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

21 December 2014: Archbishop of Jerusalem reflects on 2014
The BBC has posted a video interview with the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, Archbishop of Jerusalem.

19 December 2014: Christmas celebrations banned due to Ebola
The Church Times reported that Christmas celebrations are being banned in Sierra Leone, as the country tries to fight back against the Ebola virus. Numbers of cases are still rising in some parts of the country.

17 December 2014: Christmas celebrations cancelled in Peshawar
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported that the Bishop of Peshawar (Pakistan) has The Bishop of Peshawar has said that, following what he called 'another unimaginable horror', the Church of Pakistan has decided to cancel its Christmas celebrations. Bishop Humphrey Peters spoke solemnly about the aftermath of the attack by the Taliban on a school that left 132 children and nine adults dead.

17 December 2014: Suffragan Bishop of Stockport announced
We are pleased to report the email subject line from the C of E press release was the above. What is more historic is the identity of the new suffragan: the Revd Libby Lane, the first female to be named a bishop in the C of E. The press release is here. The Church Times report from 19 December is here.

17 December 2014: Top Ten Bible verses for 2014
Christianity Today reported Bible Gateway has released statistics on trends and patterns in Bible searches this year. Many of the online readers were searching for verses about love.

9 December 2014: Swaffham Bulbeck pom pom art and music fills church.
A local artist installed 840 pom poms in the church of St Mary in Swaffham Bulbeck, one for each person in the village. BBC News has photographs of the colourful work that is reported to have brought the village together.


14 December 2014: Anglican Church of Australia proposes sex abuse reparation scheme
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a proposed scheme for reparations to victims of child sex abuse.

12 December 2014: 'Radical overhaul' of Church of England leadership
The Church Times reports on an as-yet-unreleased document describing a new scheme for training and appointing upper management within the Church of England. Accompanying that report is a scathing opinion piece about it by the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Oxford Cathedral and this leader by the Church Times' Paul Handley. This report's title is 'Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans: A new approach' but it is being called 'the Green Report' because of its authorship.

11 December 2014: Ding dong merrily on high: the maths of Christ Church belfry
The 19 bells of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin peal out every Sunday to call the faithful to worship. The science page of the Irish Times explores the 'melodic pandemonium' of change ringing, which helped create a form of advanced mathematics called group theory. 

8 December 2014: 30 years of partnership between Japanese and Korean churches
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the joint celebration of the 30th anniversary of their partnership by the Japanese and Korean Anglican Churches.


6 December 2014: From politician to priest
The Herald Sun (Melbourne) reported that 'the transformation' of the former South Australian premier, Lynn Arnold, to the priesthood is now complete. The Revd Lynn Arnold was one of seven deacons ordained to the priesthood in a service at St Peter's Cathedral in North Adelaide.

6 December 2014: ABC speaks
The Independent (UK) reported the Most Revd Justin Welby spoke frankly with The Times (UK) about the conflicting views between churches within the Communion. The interview and his remarks follow the completion of his visits to all 38 provinces in the Communion.

4 December 2014: 40th year commemorative service for Tracy
Australian Broadcast Commission (ABC) reported on the service from Darwin's Christ Church Cathedral commemorating the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy wreaking her wrath on the city. A recording of the service is available via audio stream in the posted story.

4 December 2014: Inside Christchurch Cathedral
One News (NZ) reported on a group of anonymous photographers who entered the damaged cathedral and have released photos of the interior. The Press (NZ) also has a full report, and the Daily Mail (UK) picked up the story as well.

4 December 2014: Maidstone see to be revived
The Church Times reported the Church of England's suffragan see of Maidstone in Kent, vacant since 2009, is to be revived to accommodate a conservative Evangelical bishop.

29 November 2014: New bishop in Northern Territory
The Diocese of Sydney issued a press release on the consecration of the sixth Bishop for the Northern Territory, the Rt Revd Dr Gregory Anderson.


30 November 2014: Former soldier embraces role as Moscow priest
The Moscow Times published a human interest story on the Revd Clive Fairclough, the current priest-in-residence at St Andrew's in Moscow who also serves as the ABC's official representative to the Orthodox patriarch and chaplain to the British ambassador.

