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This page last updated 23 April 2017
Anglicans Online last updated 23 April 2017

The News Centre
Editor: Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle and Allie Graham

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 April 2017 Death of Rachel Boulding, Deputy Editor of the Church Times
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has confirmed (via Twitter) the death of Rachel Boulding, liturgist, book author and editor. The SPCK and Church House Publishing liturgy editor had influence far beyond the Church of England. We expect next week's Church Times to have a detailed report on her life and works.

21 April 2017 Anglican University to open in South Sudan
The Church Times reports that the first Anglican University in South Sudan is being planned, under the direction of Dr Eeva John, director of pastoral studies at Ridley Hill, Cambridge, who chairs the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan University Partnership. It is expected to open within the next two years. Currently only three of the five state universities in South Sudan are functioning, and the Anglican colleges are facing issues as well amid the nation's crisis. Dr John hopes the university will be 'a place in which the next generation escapes warring factions and prepares to build a peaceful nation.'

21 April 2017: Bishops defend immigration
The Living Church reports that 14 bishops of the US Episcopal Church have filed an amici curiae brief which opposes their president's order restricting immigration. The order was filed in the 9th circuit court, in San Francisco. This follows a February lawsuit by the Diocese of Olympia over the issue of whether this order impedes the diocese's religious freedom, as several participants in their resettlement programme were banned from entering the United States.

18 April 2017: Obituary: Frederick Borsch, bishop who worked to empower minorities
The New York Times has published the obituary of the Rt Revd Frederick H Borsch, once Bishop of Los Angeles.

18 April 2017 Kenya Bishop stops politicians from addressing mourners
According to, Bishop Robert Magina of Nambale (Kenya) warned politicians not to make the burial of the mother of an MP part of their campaign. Several politicians, including a candidate for governor, tried to speak, but the bishop pulled away the microphone.

17 April 2017: Tolerance in action
The Living Church tells how the Anglican church in Abu Dhabi is working to become a beacon of hospitality. On Fridays, the main day off in the emirate, St Andrew's Church is packed with worshippers from sunrise to evening. Some are Anglicans, and many are members of the more than forty guest congregations that use the church. It is in a fairly affluent area, and Urban Christian News reports that a new church — All Saints — is being built in the Musaffah industrial district, where foreign workers will find it easier to attend. The church is two-thirds complete. It will accommodate 4200 people, and will include a centre for dialogue with people of other faiths, especially Muslims.


16 April 2017: Builders stumble across tomb of 5 former archbishops of Canterbury
The Mail (London) reports the accidental discovery of a hidden vault in Lambeth containing 30 lead coffins, 5 of which belonged to 17th- and 18th-century archbishops of Canterbury. The discovery was made by workers refurbishing a museum.

15 April 2017: Anglican cemetery in Diocese of Cape Town deconsecrated; graves to be moved
The Independent Online (South Africa) reports that the Diocese of Cape Town held a deconsecration ceremony for a 150-year-old cemetery in Athlone in order to exhume the remains to make way for future developments on the site.

13 April 2017: Abandoned Anglican church in Russia to become concert hall
RBTH (Moscow) reports that the former Anglican church building on St Petersburg's English Embankment is to be renovated and repurposed as a concert hall. The congregation, part of the Church of England Diocese in Europe, still calls itself The Anglican Church in St Petersburg, but meets in a Lutheran facility.

12 April 2017: England's largest parish church to be reclassified as minster
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the upcoming ceremony (12 May 2017) in which England's largest parish church (Holy Trinity, Hull) will become Hull Minster. The church was created by King Stephen in 1295.

12 April 2017: You can't be Christian if you don't believe in the resurrection
The Telegraph quotes a former chaplain to the Queen, the Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden: 'Those people who neither believe in the Resurrection nor go anywhere near a church cannot be "Christians".'

11 April 2017: Alabama churches will be permitted to have their own police forces
The Guardian (London) reports that the Senate of the US state of Alabama has voted to allow a church to form its own police force. Briarwood Presbyterian Church has said it needs its own police force to keep its school and congregation safe.


8 April 2017: Anglicans launch rescue bid as England’s finest cathedrals battle a financial crisis
The Guardian reports on a Church of England investigation into the finances of its cathedrals. They note that this Monday 'the church will announce the 12 members of a working party ordered by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, to look into the way cathedrals are governed, their accountability and how financial decisions are made.' The panel will include 'financial specialists and other experts' and will be chaired by the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney.

7 April 2017: Anglican Secretary General Backs El-rufai’s Peace Moves
The Anglican Secretary General, the Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, supported Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s efforts to end violent conflict in Kaduna State according to Leadership Nigeria (Abuja). The remarks were made at the graduation ceremony of Diploma and Certificate students of the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations.

7 April 2017: Dean of Liverpool named as the next Bishop of Sheffield
The Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox has been appointed Bishop of Sheffield following the withdrawing of acceptance for the position by the Rt Revd Philip North, according to the Church Times. The change occured because concerns were raised over North's archaic views on women's ordination.

