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This page last updated 27 September 2015
Anglicans Online last updated 27 September 2015

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 phraes 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

25 September 2015: Anglican-Orthodox Commission issues Communiqué
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) published the Communiqué from the 2105 meeting of the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue. The first section of its work on the theological understanding of the human person was brought to completion with the adoption of its agreed statement, In the Image and Likeness of God: A Hope-Filled Anthropology. The report, shortly to be published, is the culmination of six years of study on what Anglicans and Orthodox can say together about the meaning of human personhood in the divine image.

22 September 2015: RIP: Phyllis Tickle
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly (New York) and the Huffington Post reported the death of Phyllis Tickle, 81, a brilliant and enthusiastic lecturer and author about American religious life. A detailed press release is on the author's website where memorial service information will be posted. The Washington Post reprinted the Religion News Service profile of Tickle first published in May 2015.

20 September 2015: ABC to host refugees at Lambeth Palace
The Guardian reported the Archbishop of Canterbury is opening four-bedroom cottage on the grounds of Lambeth Palace to house one or two Syrian refugee families. 'As the archbishop has said, Jesus was a refugee, and there are refugees here who are desperate for sanctuary from war-torn places and the archbishop is completely torn about their situation and wants to make a difference.'

17 September 2015: RIP: Sir David Willcocks
The website for the Choir of King's College (UK) reported the death of Sir David Willcocks, 95, who was the most influential choirmaster of his generation, spending 17 years as director of music at King’s College, Cambridge, and 38 years in charge of the Bach Choir. He was a man of immense courage in both musical and military fields, earning an immediate MC during his war service in Normandy. Obituaries and remembrances were published in many media outlets including The Telegraph (obituary and remembrance), The New York Times, The Independent, and the Oxford University Press.


18 September 2015: Vatican kerfuffle precedes Pope's arrival in US
The Wall Street Journal (New York) (subscription) and Ruth Gledhill, writing for Christian Today, reported the Vatican purportedly has taken offense at some of the guests invited to the welcome ceremony at the US White House. The guest list for the White House event is in the thousands (as in five figures). The part of the Vatican kerfuffle with an Anglican slant is over the inclusion of retired US bishop, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson (New Hampshire). Bishop Robinson has written an open letter to the pope.

16 September 2015: ABC calls for Primates' gathering in January 2016
A large number of news outlets reported this week on the Archbishop of Canterbury's call to all 37 primates in the Communion to attend a special Primates' gathering in Canterbury 'to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Anglican Communion'. The Church Times coverage is here. The Guardian's story is here. Our friends at Thinking Anglicans have posted many links and updates for you to peruse in the category 'Anglican Communion'.

14 September 2015: Arab Israeli schools protest Christian school funding cuts
About a third of Arab students in Israel go to Christian schools, and about half their pupils are Muslim. But the Ministry of Education has severely cut their budgets, and they have struck to protest the cuts. The Episcopal News Service reports that about 90% of Arab schools in the country have joined the strike in solidarity with the Christian schools, despite pressure from the ministry to remain open.

14 September 2015: Scanlan consecrated in Central Pennsylvania
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the consecration of the Rt Revd Audrey Cady Scanlan as 11th bisop of Central Pennsylvania on 12 September.


11 September 2015: Large ransom demand for Nigerian bishop
The International Business Times reports that the kidnappers of Nigerian Bishop Tabwaye are demanding a ransom of £132,000. Meanwhile, a bank manager kidnapped presumably by the same people was rescued by Nigerian police from a camp in the forest.

10 September 2015: Cleric’s outstanding service to the bereaved pays off
The Church of England conducts over 3,000 funerals every week. So when the Good Funerals Awards were held, it was appropriate that the vicar of the Church of the Holy Nativity in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Revd Juliet Stephenson, won in the celebrant of the year category. The Irish Examiner quotes her approach: 'I do just what every other Church of England vicar does; I get alongside, I listen, I help them celebrate and I help them cry.'

8 September 2015: New Secretary General of the Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the commissioning of Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon as the new Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

8 September 2015: Bishop confesses to sex abuse charges 20 years late
The Telegraph (London) reports that 20 years after the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, had intervened to prevent prosecution of Peter Ball on sex abuse charges, Mr Ball came forward and admitted his guilt. The Church of England issued this statement. We suspect that Lord Carey will neither be prosecuted nor condemned for his role.

7 September 2015: Churches and refugees
The Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in New Zealand have joined to offer hosting of 300 refugee families from Europe. The Diocese of Wellington has asked every parish to take in one refugee family. The Diocese in Europe of the Church of England has begun fundraising to help it handle the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are within its borders. The Church Times reports on a campaign in the UK to encourage people to accommodate refugees in their own homes. The Anglican and RC bishops in Nottingham have joined to issue a call for Christians in Notinghamshire to take in refugees.

7 September 2015: Possible end to NZ cathedral deadlock
Anglican Taonga (NZ) tells us a 'Government-appointed consultant will be brought in to break the deadlock over the ruined ChristChurch Cathedral – and Bishop Victoria Matthews wants a way forward by Christmas.'


