Anglicans Online
Worldwide Anglicanism Anglican Dioceses and Parishes
Noted this Week News Centre A to Z Start Here The Anglican Communion Africa Australia BIPS Canada
Letters to AO News Archives Events Anglicans Believe... In Full Communion England Europe Hong Kong Ireland
Search, Archives Newspapers Online Vacancies The Prayer Book Not in the Communion Japan New Zealand Nigeria Scotland
Visit the AO Shop Official Publications B The Bible B South Africa USA Wales WorldB
Help support AO B B B B B B B B
This page last updated 7 February 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 7 February 2016

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

7 February 2016: New Dean of Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the installation at St Andrew's Cathedral of the Very Revd Kanishka Raffel as the new Dean. He is the first person from a non-European background to hold the role in the church's history in Australia. 'I think it's important for the church to reflect the society that it is seeking to serve and so Sydney has become a very multicultural city and it would be strange, I think, if the church didn't reflect that because we have a message of God's love for all.'

6 February 2016: Sparks elected in N Indiana
The Living Church reports the Diocese of Northern Indiana has elected the Revd Douglas E Sparks as its eighth bishop.

5 February 2016: Ash Wednesday on the go and 'Live from Lambeth'
In recent years, we have read of 'Ashes to Go' where priests provide the imposition of ashes to commuters on railway platforms and on street corners. This year we can add a report of the imposition of ashes at a ferry embarkation point in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reports there will be a live stream of an Ash Wednesday service from the 800-year old chapel at Lambeth Palace which will include a homily by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The streaming will be done via Facebook. Details are provided in the ACNS report.

4 February 2016: New church building consecrated after 84 years
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported a new church building has been consecrated for an Anglican worshipping community in Bermejas, Cuba, some 84 years after it was founded as an organised mission of the Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba.

2 February 2016: A school for bishops
Anglican Communion News Service reported on the recent gathering of recently consecrated bishops from across the Communion for the annual New Bishops' Course at Canterbury.

1 February 2016: UK survey shows surge in churchgoing
Christian Today reported on the results of a survey commissioned by the National Churches Trust. According to the survey, as many as six in 10 British adults visited a church, chapel or religious meeting house in the last 12 months. The survey results counter the more usual narrative of perpetual decline that has dominated surveys in recent years. An additional nugget from the results: more than four in 10 said a friendly welcome would encourage them to visit. Provision of toilets, a café or refreshment were also important in encouraging visits, along with comfortable seats, useful visitor information and, especially for younger adults, wi-fi.

29 January 2016: Church for sale with occupied crypt
The Twin Cities Pioneer Press (Minnesota) reported St Paul church, a 103-year old church on the historic register, was closed last year due to a dwindling and aging congregation. The property is for sale, and the gothic revival building comes with 33 stained glass windows, some statuary, wonderful acoustics, and the remains of the rector during the time of its construction: the Revd John Wright is buried in a crypt under sanctuary. This makes the crawl space under the altar a 'historic non-operating cemetery'.


31 January 2016: Cash concerns for England's cathedrals
The BBC reported on results of a survey they posed to England's Anglican cathedrals. Almost two-thirds of those running the cathedrals are concerned about their finances. Three-quarters of those running cathedrals agree that turning their buildings into multiple use venues is 'essential' and say they should be 'open to non-faith based and commercial organisations'.

30 January 2016: Jamaican church celebrates 350 years
The Jamaica Gleaner reported on the commemorative service and celebration of St Paul's in Chapelton, Clarendon, Jamaica, which is celebrating its 350th anniversary.

29 January 2016: Welby condemns 'cancer' of extremism
The Church Times reported on remarks by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Welby was speaking about religious extremism which is present in every world faith, including Christianity.

28 January 2016: Unexpected blessing
Catholic Culture reported on the recent Vespers service that marked the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. At the end of the ecumenical service, Pope Francis asked an Orthodox and Anglican prelate to join him in conferring the final blessing. While this report includes some quotes from the Most Revd David Moxon, director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) posted Archbishop Moxon's reflection in full on 26 January.