7 April 2017: 7 April 2017: Air strikes on Syria pour gasoline on a fire
The Church Times reports a conversation with the Revd Nadim Nassar, the only Syrian priest in the Church of England, and the director of the Awareness Foundation, an ecumenical group that seeks to build understanding between the east and the west, and to sustain Christians in the middle east. Mr Nassar compared the missile strikes on Syria in response to a chemical attack in that country to trying to put out a fire with gasoline. In an interview on CBC radio, he called on world leaders to use dialogue and diplomacy to end the crisis in Syria, rather than military might. 

4 April 2017: Anglican Church in Peru calls for aid
Following the flooding and mudslides, the Anglican Church of Peru has established the 'Help us to help Others' commission, according to the Anglican Communion News Service. The church has established a plan of action to ensure help goes to small communities that have been impacted particularly badly by the floods. Anglican Journal reports the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (Canada) has contributed $20,000 to the cause.


31 March 2017: 'Suspicious' fire destroys historic church in Melbourne
The New Zealand Herald reports a fire that destroyed an old church on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula (in Australia). Firefighters took 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which broke out at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Hastings.

31 March 2017: Church in Wales rejects charges of unfairness in episcopal nominating process
The Church in Wales issued this statement, which acknowledges receipt of complaints about the selection process but dismisses them. The Church Times has published the letter it received in response to its recent leader from the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales.

31 March 2017: C of E court rules that comfortable chairs can replace pews
The Telegraph (London) reported the ruling in the Diocese of Rochester that a vicar is free to replace century-old wooden pews with more comfortable seating even though such chairs are not traditional.

31 March 2017: Pope's remarks on intercommunion called 'ground-breaking'
The Church Times (London) reports that remarks made by Pope Francis during his visit to All Saints, Rome are being interpreted as an endorsement of intercommunion between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

29 March 2017: Global theological conference held online
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a three day conference of international theologians has taken place, with the organisers in Jerusalem but the participants taking part via the internet. Theologians from the Middle East, Nigeria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Egypt, Brazil and Tokyo were among those participating.

28 March 2017: Bishop of Los Angeles on trial for church sale attempt
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the church disciplinary hearing for Los Angeles bishop J Jon Bruno. The charges, initially brought by the members of St James the Great Episcopal Church, stem from the bishop's 2015 attempt to sell the church building in Newport Beach to a condominium developer. Please read and learn about this case before forming an opinion; it is more complex than it might seem at first glance.

The president of the Hearing Panel, Herman Hollerith IV, is the great-grandchild of the inventor of computer punch cards, which were for many decades referred to as 'IBM Cards'.

27 March 2017: Church of England creates new bishop for ethnic minorities
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England plans to create a new bishop of Loughborough, based out of the Diocese of Leicester. The purpose of this new appointment is to reach out to changing cultures and populations in the area, because the Church of England is seen as 'too "quintessentially English"'. It will be the first new post created since the See of Brixworth in 1987.


24 March 2017: Great fuss over episcopal appointments in Wales and Sheffield
Thinking Anglicans has gathered reports on the discord about the appointment of bishops for Llandaff and Sheffield.

23 March 2017: Archbishop of Canterbury to make 12-day visit to Holy Land
The Guardian (London) reports the plans of Justin Welby to use his first official visit to that region to focus on religious freedom and challenges facing Christians in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Canon Andrew White, often referred to by journalists as 'The Vicar of Baghdad', told US-based Fox News that ISIS has driven so many Christians out of the reason that they will all be gone soon.

22 March 2017: Prophets of doom in Ghana should 'Shut Up' reports the angry statement by the Most Revd Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, in which he has asked all prophets of doom in Ghana to shut up because God has done a lot of good for the country. 'I will want to tell all Ghanaians to ignore those prophets of doom, they are not from the true God. These prophets of doom should shut up because they are not from the true God.'

22 March 2017: Obituary: Marilyn McCord Adams, theologian
Marilyn McCord Adams, one of the world's most prominent and respected philosophers-theologians, has died at 73. She was the first woman ever to hold the prestigious title of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and the first woman to receive a Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford. Obituaries in ChristianToday and The Living Church.

20 March 2017: 'Nothing good' about residential schools
Canadian Anglican leaders have upbraided Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak for her assertion that the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was overly negative in its representation of the Indian Residential Schools system. The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports. Huffington Post Canada has published the text of the letter to Senator Beyak.

20 March 2017: Obituary: Terence Finlay, former Bishop of Toronto
The Anglican Journal reports the death of Terence Finlay, who was bishop of Toronto from 1987 and Metropolitan of Ontario from 2000 to 2004. Friends remembered his smile and laughter, his modesty, and his collaborative leadership style. He helped shape the church's response to the legacy of the Indian residential school system. He made headlines in 1991 when he fired a priest who was in a same-sex relationship; years later they were reconciled at a special service. In 2006, after he retired, he was reprimanded for marrying two lesbian friends. His wife, Canon Alice Jean Finlay, has served on the central committee of the World Council of Churches. The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reported on the tribute from the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

For news older than 20 March, please refer to our News Archives.

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