30 November 2014: Bishop begins commemorative ocean journey
Three News in New Zealand reported the Rt Revd Jim White has begun a voyage by sea kayak that will end with a Christmas Day service at Oihi Beach in the Bay of Islands. The service will commemorate the 200th anniversary of first Christian service held by Maori and Christian missionaries in New Zealand in 1814.

29 November 2014: 'Time capsule' room discovered in Liverpool church.
The BBC and the Metro (Associated Newspapers) both reported on the re-discovery at St Nicholas of a room full of books as well as toys from the 1930s and 1940s that had been sealed off and forgotten since World War Two. The rector, the Revd Dr Crispin Palling, attributes his discovery to natural curiosity: 'When you see a hole in the ceiling, I think you've got to go through it and find out what's on the other side, and that's what I wanted to do here'.

28 November 2014: Cathedrals ponder success as midweek attendance booms
The Church Times reported statistics published this week indicate that attendance at cathedral services Monday through Saturday doubled between 2003 and 2013, from 7500 to fifteen thousand.

27 November 2014: Obituary: PD James
The Guardian (and many other news sources) published an obituary for PD James. 'Her books always contained at least one religious character, a sign of her devotion to Anglicanism. This gave way to much discussion in her stories about the nature of good and evil, with Dalgliesh, the son of a vicar, often leading the way.'

25 November 2014: New Diocese inaugurated
SpyGhana reported the inauguration of the Asante-Mapong Diocese, the second diocese to be created in the Ashanti Region. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) posted the press release from the Church of the Province of West Africa in which the new diocese is located.


23 November 2014: Crozier returned to Maori donors a century later
The Special Broadcasting Service (Australia) reports on the return of a crozier to its donors by the Bishop of Auckland, who had discovered a century-old crozier that had been presented in 1914 to the then-bishop of Auckland by Maori tribes in the Bay of Islands. It will be returned to Kito Pikaahu, Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau.

19 November 2014: Why unity evades the Church of England
Thinking Anglicans has published a press release from Westminster Faith Debates of a survey performed by YouGov, which shows that a small group of male conservatives is the chief roadblock to unity in the Church of England.

19 November 2014: Every organ, every church in the diocese
The Derby Telegraph tells the story of Peter Gould, organist at Derby Cathedral, who has, at his retirement, traveled to each of more than 270 churches in the Diocese of Derby to perform on that church's pipe organ(s).

18 November 2014: ABC uses Presidential Address to C of E Synod to deliver 'State of the Communion' speech
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) has published Justin Welby's speech about the state of the Anglican Communion. The Church Times had this report on it and The Economist said this.

18 November 2014: Church of England General Synod actually had other business besides women bishops
It wasn't just women bishops at this session of the General Synod. For example, the Synod approved a motion calling for evaluation of research findings into the effect of removing the Spare Room Subsidy.

17 November 2014: Church of England Legislation on women bishops becomes law
Only in a country with an established church would a press release from church headquarters use the phrase 'becomes law'. The C of E's Church House issued this press release announcing that General Synod had enacted the measure enabling women to be ordained as Bishops in the Church of England. Opinions published in the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the BBC are worth reading.


14 November 2014: C of E 'poised to choose first female bishop by Christmas'
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England is expected to have at least one female bishop appointed before Christmas of this year. That newspaper also reports on the 'special training' given to some female clergy to prepare them should they be selected as bishops.

14 November 2014: Update on Nova Scotia church's journey
Back in November 2009, we listed the sale of All Saints in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia, to a Baptist congregation in Louisiana. This week, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly featured an update on the move of the building.

14 November 2014: Slight decline in attendance shown in 2014 C of E report
The Church Times notes the publication by the Church of England of its latest attendance statistics and notes that the report shows a slight decline from last year.

14 November 2014: Biblical scholars dismiss claim of 'lost gospel' found at British Library
Pointing out that it is neither lost nor a Gospel, church historians call the assertion that the discovery of a 'lost' early Gospel at the British Library would lead to a re-writing of the New Testament 'deepest bilge'. Read about it in the Church Times.

12 November 2014: RIP: Bishop Dyer
The Allentown Morning Call (Pennsylvania, US) reported the death of the Rt Revd J Mark Dyer, former Bishop of Bethlehem. Virginia Theological Seminary issued a release including 20 November funeral details. The Bishop served on faculty of the seminary after his time in Pennsylvania. Episcopal News Service also reported this with a focus on Dyer's role as a widely-respected leader in the Anglican Communion.