6 September 2015: Nigerian bishop kidnapped
Information Nigeria (Lagos) reported on the 4 September kidnapping of the Rt Revd Moses Tabuwaye who is being held for ransom. The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop and Primate of Nigeria, has advised Christians to be vigilant and security-conscious at all times.

5 September 2015: Welby urges MPs: reject right-to-die bill
The Observer (UK) reports the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined with other faith leaders to urge Members of Parliament to reject a private member's bill that would remove the strictures on assisted dying. Welby said 'Britain will cross a "legal and ethical" Rubicon' if the bill is passed. The paper has published his arguments opposing the bill here, alongside Desmond Tutu's plea in favour of the measure, and its own editorial supporting it.

4 September 2015: Statements by Welby on the refugee crisis
The Church Times reported on statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the ongoing migrant and asylum-seeker crisis which he described as 'hugely complex and wicked' and which he says requires starting from a place of 'compassion and the dignity of the human being' with much more to be done.

3 September 2015: Paterson now Archbishop-Emeritus for New Zealand
Anglican Taonga (Auckland) reported that the Rt Revd John Paterson's leadership of the Anglican Church, both in New Zealand and abroad, has been acknowledged by conferring upon the retired bishop and former primate the title 'Archbishop-Emeritus'.


29 August 2015: Church project nears its finish
The Hereford Times reported on the efforts of an artist to draw every Anglican church in the Diocese of Hereford. It has taken him 15 years.

26 August 2015: New Zealand flag discussions
Stuff New Zealand reported on the recent Maori Anglican Church synod in Wellington. The government's proposal to change New Zealand's flag was discussed. The synod's vote to keep the current flag was unanimous, arguing it best reflected the country's journey and sense of history. Wellington Bishop Muru Walters said that after the vote all delegates stood up and sang the national anthem before performing the haka.

24 August 2015: RIP: Former Jerusalem and Middle East Bishop Samir Hana Kafity
Episcopal News Service reported the passing of the Most Revd Samir Hana Kafity, twelfth president-bishop and primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The Diocese of San Diego press release is here.

23 August 2015: Rhode Island to illuminate its role in slavery
The New York Times reported on the Diocese of Rhode Island's initiative to create a racial reconciliation centre and museum focused on the (US) North's involvement in slavery.

21 August 2015: Indigenous province proposed in Canada
Anglican Journal reported on the draft proposal for tangible means of greater self-determination which was presented at the National Anglican Sacred Circle. One of the proposed items was to explore creating a fifth, fully Indigenous province in the Church of Canada in addition to the four existing Canadian ecclesiastical provinces.


21 August 2015: Report of money from Nigerian dictator funneled to Anglicans and their archbishop
Sahara Reporters (Nigeria) documents huge cash payments of government money from former Nigerian dictator Sani Abachi to Archbishop Peter Akinola and the then Anglican Church of Nigeria. It has since changed its name The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and its current primate (Akinola's successor) has called for parishes to support the government's anti-corruption agenda.

21 August 2015: Increase in attendance at English cathedrals
The Church Times (London) reports on the recent release by the Church of England's Archbishops' Council of the annual attendance report (both worship and tourism) for England's cathedrals. It shows a hefty increase.

20 August 2015: But not the bishop's candlesticks
Anglican Taonga (NZ) reports on a series of thefts of cash and valuable items from Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral. The thefts were captured on camera and the thief is likely to be cught soon.

20 August 2015: Angst over possible church sale in the far north of NZ
Stuff (NZ) reports on the distress in the little towns of Okaihau and Kaikohe as the Diocese of Auckland contemplates selling the buildings and properties.

19 August 2015: Obituaries: John Scott
The Guardian, the New York Times, the Church Times, the Irish Times, among many others, published obituaries of Yorkshireman John Gavin Scott, widely considered to have been the finest organist of his generation, who died suddenly in New York last week. The Solemn Funeral Liturgy will be held on Saturday, September 12 at 11am (EDT) at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York, and will be sung by the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys.

18 August 2015: Dark Age skeletons at St Piran's oratory are significant find
Saint Piran was a sixth century abbot and the patron saint of Cornwall. The ruins of his chapel may be the oldest Christian building on mainland Britain. The site had been covered in sand, but has recently been unearthed. The BBC reports that archaeologists have hailed the 'amazing' discovery of skeletons there as having national significance.


15 August 2015: Making God relevant for Kiwis
New Zealand's The Press published an interview with author and retired Anglican priest Ron Hay, whose book, Finding the Forgotten God: Credible Faith for a Secular Age, just won the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Award.

14 August 2015: Newfoundland's Anglican-Episcopal pipeline
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the long tradition of cross-border religious reciprocity between the US Episcopal Church and the three dioceses of Newfoundland where priests, many from Episcopal Divinity School in the Diocese of Massachusetts, are recruited to serve Newfoundland congregations lacking clergy.

