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This page last updated 23 November 2014
Anglicans Online last updated 23 November 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

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.


23 October 2014: Church offers 'green' burials
The Northumberland News (Ontario) reported St James in Roseneath is offering green burials. Green burials are also known as 'eco-friendly'. They do not use concrete vaults or embalming, and they use a biodegradable coffin. The article also informs us that cremation is 'one of the worst end-of-life green options,' using an equivalent amount of energy to heat a house for a month.

22 October 2014: Bermuda hit by two tropical storms, buoyed by prayer
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported that Anglicans in Bermuda have expressed their deep gratitude to God and to their brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion after surviving two tropical storms.

22 October 2014: General Seminary update
The Huffington Post reported the eight General Theological Seminary professors who have been on strike over working conditions at the New York City school have tentatively agreed to return. Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on this issue on 21 October and 24 October.

20 October 2014: RIP: Bishop Ken Short
ACNS reposted the news release from the Diocese of Sydney reporting the death of Bishop Ken Short AO, former missionary, military chaplain, Dean of Sydney and Bishop of Wollongong, Parramatta and the Defence Forces. The news release from Sydney includes details on how to join the live Internet stream of the 27 October funeral at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney.

20 October 2014: Bishop speaks: detribalised Nigeria
Leadership (Abuja) reported on the call by the Primate of Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, for a united and detribalised Nigeria.


18 October 2014: Architect of Anzac Day remembered
Canon David Garland was an Australian chaplain who served in the Middle East during the first world war, and who planned the ceremonies and rituals (a march, a returned soldier's luncheon, two minutes silence, and wreath-laying ceremonies) that mark Anzac Day, which honoured the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought with heavy casualties at Gallipoli. ABC reports that his tomb in Toowong cemetery has been restored, after being damaged by earth movement.

18 October 2014: The strip of land that began an unholy row
The Melbourne Herald Sun reports on the claim made by St John's, East Malvern against their neighbour for a narrow strip of land. They only discovered their ownership after a dispute over the cost of repairing a fence prompted a survey which showed the church owned a strip of their neighbour's land.

17 October 2014: RIP: Rt Revd M Thomas Shaw
The Diocese of Massachusetts reported the death of Bishop Shaw, recently retired bishop of the diocese. The Boston Globe report is here. In addition to his 20 years as bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, Shaw was life-professed in the Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE), the oldest religious order for men in the Episcopal/Anglican church. You can read their announcement of the passing of their Brother Tom here.

17 October 2014: Don't forget Peshawar
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) carried a reflection and update from Anglican Alliance on those affected by the bombing of All Saints Church last year.

17 October 2014: Rumours of hauntings became church's downfall
St John's church, Shrewsbury (Canada) was built in 1858, a wooden building with a modest steeple. It continued services into this century, though most of its members had moved. But rumours circulated that the congregation had committed mass suicide, and it showed up on ghost-hunting websites. For years it was subject to vandalism, and the diocese of Montreal deconsecrated it in 2010. The Montreal Gazette reports that this year it was burned to the ground, a victim of arson. The Gazette comments, 'The fire was an act of cultural erasure.'

17 October 2014: General Theological Seminary update
The Board of Trustees of General Theology Seminary issued a statement which was reprinted at Episcopal News Service (ENS). Episcopal Cafe posted details of the meeting with students and seminary as well as the statement by the dismissed faculty. Later the Cafe added another post with links to the largely negative reaction to the events from around the province. Comments after each article are different and illuminating. On October 19, the Diocese of New York released an email sent by the bishop, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche, to the diocese with his accounting of the board discussions and his call to reinstate the eight faculty in full.

16 October 2014: Central Tanzania has new bishop
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Tanzania Anglicans have elected their Provincial Secretary, the Revd Dr Dickson Chilongani, the sixth bishop of Central Tanganyika, the Tanzania's largest diocese.

13 October 2014: Church provides land for Ebola fight
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Diocese of Freetown has provided land for an Ebola holding centre for the Ola During Children's Hospital, the only children's referral hospital in the country.