9 November 2014: East Carolina consecrates new bishop
The Greenville Daily Reflector reported the consecration of the Rt Revd Robert Stuart Skirving as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. Later in the week the Episcopal News Service also published an article about the consecration.

9 November 2014: Labyrinth blessed by five unified faiths
The Jackson (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger reported on the dedication of the new labyrinth at the local parish of St James. 'There were Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims, and they were all there with a common purpose: The dedication and blessing of the prayer labyrinth which now adorns St. James' courtyard.'


7 November 2014: One pastor, three congregations
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly (US) profiles John Unger of West Virginia, who is the pastor at a Lutheran church as well as at a Methodist one, and who is also the priest at an Episcopal parish. Add to this, he is a state senator. 'I am very careful to make sure that I don’t bring politics into the church. However, I’ll tell you this, that I do bring my faith into my politics. It is who I am. And I do not discredit or try to in any way tear down other people’s point of view. I believe my ministry is loving God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and my public service is loving my neighbor as myself.'

5 November 2014: King of Bahrain meets with Bishop
The Bahrain News Agency issued a press release on the meeting between King Hamad and the Rt Revd Michael Lewis (Cyprus and the Gulf). Among other things, the King reviewed with the Bishop 'issues which contribute to disseminating the culture of dialogue and tolerance between all monotheist religions as well as commitment to moderation and renunciation of extremism'.

5 November 2014: Priest faces charges for feeding the homeless
In order to discourage outdoor food programs, Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance restricting their operation. When the Revd Mark Sims of St Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs was helping at a food distribution, Christian Today reports, police shut down the operation and charged the people serving the food. They face a potential fine of $500 and sixty days in jail. It is estimated that there are about ten thousand homeless people in the city. Municipal officials claim that feeding them sanctions homelessness.

4 November 2014: Priest speaks out about climage change
Australia's ABC reported on remarks by the Dean of Darwin's Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Revd Keith Joseph. Joseph lived and worked on the Solomon Islands where he saw firsthand the effects of climate change and the damage being done. 'If you were sick and went to 30 doctors and 29 said you've got cancer and give up smoking and one said it's not a problem, what are you going to do? It's the same with climate change. The scientific evidence is in.' The Solomon Times also published this story.


1 November 2014: Former ABY resigns over sexual abuse cover-up
The Australian has reported 'One of the world’s most revered Anglican bishops has quit the ministry following scathing criticism of his handling of allegations of the horrific sexual abuse of children in Australia and Britain by a pedophile clergyman.' They are, of course, referring to David Hope, Lord Hope of Thornes, former Archbishop of York. Reports in UK newspapers include The Guardian and The Telegraph. (Note: if the link to The Australian requires you to be a subscriber, you can try this link).

1 November 2014: Obituary: Bernard Mayes
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both published an obituary of the once Revd Bernard Mayes, noting that, though born, raised, and ordained in England, he created the first suicide prevention hotline in the USA, was the founding chairman of US National Public Radio, a US-based reporter for the BBC, and assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. Later in life he renounced his orders and began formulating an atheist credo that he called Soupism.

31 October 2014: Church of England women bishops by 2015?
The Church Times reports on disputes 'over the implementation of arrangements for parishes that seek ministry from a male bishop' that are delaying the actual appointment of an actual woman as bishop in the C of E.

27 October 2014: RIP: Bishop Robertson
The Living Church reported the death of the Rt Revd Creighton L. Robertson, ninth Bishop of South Dakota. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader published his obituary on 29 October.

27 October 2014: Coadjutor elected in West Texas
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the election of the Rt Revd David Mitchell Reed, currently bishop suffragan of West Texas, as the coadjutor for the diocese. He was elected on the first ballot.

27 October 2014: Christology truce after 1500 years
The Anglican Communion News Service reports 'Senior theologians in Anglican Communion and Oriental Orthodox Churches recently made history by signing an agreement on their mutual understanding of Christ's incarnation.' This dispute began with the Council of Chalcedon in AD451, and has been unresolved for all these many centuries.


PRIOR TO 27 October 2014: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages. And don't send any email to We mention it only as spam bait, and assume all mail sent to it is spam.

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