28 January 2016: Priest, 71, rescued after being lost in -43° C storm
The National Post reported the successful rescue of the Revd Moses Kakekaspan, priest at St Peter's in Fort Severn, Ontario. Kakekaspan, who was returning home after a pastoral call, was caught in a winter storm with wind chill temperatures of -43° C. He was found the next morning, and, amazingly, suffered only mild hypothermia.

25 January 2016: Historical hypocrisy?
The Huffington Post published a piece entitled, The Historical Hypocrisy of the Anglican-Episcopal Split.


24 January 2016: Tensions among global Orthodox leaders
The Economist reported on the 'tense, top-level' meeting in Geneva between Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch who is considered 'first among equals' in the Orthodox hierarchy and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow about this summer's planned 'Great and Holy Synod'. The article is quite informative about the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. 'In that country the two biggest Orthodox institutions are the globally recognised Ukrainian Orthodox Church, ultimately under the Moscow Patriarchate, and the 25-year-old Kiev Patriarchate which strongly supports Ukrainian independence and the government's battle against Russophile rebels in east. These two bodies have identical services; the main difference is that they pray for, and obey, different bishops. Many a confused believer could hardly tell the difference.'

22 January 2016: The gravitas of the beard
The Church Times published a feature by the Rt Revd Richard Chartes with the charming title, 'And Esau was an hairy man' , in which he traces the theological history and significance of beards. He also praises two priests who have grown 'opulent' beards in the Tower Hamlets section of London. The photo used in the article is of footballer David Beckham. The bishop calls Beckham 'the nearest we have to a popular secular saint'. The Express (London) picked up the story with the headline, Vicars bizarrely urged to grow beards in an effort to reach British Muslims. The lead photo used here is of former ABC Rowan Williams.

22 January 2016: Archbishop of Southeast Asia counters politician's remarks on missionaries
The Malaysian Insider reported on the response by the Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, Archbishop of Southeast Asia and Bishop of Kuching, to offensive remarks made by the leader of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) concerning Christian missionaries. The Archbishop learned of the remarks upon his return from the Primates Meeting, and his response is cogent and forthright.

January 2016: RIP: The Rt Revd Donald Parsons
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the death of the Rt Revd Donald Parsons, former Bishop of Quincy (US) and 13th dean and president of Nashotah House Theological Seminary.


15-17 January 2016: Primates Meeting and Communiqué
The best source for a comprehensive roundup of links, responses, and reactions is at Thinking Anglicans. This week's issue of The Church Times includes a number of reports as well including one The Church Times subtitled, 'What Justin Welby told the Primates'.

16 January 2016: Rare Puritan manuscripts available online
The Christian Post reported the John Richard Allison Library in Vancouver has made available its entire rare Puritan collection for online reading. The core of the collection is from the personal libraries of Drs James I Packer and James M Houston.

15 January 2016: A fixed date for Easter?
The BBC reported the Archbishop of Canterbury announced he was in talks with Pope Francis, Coptic leader Pope Tawadros, and the leader of the Orthodox church Patriarch Bartholomew to agree upon a fixed date for Easter. The report also appeared at Christianity Today along with a link to an explanation of the maths used in setting the date for Easter.

14 January 2016: Bishop urges prayer after Polio clinic bomb
ACNS reported on a bombing of a Polio clinic in south west Pakistan and an interview with the Bishop of Karachi, the Rt Revd Sadiq Daniel by Premier Christian Radio. Polio vaccination clinics in Pakistan are regularly targeted by terrorists who claim that they are a front for American spies or a Western plot to sterilise Pakistani children. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where Poliomyelitis is still endemic. The bishop described the effects of the bombing and appealed for people to pray for Pakistan.

13 January 2016: Week of Prayer 'Bible App'
This coming week (17 - 23 January) is the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity sponsored in part by the World Council of Churches. Material for this year's event will be available for the first time on smart phones, computers, and tablets. The 'app' can be found here. The report by the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) is here.