14 August 2015: 'Churchgoing may benefit health'
The Church Times reported on two studies on the benefits of going to church and religious belief for older people and cancer patients.

13 August 2015: The Family – A Reconciling Community
The International Anglican Family Network (IAFN) has published and posted its latest newsletter, The Family – A Reconciling Community, which continues to explore the theological basis for the concept of 'family'. ACNS reported on the series of publications by the IAFN.

12 August 2015: Communiqué from IALC
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) published the communiqué from the 2015 meeting of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (IALC) in Montreal 3-8 August 2015.

10 August 2015: Archbishop says China cross removals must stop
Since 2013 1,200 crosses in Zhejiang have been removed and several churches demolished under an 'illegal structures' provision that many believe is being misused to target Christians. The Union of Catholic Asian News reported that the Anglican archbishop of Hong Kong, Paul Kwong, has called on the government to halt the campaign. Archbishop Kwong is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the highest advisory body for the central government. The National Catholic Register reported RC Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong also appealed the government to cease cross removals.


8 August 2015: Some anger at BBC filming at migrant church in Calais
The Huffington Post reports 'The BBC's decision to film a special edition of 'Songs Of Praise' from Calais' biggest migrant camp has inflamed opinions, with critics branding the move "insensitive" while others say it could help humanize the crisis.'

7 August 2015: Commemoration of atomic bombing of Japanese cities
Most news media worldwide have reported on the remembrance of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. The Church Times details the involvement of Anglican bishops and clergy from the provinces of Korea and Japan.

5 August 2015: New Zealand High Court rules in favour of Diocese of Christchurch
Stuff (Wellington) has reported on the action of the NZ High Court in rejecting a lawsuit by a group in Christchurch that is angry at the construction (and popularity) of the Cardboard Cathedral.

3 August 2015: First African bishop receives celebration and apology
This Day (Lagos) reported this week on the service held last year in Canterbury Cathedral to celebrate the life, consecration, and mission of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop. The Archbishop of Canterbury led the service, which included prayers of apology and repentance for his later betrayal and dismissal by other Church of England clergy. The Church Times had reported this event contemporaneously.

2 August 2015: Church of England intervenes in Eurotunnel migrant crisis
The Guardian (London) tells us the 'Church of England has made a dramatic intervention in the migrant crisis, delivering a stern rebuke to UK Prime Minister David Cameron for his unhelpful rhetoric'.


31 July 2015: We have not recovered yet, says Dean of Nepal
The Church Times writes of the state of recovery following the earthquakes in Nepal early this year. The Dean of Nepal, The Very Rev Lewis Lew believes it will be decades before full recovery. 'Our focus now is on permanent re-building, on sustainability, and resilience to future disasters.'

30 July 2015: First ever Peruvian Anglican bishops consecrated in Lima
The Anglican News Service covered the consecration which is a step towards the creation of a new province for Peru. The new bishops, Alejandro Mesco, Juan Carlos Revilla, and Jorge Luis Aguilar will serve a church that, while originally created to support the British and North American expatriate community, now supports a thriving Peruvian population.

30 July 2015: Education, health and chaplaincy in one of Anglican's remotest villages
An Anglican chapel dedicated to St. Francis now sits in the remote village of Pivo in Papua New Guinea, reports the Anglican News Service. A school and clinic are forthcoming. Members of the Melanesian Brotherhood have been making the 19 hour journey by truck and dinghy for two decades to minister to the population.

29 July 2015: Russell Kendrick consecrated bishop of the Central Gulf Coast
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reported the consecration of The Rt Revd Russell Kedrick of the southern US diocese which is comprised of bits of the US states Alabama and Florida along the Gulf of Mexico, at the Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall in Mobile, Alabama. The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church USA presided, with the Rt Revd Kee Sloan of the diocese of Alabama preaching. Kendrick, formerly of the Diocese of Alabama, was elected on 21 Feb 2015.

28 July 2015: A Skeleton, a Catholic Relic, and a Mystery About American Origins
The site of Jamestown's first church, built in 1608, had been lost, but when it was excavated in 2011, four graves were found under the chancel. Now, as rising sea levels threaten the island, they have been subjected to a forensic evaluation. The Atlantic discusses the science and the significance of what was discovered. One of the four bodies was that of the minister, the Revd Robert Hunt. A small silver box containing shards of bone was found on top of one of the other coffins. It may have been a reliquary, suggesting that the man buried there was a secret Catholic.

27 July 2015: Diocese of the Dominican Republic elects Moisés Quezada Mota bishop coadjutor
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reported on the election of the Revd Moisés Quezada Mota of San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic as Bishop Coadjutor of that diocese at a special convention on 25 July. His consecration is planned for February 2016, after which he will serve with the current Diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Julio César Holguin, who plans to retire within the next 36 months. The Diocese of the Dominican Republic is part of the Episcopal Church (USA).


PRIOR TO 27 July 2015: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.

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