. One prayer workshop was led by the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, and was held at the top of the tower of the cathedral.

4 September 2014: Archbishop of Canterbury joins multi-faith peace vigil
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the multi-faith peace vigil for Iraq held outside Westminster Abbey at the Innocent Victims Memorial. The ABC met and prayed with Middle east church leaders in the morning before participating in (and speaking at) the vigil.

4 September 2014: There will always be an England — Cricket match dust up
The Folkestone Herald and Kent Online reported Michael Claughton, a life-long cricketer and umpire for 12 years, offered to serve as umpire at the upcoming cricket match between Roman Catholic and Church of England clergy. The event is a fundraiser in aid of the Network, a joint Anglican/RC anti-trafficking campaign, and is organized by the Church Times. They turned down Claughton's offer because Michael Claughton is related to Thomas Claughton, a 19th century Bishop of Rochester and of St Albans. We aren't sure how a relation from 200 or so years ago could make one favour a team over the other, but the Church Times wants the match seen as 'completely fairly played'.

3 September 2014: Bishop speaks: South Sudan
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on remarks by the Rt Revd Moses Deng Bol, Bishop of Wau, South Sudan. 'Did our martyrs die in vain?' '...[I]f our country is ever going to develop and become a better place we must find a way to forgive this pain...[W]e must challenge ourselves to forgive freely as a people.'

3 September 2014: RIP 'Fr Ernie'
The Warrnambool Standard (Australia) reported the founder of St Mark's Benedictine Abbey near Camperdown has died. Father Michael King, known universally as 'Father Ernie', was one of the few Anglican Benedictine ministers in Australia. The Camperdown abbey manufactures incense and provides it to all of Australia's major cathedrals and many parish churches.


30 August 2014: Indianapolis cathedral sues JP Morgan for mishandling bequest
The Post-Tribune reports on a lawsuit filed in US Federal Court by the management of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis against the bank that had been for some decades managing a major bequest.

28 August 2014: Liberia's Cuttington University, diocese at epicenter of Ebola crisis
The Episcopal News Service reports on the fate of Cuttington University in the Diocese of Liberia, which is at the very epicenter of the current Ebola outbreak.

27 August 2014: Church banned from using altar to serve cups of tea
The Telegraph (London) reports on a ruling by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln forbidding the church of St Michael and All Angels in Uffington, Lincolnshire from using its altar as a serving table for refreshments at other events.

27 August 2014: Could Kerala alcohol ban include communion wine?
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us that bishops in the Indian state of Kerala are worried that legislation there to ban alcohol would also ban communion wine.

26 August 2014: Two new Area Bishops for West Yorkshire & the Dales
Thinking Anglicans reports on the appointment by the British Prime Minister's office of two new area bishops for the recently-created Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. The appointments are described in more detail on the diocesan website.

26 August 2014: Another major historical child abuse scandal in Australia
The Australian (a national newspaper), under the headline 'New abuse inquiry for Anglican Church', has revealed a new police investigation into allegations that the church ignored sexual abuse of children in the Diocese of Newcastle in the 1970s. Police in New South Wales have issued this press release and the Newcastle Herald published this report that warnings were ignored.


23 August 2014: Bishop election in El Salvador
Equilibrium reported the election of the Revd Juan David Alvarado to succeed the Rt Revd Martín Barahona.

21 August 2014: Congo re-elects Isingoma as Primate
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Most Revd Henri Isingoma has been re-elected for another five year term as Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo.

21 August 2014: RIP Bishop Andrew Wissemann reported the death of the Rt Revd Andrew Wissemann, sixth bishop of Western Massachusetts, on 20 August 2014. Additional articles about Bishop Wissemann are here and here.

20 August 2014: New chaplain for Warsaw
The Longridge News reported the Revd David Brown, currently vicar of Banacre, Calder Vale and Scorton, who is turning 70 this fall, is taking on a new challenge: he will be the chaplain of the Anglican church in Warsaw. This will allow him to continue in ministry beyond the Church of England diocesan mandatory retirement age of 70.

19 August 2014: Sarfo calls for day of prayer
ACNS reported the Most Revd Dr Daniel Sarfo, Primate and Metropolitan of the Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) has called on Christians around the world to dedicate one Sunday as a day of prayer for the deadly Ebola disease that has struck the west African region. Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported (18 August) an interview with Liberian Archbishop Jonathan Bau-Bau Bonaparte Hart about Ebola in his country.

17 August 2014: RIP Bishop David Russell
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the death of the Rt Revd David Russell, retired Bishop of Grahamstown (South Africa), who was a courageous veteran in the struggle against apartheid and injustice.


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.


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