10 January 2016: Primates meeting underway in Canterbury
The special meeting of Anglican primates called by the Archbishop of Canterbury has begun. The US Episcopal Church's News Service offers this non-combative report and explanation. The meeting has its own website at that includes a good explanation of just what this meeting is about. The Anglican Communion Office provides this list of the member churches of the Anglican Communion. British journalist Andrew Brown has written for The Guardian (London) this pessimistic and sour analysis of the past and future of the Anglican Communion. Nearly everything we've ever read from Mr Brown has been on the sour side, but he's often spot-on. The Vatican has loaned the crozier of St Gregory, an ancient English relic, and the vestment (still stained with thousand-year-old blood) that was worn by Thomas Becket when he was beheaded in 1170.

7 January 2016: Global prayer for Primates Meeting
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on calls for prayer and published prayers, litanies, and collects for this month's Primates Meeting. 'The Primates Meeting is one of the Anglican Communion's four Instruments of Unity and provides an opportunity for the leaders of the independent but interdependent Anglican Churches to gather for "leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation."'

6 January 2016: Vatican relics to Canterbury
Religion News Service reported relics of British Christianity now in the hands of the Vatican will be flown to England, where they will be displayed at Canterbury Cathedral just ahead of the Primates Meeting this month. The first item to arrive is an ivory handle of a staff, or crozier, used by St. Gregory, the pope who helped establish Christianity in England in the sixth century. The idea of the two Christian churches temporarily exchanging relics came after a cricket match between Catholic and Anglican priests in 2014. The Church Times also has an article about this.

5 January 2016: Deadline approaches for hiring ACO Director of Communications
The Anglican Communion News Service has pointed out that the deadline for applications to the post of director of communications for the Anglican Communion is 15 January. ( Note that by the rules of US style guides, that would be Director of Communications for the Anglican Communion.) The job posting itself says 'Director for Communications'. Perhaps the new person can sort this out and strengthen the ACNS style guide.

4 January 2016: Canadian Anglican college prepares students for Orthodox ministry
The diocese of Toronto highlights a new Master of Divinity program at Trinity College, to prepare students for ordained or lay ministry in the Orthodox church. The post-graduate degree, the only one of its kind in Canada, is often a requirement for those seeking ordination in the Orthodox church. Previously, students who wanted the degree had to travel to seminaries in the United States.


3 January 2016: RIP: Bishop John Reid
The Anglican League reported the passing of the Rt Revd John Reid, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Sydney, 1972–1993.

2 January 2016: GAFCON leaders up the ante
The Daily Mail (London) reported GAFCON leaders from Africa and Asia are threatening to walk out of a crucial meeting chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury unless American bishops drop their support for gay marriage. Unlike the paper's inflammatory headline which begins 'Repent or we quit...', Thinking Anglicans brings a sense of propriety to the issue: 'GAFCON prepares for the gathering of Primates'.

1 January 2016: David Suchet describes audio Bible as 'biggest role'
The Church Times published an interview with David Suchet, the narrator in the first full-length audio version of the Bible (spoken by a single British actor). Suchet, best-known for playing Agatha Christie's fictional detective Hercule Poirot, was speaking last month at an event celebrating the launch of the NIV Audio Bible App by Hodder & Stoughton.

1 January 2016: Pact between Churches of England and Scotland criticised
The Church Times reported on remarks by the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), the Most Revd David Chillingworth, who has said the Columba Declaration may cause 'real difficulty' in the relationship between the SEC and the Church of England. The SEC is the Anglican Communion partner church in Scotland, and the Declaration is between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. In his blog posts, the Primus questioned whether it was 'proper' for the C of E to enter an agreement about 'ministry and ecclesiastical order' in a country where it had no jurisdiction. 'The Anglican way is to recognise the territorial integrity of each province — they are autonomous, but inter-dependent.' Thinking Anglicans provides a summary.

30 December 2015: Praise and reproaches as northern England endures deluge
The Church Times reports that thousands of people have been forced from their homes in northern England because of flooding. Some churches, like St Barnabas, Littleborough, have been providing shelter for residents, and others that had intended to do the same have become victims of the water themselves. The Catholic Register has noted the practical ecumenism that has led to Anglican churches being made available for RC masses, and to co-operation in relief efforts.


PRIOR TO 30 December 2015: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.

This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©1997-2016 Society of Archbishop Justus