10 October 2014: Obituary: Bishop Stephen Sykes
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) published an obituary for the Rt Reverend Stephen Sykes, who was Bishop of Ely from 1990 to 1999 and one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. His tenure was, however, a comparatively brief interlude in a career of considerable academic distinction: he moved to Ely from the Regius chair of Divinity at Cambridge, and before that held the Van Mildert chair of Divinity at Durham. ACNS based their article on the full obituary published in the Telegraph on 8 October and can be found here.

10 October 2014: Wrong Number, Right Message
The Anglican Church of Canada posted an uplifting story about Back to Church Sunday. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) re-published this story as well.


10 October 2015: Survey finds C of E clergy wedded to the parish system
The Church Times reports the results of a survey of 1500 Church of England clergy. It found that Church of England clergy are overwhelmingly committed to the parish system, despite the challenges it poses.

8 October 2014: Obituary: Fr David Russell
South African priest David Russell was a key contributor to the end of apartheid. This week his obituary is in The Independent (London).

7 October 2014: Anglican Vicar of Baghdad is now a refugee
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Canon Andrew White, who is vicar of the only remaining Anglican church in Iraq, not to return to that city because of threats from ISIS. The Christian Post has the story.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 1
The Church of Ireland Gazette released an interview with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It's a 21-minute sound recording, so we can't really excerpt it here, but we can tell you that Archbishop Welby said during the interview that ACNA — the Anglican Church in North America — is not part of the Anglican Communion. The Post Courier (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) reports various things that ACNA leaders have said in response. Meanwhile The Telegraph (London) reports that Pope Francis has made welcoming overtures to ACNA.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 2
In that same interview, Archbishop Welby addressed the various rumors circulating about 'cancellation' of the 2018 Lambeth Conference. Canada's Anglican Journal has transcribed much of that portion of the interview.

5 October 2014: Diocese of Tasmania to cooperate with sex abuse investigators
The Examiner (Tasmania) reports on the announcement by Bishop John Harrower that the Diocese of Tasmania will 'fully co-operate with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse'.


4 October 2014: Update from Malaysia on the 'Allah' issue
The Malay Mail reported remarks by Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok on the government's persistence in refusing non-Muslim Malaysians the right to use the word 'Allah'. The Archbishop said it 'is tantamount to the systematic destruction of the language and culture of the Bumiputera community in Sabah and Sarawak'.

2 October 2014: Uganda Martyrs Museum begins construction
New Vision (Kampala) reported on the start of construction for the Uganda Martyrs Museum. Located at the Anglican Shrine, the museum's design includes 47 pillars, each representing one of the Uganda martyrs. In the 1880s, twenty-three Anglican and twenty-two Catholic converts were killed after they defied orders to renounce Christianity.

1 October 2014: Upset and uproar at General Theological Seminary
The New York Times reported on the troubles at General Theological Seminary (GTS), the oldest Episcopal seminary in the US. The majority of the full-time faculty were relieved of their positions after a communications impasse with the Seminary's Board over the behavior of, and conflict surrounding, the Dean of the Seminary, the Very Revd Kurt Dunkle. Much has been reported on different sites (including Episcopal News Service, EpiscopalCafe, ChristianToday, Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education) and the dismissed faculty have started their own website to provide their perspective on the situation.

30 September 2014: Kenya primate appointed to head anti-corruption committee
The Star (Nairobi) reported Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala has been appointed by the President of Kenya to chair the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee. The committee will run nationwide public education campaign aimed at changing Kenyans' attitude towards corruption and is answerable only the President.

30 September 2014: Malawi Anglicans to erect memorial for former Archbishop
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the family of Bishop Donald Arden, who was both Bishop of Southern Malawi and Archbishop of Central Africa in the 1970s, has granted permission to the Church in Malawi to take his ashes back to Malawi. The Church in Malawi will erect a memorial pillar for their former archbishop who died in July in the UK. The report includes many inspiring details about the Church in Malawi during Bishop Arden's tenure.

29 September 2014: Korean priests walk to commemorate ferry disaster
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the 400-plus kilometre walk three priests in the Church of Korea have undertaken to commemorate the victims of South Korea's worst maritime disaster in recent history. The priests are members of The Angican Priest Corps for Justice and Peace.

29 September 2014: Mississippi consecrates Seage as coadjutor
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the ordination and consecration of the Rt Revd Brian Seage as the bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Mississippi (US).


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